Winter's Siletz Bay On The Oregon Coast - Poem by Ray Andrews
I like to walk on the bay in the winter
Winter paints the bay and ocean water
Brown with silt claimed from banks
And farms on the Siletz River's upper reaches
The bay sometimes looks like it's
Boiling. The turgid forces of
Wind and rain and huge brown ocean
Waves form a salty roiling witche's brew
When the tide is going out, sometimes
Logs are whipped by the river, circling,
Circling around their centers, headed
For the sea monster's waves
An occasional gull rides
The wind, maybe a refuge
From lack of purhcase
On wind driven earth
The beach is covered with
The debris of storms. Logs, more logs
Sticks, plastic scrap, sea hardened rope, an occasional bouy
Kelp and pieces of dock torn from upstream moorings
I look in the detritus for treasure-
For glass balls used in past times to float
Overseas fishing nets. I've never found one.
I did find a toilet bolted to part of a dock
When I walk I don't just stroll like in
The summer. It's too dangerous. Sneaker waves,
Unstable logs, clutter along the beach and pathways
It's dangerous-I'm on guard.
When the rains come it's like a fire hose being
Turned on me. Nothing keeps me dry.
My glasses fog, the wind pushes me sideways.
It's one of those places where water
Seems to flow uphill.
My legs and back hurt after jumping logs and
Keeping my head low from the wind and rain.
My survival instincts on edge, endorphins
And adreneline do their work. I'm thriving.
I'm at home in this cauldron of obstacles
And moving molecules. There is the peace and wonder
Of the summer bay, with the
Footnote of winter's vigor
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