a poem by Neruda speaks to my heart

collecting shells

S read this poem to me earlier this evening and it gave me a fluttery feeling. I don’t get to see the ocean much, so when I do it’s a special time. Most recently, the ocean means writing and creativity to me, because of Port Townsend, Washington, and my Goddard residencies. I get to go again in February. I’ll have these words in my head when I go. And it’s sort of a full-circle thing, too, because I bought this book for S from Copper Canyon Press. From Fort Worden to Vermont back to Fort Worden, with all kinds of poetic flutters and frills in between. From the Puget Sound to the shores of Lake Champlain back to the Puget Sound. Sand in my shoes. Gathering beach glass.

The photograph above is from Coney Island, NY, another place I’ve gazed over saltwater. I’ve never been there in the summer, only in cold weather. L and I gathered shells there.

Here’s the poem I’ve been talking about: From Pablo Neruda’s The Book of Questions translated by William O’Daly

XLIX

When I see the sea once more

will the sea have seen or not seen me?

Why do the waves ask me

the same questions I ask them?

And why do they strike the rock

with so much wasted passion?

Don’t they get tired of repeating

their declaration to the sand?

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