Seawall and Shoreline (excerpt) by Bruce Beaver


Tracks at the sea’s edge, gull’s patterns,
Pointers of wood and weed, a child following,
Tracing the script of the tides and filling the margins
With footprints for a passing commentary.

I read what the child, the white gull have to tell
And translate here into the one word: hunger.
Mudlark of the sands and the sea’s wild bird
Hunger, avidly patrol the shore.
I followed once, over the crisp sand tracking
Tides and the birds, at a loss for my reasons, searching
With a deeper than belly-hunger for the path
Bridging this shore and another, out of time
And in time, out of the way of hours.

– Bruce Beaver, 1964