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April 2016, vol 12 no 1

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Peter Newton


Here we have a beach in shambles. 10-ton boulders strewn like pebbles by an angry sea. Sand dunes erased. As if the engineers had made some terrible mistake in their calculations. As if the town council’s tourist-friendly boardwalk had been sketched in the entirely wrong place.

closing the book
on summer

The canal some say is to blame. We never should have sliced through the land the way we did, one person confesses. While another points back to the engineers. They got tired of dredging all the time. It’s that massive jetty at the mouth of the canal that’s the culprit. The engineers were trying to make their own lives easier.

windows wide open
letting the spring breeze
do my dirty work

We have here the time-lapse video of the coastline. Clearly, we can see the shoals offshore migrating southward as they have for millennia. Note the interruption of the natural progression of continent building. So that today what we have is all the land-owners on the left side of the opening are awash in sand. While people on the right side of the break are losing ground.

Hundreds of cubic yards with each tide that leaves. The houses, as it appears, were sunk from the start. And the very beach itself is soon to break through into the salt marsh and beyond that into the town proper. Ask any kid here what’s happening and he’ll tell you what they learn in grade school. Man versus nature. And who usually wins.

two black holes collide
sticks out his tongue