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January 2014, vol 9, no 4

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Mary Frederick Ahearn


the octopus trap
fleeting dreams
under the summer moon
~ Basho, trans. by R.H.Blyth

Years of summers ago, on a bright blue morning, I took a perfect sphere of a stone from the seawall in Acadia National Park in Maine. Holding the stone cupped in my hand, it shaped a prayer, transforming itself into a holy relic, a sacred memento.

an empty space
filled in

Sun-bleached, water-worn smooth, the cobblestone was one of many rattling and rolling about in the Atlantic surf. At times of great storms, waves catch the stones, throwing them higher onto the beach, onto the seawall. There, sometimes, they may be stolen, hidden in pockets, backpacks, past the rangers, pines, and away. Souvenirs.

The cobble sits in a sweet-grass basket high on a bookshelf here in the rolling hills of this land-locked state of Pennsylvania. Too far from seabirds, ocean moons, salted air, and fog, it's magic is threatened, fading.

There's a journey in my mind, one of return, penance, and restoration. Back Downeast to Maine.

storm warning
far inland
the smell of seawater