Isle of Bast

Written by: Chris D. Aechtner

Memories of the North Sea
sift in like sand kernels 
on a fast, frigid tide -
events that transpired outside 
the confines of rhyme,
instead, unfolding exactly 
as they were meant to.

I had never before seen
so many shades of gray.
This monochromatic splendor
was awe-inspiring,
within an absence of sunshine
that was perfectly fitting,
instead of being bleak and bleary.

The smell of salt and seaweed
awoke deep within me 
something dormant and eternal - 
a surging desire to flush
stagnant disease
from out of my blood
with an inverted force of pride.

Salty blood and water
coming together in a communion
of distant relations and movements.

A flash of bright red 
digging in the sand beside me.
My child is wearing the only
vibrant colour to be seen for many kilometres.
The colour matches
her enthusiasm and energy,
as she moves from one spot to the next
like a dancing flame.

My own fire burns in my eyes.
I had unconsciously dressed
in the same colours of the sky and sea,
blending into the scenery
as a chameleon --
an illusion thicker than clouds,
an illusion of stone
for me to melt and reinvent
at the spinning speed of thought.

I look over at my daughter
who is wearing a wide smile of wonder,
for she has not ever seen the ocean before.
She can see the chameleon
walking alongside her in the frothy surf.
Together, we collect shiny stones and shells,
our pants rolled-up to the knee
as we wade through waves.

I wonder if people onshore
can only see a solitary dash of red out here,
or if the chameleon is more
noticeable than I had thought,
while we watch sea-birds
cover the steep cliffs
in a blanket of black and white feathers.




~(2012 North Sea Remix)~






.