On the Lost Coast
in dense fog,
from a weathered cliff
held by wildflowers and weeds,
a warning-bell clangs
every five seconds
for eight hours straight.
Boats that venture too close
near the anchoring ground
enter a sea-churned chaos,
Anguish of white foam
and piteous self-destruction.
On the shore at Shelter Cove,
a rusted, cast-iron engine block,
Barr Marine V-8,
valve-covers torn off
rocker arms crumbling
flywheel frozen, resting
in a cobble field
sea-grass smelling profane.
Where were the mountings
of the pleasure craft
that surrounded you?
Way too heavy
for the price of salvage
battered inward
with each succeeding tide,
to the land
where it came from.
The sea’s contribution,
a predictable pull
of sun and moon
in the maelstrom.