by Cathy Wittmeyer
Visit Norderney…sooner…for the storms that batter this island are constantly reshaping the landscape. - traveler.com.au
Bring a windbreaker.
The cool breeze tinted by iodine intensifies
cold sand on your soles until the breaking rays
blind and burn the glare off a porcelain shoulder
– take care –
it is as fragile as the rainbow mussels’ shards
piercing tender feet oblivious to their luminescence.
Low sweeps and mourning shrieks of gulls
draw the eye to a washed-up Tern stranded
on the basalt Buhne headless, and to a misty white
that disappears where obsidian rolls out choppy.
This is neap tide when pulls of celestial bodies
work against each other. Seagulls tossed
in reverse-glides upward, resign to new aims;
sand, like blizzard ice, pelts skin, chafes;
and grass whips chaste flesh, smarting, drawing blood.
Inky black spills into the milky turmoil of white caps
like salt abrading my lips as we dash behind
saddened glass that pleads to come inside too
– knocking – pounding - whining.
An enveloping dome of charcoal-blue frames flags
held back by violent boyfriends they cannot escape
no matter how fast they run. And the bluster
abruptly stops with the warm return of Sun.
I brought you to the sea today to calm our nerves
didn’t consider the island weather’s temperament.
Cathy Wittmeyer is not the poet-mother-engineer-lawyer-conservationist living in the Alps; she is the one experiencing life through the pen, hands, eyes, ears and heart of that body living on this speck of a planet. Her poems have appeared in Noble Gas Quarterly, Ithaca Literary Journal and upcoming in CatheXis Northwest Press. She is completing her MFA at Carlow University.