Wednesday, July 1, 2009


There is a beach several coves away
where broken pottery washes up -- nothing
particularly special -- cheap plates flung to bits.
Beautiful in their disarray, every year more,
and I gather pocketsful and place them
at the Altar Of Our Lady of Flotsam
on my kitchen windowsill. But flung from where,
and by whom? A deceived wife in splintered rage?
Fallen from a boat in a move from island to mainland?
Out of fashion teacups cast-off to sea?

My neighbor Pat tells of an elderly island man whose body
was strapped to a door and towed to town behind a dingy
when he died. (There are 365 islands in Clew Bay,
some as big as a wink.)

These shards remain a mystery.


  1. The Surfer has collected pottery, plates, cups, tons of glass and several pieces of porcelain including parts of a toilet from 1920 (the name was on the toilet and we were able to trace it) that arrived on his beach in different months from a British ship. This is what happens when you pay attention :)

    Love these photos lately. You capture the mist I remember.

  2. Great that you were able to trace this porcelain! Some of mine says "made in Italy" -- in English.
    Nothing exotic, unfortunately. But then I rather like the everyday ordinariness of it -- and that it sits there month after month on this remote beach.

  3. I like how the colors remain vivid while the sharp edges and corners are abraded down to smooth curves.

    Love, C.