“Oppressive Forces at Dinner Plate Rocks”

I don’t know if you saw the also new image called “Oppressive Forces at Dinner Plate Rocks.

Not all the images have coherent stories behind them, but that one was about being at Dinner Plate Rocks up on the Malaspina Strait and learning about a shipwreck where a family, including a seven-year-old girl had drowned–their kitchen crockery, including their broken dinner plates, washed up on the beach, giving the name Dinner Plate Rocks. I wrote a poem about that, but the sense of the place has lingered in the dark.

Shipwreck at Dinner Rock, Malaspina Strait

Can you scry the patterned stone,
trace the crystal surfaces of stone?
(Salt and green, salt and green.)

Because it is said the stones remember all.
you explode pink granite
(quartz, feldspar, mica) crystal
by crystal until molten molecules spin
in a slow, rose mist;
and still they tell you nothing.
(Salt and green, salt and green.)

It’s not for the rocks to say, here
a child, shipwrecked, lost
all seven years of her life. That
is the speech of the cross on the rock;
but when the splintering mind
splits the silvered wood of the cross,
a hand reaches out for the dust.
(Salt and green, salt and green.)
The light, the light, the light.

Cedar bones and granite stones,
you reach for meaning here,
cheek flat to the flat,
silvering hair, passing light;
but all there is is all
there ever has been, maybe less:
salt and green the sea,
the sea, the rock, the light,
the light, the light, the light.

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