Monday, September 7, 2009


We spent Labor Day weekend in Cambria. On Saturday, we drove down to the little beach town of Cayucos to walk our dogs on the beach. The holiday brought out crowds of tourists, but we were more interested in the other crowds that gathered. This is what happened.


Morning finds this sleepy beach town waking
To the calling of gulls on the strand
But this day lures more than the usual inhabitants

Something is running just beyond the breakers
The cormorants know, and the seals
Their congregations swell as the service begins

Then dolphins circle, riding the cresting seas
Triangle fins and arched backs rising
Above the swells and beyond the bands of gulls

Soon the air fills with graceful pelican echelons
These master fishers claiming a full share
Of the feast God provides below the cerulean surface

A thousand pelicans surf the air and ride the waves
Until one folds and dives into the sea
Then rises to float by the gulls, beak swollen with success

More brigades of pelicans cast shadows on the sand
As alongside floats another monarch of air
A single osprey, patterned wings slicing through the sky

Copyright © 2009 Mary Beth Watt. All rights reserved.