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Reading the shells

Rereading Seeds From A Birch Tree, by Clark Strand

The author says,
Do not work to
find the perfect word
Approach haiku
as you would collect
sea shells

However, I would explain, if the author and I
were discussing this over coffee–
sometimes (often) drunk on the thrill of the search
I’ve filled my pockets, hat, even shoes with shells
and staggered home with the
seashell equivalent of a fat Russian novel
bristling with sand and secondary characters

But, he would reply, remember those other days?

and I do–
some days I walk
let my gaze drift
not a greedy treasure hunt
but a gift
a story written by the sea
unspooling along the shore
jagged-edged, broken shells
so many shaped like wings
of somethings that fell
from the sky, tumbled and
came to rest here


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