Thursday, January 3, 2008

Lacy Lichen, Stinky Chiton

The boys and I visited Point Lobos State Reserve during winter break, one day before a big storm swept in from the Pacific. It was our first visit to this small but achingly beautiful and dramatic point of land just south of Carmel, California.

Point Lobos is small enough to hike around in a day or two, but the variety and drama of the landscapes and vistas around every corner make even the most active, rock-climbing, exploring boy pause in wonder. It was the kind of day that inspired poetry.

Lace Lichen
by my seven year old son
composed on the trail at Point Lobos

Lace lichen
from trees
like woven cotton
in the winter breeze
sits lace lichen.
I've always
dreamed of it.

Lacy Lichen, Stinky Chiton
A mom's reflection on a visit to Point Lobos

I am made to explore

jellyfish and whale bones as big as park benches
divers just coming in or just going out
seawater and equipment

trails through ghostly trees,
lacy lichen waving to us
it needs only the fog to live

while we need a hearty
picnic lunch and a peanut butter cookie

the barking of distant sea lions arguing
a point of land rising straight
above a churning misty sea

rocks like sheaves of paper stuck in the shore
trees covered in soft carrot-colored
moss misnamed green algae

a sign, pointing to a secret which is no longer hidden
a cove full of pebbles and caves
abalone shells
a large chiton, unmoored, waiting to be discovered
a large rock, tall in the center of the beach, waiting to be summitted

two sweatshirts each and we are shivering
misty air loosing light

minivan cozy and warm
windburned cheeks turn hot

a day of . . . what is that smell?
find a bathroom
with a sink and some soap
don't touch a thing
not the seatbelt not the door
not me
that chiton you were holding
I think it had an odor!

but mom I am made to explore


chigiy at Gardeners Anonymous said...

take us next time

The Point Lobos Ranger said...

Hi Mom and boys

Thank you for the postal card and the poem. AND!!!! I really like you photos and your poem on the blog. May I have permission to submit the poem for our next Point Lobos magazine. If so under what name shouldwe give credit.

Ranger Chuck

The Big Boss said...

Ranger Chuck, I'm delighted you liked the poems. Please send me an email at and I will be happy to give you my information for publishing in your magazine.

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