How long will beach-grass survive on
Storm-desolated barrier island shores?
Through winter, next years to come?
Prospects appear dismal, supporting
Sand eroding, roots exposed, clumps
Of grass, sand dunes washed away in
Pounding surf, more so during coastal
Storms, destructive wind, tidal forces.
In fact, entire isthmus of sand, thin
Barrier island suffers similar fate, for
Without grass-reinforced dunes, island
Loses height, girth, is over-washed, cut
Through, and, yes, forever waning, until
Less and less exists, carved level with
Lapping ocean waves, absence of beach-
Grass equates to loss of sandy shores.
I remember earlier years, beach-grass
Waving in ocean breezes, reaching for
Summer sun, plumes opening, green
Fountain, bursting into song, capturing
Potent photons, absorbing CO2, oxygen
Providing in return, place for nesting
Seabirds, refuge for wayward fledglings,
Plaintive chirping hidden within reedy
Protection parent birds know well.
On this rainy November afternoon,
I walk in solitude and sadness, this
Barrier island, beloved sandy isthmus
Is disappearing, left to live or die by
Overpowering forces of nature, more
Coastal storms, clouds scudding, rain
Windswept, hard-falling. Yes, I realize
Catastrophic weather events created
This island, now it dies slow death.
For more on storm erosion of Assateague Island, Virginia Atlantic
Ocean shore, see this informative link: