"I am made up of so much water:
And like the sea, I sometimes hiss & roar /
Please believe me,
I've come such a long way to tell you...
I never want to hurt you anymore.”
© Brent M Harpur, 2012.
I awake again in my tiny bed,
but I think I am still in dream.
It has been another night & day without
the sea's gentle lullaby outside my cabin window.
How many nights & days has it been now?
I am unsure.
Today, I go for a walk along the shore;
It has become a never-ending shore, for there is no water.
I see skeletons of ships long since lost,
now exposed & landlocked for all to see.
I have discovered a series of rock pools.
But without water,
this word no longer seems to fit.
In the shadows,
in the tiny holes in the rocks,
I see movement.
Crouching low, I see a large, solitary crab
gracefully making its way (sideways) across the rocks.
I am excited,
because it is the first life I have seen on the shore
since the sea disappeared.
The lone gull I had seen
didn't seem to hang around,
when it realised there was no fresh fish on offer.
Intrigued, I hold my breath
and quietly watch the crab.
Every once in a while, it disappears into a hole;
and when it re-emerges, it has something tiny
grasped firmly in its claw.
Whatever it is, it seems to catch the sunlight,
sparkling briefly, before the crab hides it from my view.
I decide to approach the crab,
and watch more closely what it is doing.
The crab looks up at me with its stalk-like eyes,
unafraid of my intense stare.
It continues about its work, ignoring me.
Now I am closer, I notice
that someone (or something) has
carefully, deliberately tied to the crab's upper shell
(by a single blue ribbon) a paua shell.
It is turned upright like a tiny bowl,
its insides glistening in the early morning sunlight;
it gives off an almost electric shimmer
of blue, green & purple.
Looking again, I notice inside the tiny bowl...
A tiny collection of pearls.
The crab slowly, patiently
moves to another hole. I watch incredibly
as it reaches inside and pulls from its depths
another tiny pearl.
Delicately, with its claw, the crab carefully
reaches up and drops it into the tiny paua bowl.
Afterwards, the crab leans in closely to the rock hole,
and its tiny stalked eyes curl slightly downwards...
What I see next (both) surprises and delights me!!
Tiny tears drop from the crab's eyes,
filling the rock hole slowly to its brim.
Until finally, it becomes (once more) a rock pool.
The crab begins to slowly move on.
I am mesmerised (and more than a little in awe).
I too am moved to tears
by its silent, solitary vigil.
Night is beginning to fall.
My legs ache from kneeling
and watching the crab at work.
I rub them to try and get the feeling back,
for my long walk home to the cabin.
Along the way,
I collect some driftwood to light a fire...
(to be continued)
(C) Brent M Harpur, 2012.