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Discovering the Lost Coast of California
Emily Strauss


The road twists off the map:
One lane barely paved
Disappears in the cotton fog
Smoothing lime-green hills
Humped like sleeping whales
Where hushed cows graze.
I crawled along for two hours
Picking my way to an empty
Cove, wet stones, dark sand
Meeting dark horizon, sat folded
In a dirty blanket, stared at tiny
Waves and running sanderlings.
Later I emerged in a village
Of one street waiting for tourists
Stopped to warm myself
Wandered in wood-floored
Shops, found some Swedish
but it was the music
That transfixed me, standing
With shoes in hand, head
Tilted, frozen, a woman's
Voice filled the street, then
The receding hills, the far
Beach, the foggy coast—
I bought the shoes and CD.

Copyright 2009 by Emily Strauss.
Used with the author's permission.

Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry, which she has written since college. More than 550 of her poems appear in a wide variety of online venues and in anthologies, in the U.S. and abroad. The natural world of the American West is Emily’s usual framework; she also considers the narratives of people and places around her. Emily is a retired teacher and lives in Oregon with a small dog and a black cat.


Post New Comment:
Indeed. What a lovely poetry moment! Very nice.
Posted 09/10/2010 08:17 AM
Patricia Esposito:
Lovely images. They made my morning stand still a minute, feeling the hills and the stones and beach. I'd have bought the clogs and CD too. Thank you.
Posted 09/10/2010 08:05 AM

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