The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday

Pine-Trees and the Sky: Evening
By Rupert Brooke

I'd watched the sorrow of the evening sky,
And smelt the sea, and earth, and the warm clover,
And heard the waves, and the seagull’s mocking cry.

And in them all was only the old cry,
That song they always sing — "The best is over!
You may remember now, and think, and sigh,
O silly lover!"
And I was tired and sick that all was over,
And because I,
For all my thinking, never could recover
One moment of the good hours that were over.
And I was sorry and sick, and wished to die.

Then from the sad west turning wearily,
I saw the pines against the white north sky,
Very beautiful, and still, and bending over
Their sharp black heads against a quiet sky.
And there was peace in them; and I
Was happy, and forgot to play the lover,
And laughed, and did no longer wish to die;
Being glad of you, O pine-trees and the sky!


Tuesday we went to Assateague Island National Seashore -- I had wanted to go to Chincoteague, but was outvoted by people who thought it was too long a ride (and since our van's back seat is stuck so we can't volunteer to drive everyone I had no leverage to protest). It was warmer and muggier than previous days, but there was a nice breeze by the water. We went to the visitor's center with its touch tank and aquarium with local fish and shellfish, including flounder, sea horses, horseshoe crabs and whelks; then we walked to the National Aquarium's wildlife rescue exhibit, and then drove over to the island.

Unlike last year, when we had to observe the ponies from a distance, this time they were right up by visitors, grazing and crossing the roads and all over the place near the old boat house. It is against the law to feed or touch the horses but they came within a couple of feet of tourists with cameras. There were also sika -- the little Japanese deer released on the island earlier this century which now wander and eat the brush -- and white-tail deer right near the bridge to and from the island, where the park police were shooing people trying to stop traffic to take photos. We walked out on the boardwalk to the dock where people drop crab traps -- there are egrets, assorted gulls and red-winged blackbirds in the marshes and we saw a couple of crabs scuttling in the muddy bay water. Then, after driving off the island to go find lunch, we came back to see the shipwreck and the Atlantic shore, though we couldn't get a spot in the parking lot so we didn't stay there, just took more photos of the wildlife.

The wild ponies of Assateague were much in evidence...

...grazing at roadside and crossing the streets to get to and from the shore.

They were entirely unconcerned about traffic...

...and not the least worried about street signs.

There were also sika deer grazing in the grass.

A seagull gets lucky finding lunch...the bait left for a crab trap.

The remains of a coastal shipwreck.

The creature inside the whelk's shell.

By the time we got back to Bethany in the late afternoon, the temperature had dropped as the clouds moved in, so we went to a lovely cool beach for awhile to wade in the surf. Then my father took the kids to the heated outdoor pool, where there was a concert going on, while apaulled and I came back to the condo to shower and do laundry.

Because what would a vacation day be without stupidity, my parents have had this ongoing thing about taking the boys fishing -- my father had said the first day of the trip that that might be a nice thing to do, and my mother had seen various families fishing over the docks by the ponds in the development and concluded that this might be a nice thing to do. So she had been on a crusade to rent or buy fishing poles, even though no one in my family knows the first thing about fishing and my father has said repeatedly no, really, it's not necessary. Today when she ran out to get milk while the rest of us were at the beach, she bought fishing poles and bait. Now, naturally, younger son refuses to go because he's afraid of killing the fish trying to get them off the hooks to throw them back in, older son couldn't care, and parents are in an argument about whose fault this fiasco is. Don't worry, it will be blamed on me!

In the evening younger son created a penguin pal on Neopets and older son hung out with the other menfolk. I would have liked to go back to the beach in the evening to look for ghost crabs, but the Baseball All-Star Game was on so there was no chance of anyone going with me!

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