Beachcombing in Winter


on the Texas coast

in Winter

is splendid


Walking with head bowed


the profusion of shells

and the ocean detritus

for familiar patterns

on the canvas of the sand


The air is cool

the surf as cold as a glass of iced tea

in the summer


Beachcombing is a simple pleasure

enjoyable as a solitary venture

made special when shared with

a lover and a four-legged friend


The finds are abundant —

sea glass in all shapes and colors

smoothly worn rocks in many shapes,

like clay playfully extruded through

the hands of a free-style potter

sundials of all sizes

turkey wing arks

angel wings

lightning whelks


shark eyes

keyhole limpets

scallops in varying colors and sizes

a duck clam and southern quahog

that yield their delicacies after

twelve minutes in boiling water

an oval corbula

sea snails

baby’s ears

a stout tagelus

a sand dollar—rare on this part of the Texas coast

purple barnacles and more


Once I sought only perfect shells

As I have entered the Winter of my own life

I appreciate the imperfections

in the shells I see


An imperfect sundial is still a marvel

as are we all


© Lamar W. Hankins