Saturday, August 8, 2015

Westport Washington August 2015

When we need real waves 
and working docks we head to Westport 
where men wearing yellow waterproofs
suspended from their shoulders 
still stack crab pots 
and pile nets in particular 
order. Their calloused hands drag
bounty from the sea caught thirty miles 
from shore. Working boats with 
booms and full fantails take on tons
of ice and return with invisible waterlines
heavy with a day's catch. 

This place doesn't need a ticket. There 
are no lines and the parking is free. Watch masters of fillet,
pelicans, seals, surfers, and dad's building sand 
castles with their children. Starfish decorate the rocks. 
Look for block and tackle, boat cats sunbathing in portholes,
raccoons washing dinner, patches of ingenuity,
kites, and seal lions appropriating buoys for
their own territory. 

I wish the merchants wouldn't try to sell contrived 
baskets of shells from some island far away
wrapped in cellophane. Stale salt water taffy
strikes an unnecessary pose as well. It's one of the last 
places that doesn't know how to advertise 
their obvious assets. Secretive on purpose? 

Westport is shabby and worn. It stinks of fish at low tide. 
Hallelujah and amen - let it continue to be. 
Seagulls are as lazy as rice christians and it seems
they are incapable of hunting because fish guts
abound. But when was the last time
you saw a baby seagull? The remains of a telephone 
booth and rotting hulls hide around every corner. 

If you go, take your bicycle. The trail along the beach
will lead you to history where you can still climb lighthouse
stairs and touch the brass and glass and stone. Stay 
at the Marina Cottages and wake up early
 to a harbor working hard right off your porch -
 no posters, no movie set, no props. 
Take your camera, aim and shoot for real. Let 
the mournful fog horn sounding at regular
intervals at the end of the jetty 
guide you.