Poseidon Laughs (Thursday Doors)
Restless, this sea–
It has always
Man builds, rebuilds,
makes his own map.
The wind surges,
the waves reclaim–
restless, this sea.
We stayed in the town of Rodanthe on Hatteras Island this year. It was in the news in May when two houses collapsed into the ocean after a storm.
The section where we were staying was primarily year-round residents, so the houses were mostly set back, away from the dunes. But walking up and down the beach we could see many houses practically in the water, or sometimes actually in the water at high tide. While we were there, the aqua house above was fenced off in preparation for its removal. The house next door had already been taken down.
Here’s one being held up by scaffolding.
When we first started going to the Outer Banks, 35 years ago, the houses were small, and built well off the beach. Now the new houses are all huge, with a premium fee for being right by the ocean. But the coast on a barrier island is always in flux, even without the hurricanes that are becoming more frequent.
Part of the island is a protected wildlife refuge, and the shoreline is managed by the National Park Service, but it’s difficult to control the strain caused by the continued private development. Tourism is the main source of tax revenue for the island, so the local government is not willing to put any brakes on it.
Shoring up the dunes with more sand is expensive and temporary. There will always be more storms.
This is low tide–you have to swim through at high tide.
You can see the houses falling into the ocean here:
My poem is for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, where Yvette Calleiro selected a form that Gwen Plano created, called the 4-11, for us to try.
And, as always, find more doors here with host Dan Antion.