Pacific Rim by Laurel Benjamin

Canada Vancouver Elena Gwynne licensed

Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim National Park, Vancouver Island
by Laurel Benjamin

Gold foam on the shore laces with
currents from the rainforest
minerals clear blue and green.

Choked roots decompose
sending runoff across the sand in a deep cut.
Brown and crackly, mossy, smoothly
covered in mud.

The forest at water’s edge opens to a bog
where moss hampers growth
yet sloth-like apparitions of moss
hang from boughs in protective shade.

We stay two more days
buy lunch at a crab shack in Tofino
pick out the meat with little fork tines
watch tourist planes swish around the inlet.

They cut out campsites from the brush
in a key-hole shape
removed from the familiar
afraid of fading into the forest.
A morning ritual,
women like birds flittering
preen themselves in the bathroom mirror
hair and teeth must remain shiny.

If you were to reach your hand
into the wall of trees
break through
would it come out layered
and when you peeled off the flakes, what
would your hand say?
Your legs would turn to cedar logs,
nurse the seedlings growing upright around them
the roots a spiny table.

PHOTO: A pale winter sunset looking towards Schooner`s Point on Long Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Photo by Elena Gwynne, used by permission.


NOTE: Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, a 197-square-mile park located in British Columbia, Canada, consists of three separate regions: Long Beach, the Broken Group Islands, and the West Coast Trail. Features include mountains, rugged coasts, and temperate rainforests.

PHOTO: Rainforest of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Canada. Photo by ~jar{}, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The west coast of Vanouver Island is hard to reach, with a winding road from the east coast. This is the area artist Emily Carr painted, where people have gone to disappear from civilization. It’s spooky and stunning.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Laurel Benjamin lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has appeared in Turning a Train of Thought Upside Down: An Anthology of Women’s PoetryCalifornia Quarterly, The Midway Review, among othersShe is affiliated with the Bay Area Women’s Poetry Salon and the Port Townsend Writers. More of her work can be found at

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