The Wampum Shell


Wampum shells collected from the shores of Kitty Hawk on the Outer Banks in North Carolina … days and days before Hurricane Joaquin came to visit on October 4th 2015. The background is a painting I finished before the storm began.

Just because there is a hurricane and it’s pelting down rain and the cat is freaking out and I’ve evacuated the first cottage … all of that is no reason to stop creating, especially as it’s possible the things I left behind may very well float away before midnight.

I sit in the first evacuation site in Kitty Hawk.  A blog post about Hurricane Joaquin TBD and if we do not lose power. Until then, enjoy a poem I wrote about wampum shells, my obsession for the last (almost) seven weeks.

The Wampum Shell©

  • Of crimson and violet, creamed colored rose
  • Such shells traded as currency
  • Shells used like gold
  • To the natives they said
  • Of this we oblige
  • But unfettered Europeans
  • Knew exactly not why
  • To know the mystery
  • One must find a Whelk shell
  • And learn of the Quahog,
  • The Clam, a hard shell
  • Then look deep into each
  • A shade that comes forth
  • Colors of the Atlantic
  • Beads from the north
  • Today we use green
  • No more red and blue
  • Our money is paper
  • No glorious, no hue
  • But know there is one
  • Who walks sand every day
  • Reaching for wampum
  • A time-honored way
  • With a bow to the past
  • A Native American kind
  • I give thanks to the ocean
  • In reverence, heart and mind

@RosemaryHook, Kitty Hawk on the Outer Banks, North Carolina, Oct 4th 2015, 5:57pmEST

WordPress formatting is off.  Blame it all on Joaquin <sung to the tune of Friends In Low Places> but in a flooding storm you want friends in high places … on stilts!

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