southern maryland
oyster cultivation society
line decor
line decor





smocs asks - why should you care about oysters?


friends from moscow write about smocs and the bay:

"the bay is a place of (thanks in a big part to you) very special meaning and memories for me. it is probably the only non-urban area on this planet that i can say i truly love.

i also believe very much in the importance of what you are doing, and i think it will have a better effect on the environment than many bureaucratic programs. all you need is scale...

long live the oysters!"

elisavietta ritchie             
nutmeg poem
ice sucks the sea
from the frosted beach.
we glean ten oysters,
shuck them although
our hands bleed.
as i grate nutmeg
over our oyster stew,
you mention that nutmeg
is hallucinogenic,
in rare cases even kills.
news to me, i shrug.
nutmeg we need for the taste.
i scrape only the surface
of the big unresisting seed,
sprinkle the dangerous dust,
freckles over the creamy skin
of stew beginning to crinkle
and bubble and sigh inside,
undulating the frilled grey islands
afloat on a sherried tide.
by five stubby candles' light
we eat five oysters apiece.
you stop there. 
are you scared?   
i spoon the soup till it ebbs,
sop the last drops with hot bread.
all night outside, waves clink
emptied shells on the beach.
bared branches grate the moon,
elliptic and pocked as a nutmeg,
while beyond, at the edge of the ice
geese the color of nutmeg
and swans the color of cream
whistle and honk in the cove
ready to soar                                     
through the rind of the sky.
[published in raking the snow, washington writers publishing house, copyright 1982  elisavietta ritchie; in a journal first and an anthology since.] <> <>





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