Beach Glass, North Coast, California “The earliest factory,” I inform my girls, was the water-powered silk mill, or the integrated one where raw material smelted into brass, unique skills of course replaced by machinery throughout the eighteenth century.” “No,” the sisters say, “the oldest factory is this beach. Beach and sea.” I consider how the process might expand: “Local fly-tippers with a blend of electrical appliance, bottle, can, placed on this conveyor belt of sand?” “Each pounding wave’s a gripper,” clarify my girls, “tumbling dropped litter into finer pieces of smooth colour.” “Glass pebbles, look,” coo the tourist pickers.
Carl Griffin is from South Wales. His poetry collection, Throat of Hawthorn, was published by Indigo Dreams Publishing in 2019. His book-length poem, Arrival at Elsewhere, written for charity with the help of one hundred poets, was published by Against the Grain in 2020.