Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Traveled south to Ocracoke Island. On the way, we drove on the restored section of Hatteras Island. During Hurricane Isabel last year, the force of the waves washed an opening through the island, creating in effect an inlet. But the Army Corps of Engineers have repaired the breach. There’s brand new sand dunes and highway instead. We all are trying to stop nature take its natural course on the Outer Banks, and I’m as much to blame as any.. But the Banks are what they are because of those natural changes. We are just trying to stop time. But sooner or later that minute hand is going to strike twelve.

Still on the Edge after All these Years

A surge of ocean urged by wind and rain
from Isabel, a Category Two
Hurricane, slashed through dunes and NC-12.
Hatteras Island soon was severed through
becoming two distinctive isles instead,
although their permanence was left unsaid.
The government could build, of course, a bridge
and let the rude Atlantic have its way.
Or else the Army Corps of Engineers
could engineer an inlet overlay
with flattened cars, concrete, and dredged-up sand.
While waiting on the mainland's top command,
New Hatteras had fathomed things itself,
still siding with the Continental Shelf.

Gregory Perry 2004

That’s a poem that the Outer Banks Sentinel published in an earlier version. I’m not sure if there’s flattened cars beneath the road, but the Corps certainly had its way.

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