Cannon Beach Library Author Series – Brian Doyle

The Cannon Beach Library’s Northwest Authors Second Saturday Series begins a new season with  Portland author Brian Doyle. The award-winning author, essayist, and editor of the University of Portland’s Portland Magazine and has a recent novel, “Mink River,” about loves and lives in a fictional Oregon coast town, published by the Oregon State University Press. The library is on Cannon Beach’s main street, next to the U.S. Bank. Free.

Saturday, September 10, 2pm at the Cannon Beach Library.

On Prescott Beach Where Lewis & Clark

& Their Companions Camped One Night
When the United States Was Just a Pup

Brian DoyleAnd there was no nuclear plant upstream a ways either,
Its cooling tower brooding like a barnacle on steroids,
And no beer cans in the sand, and no pet litter ordinance,
But there were Swans, Geese, white & Grey Brant Ducks
&c. emensely noumerous, and their noise horid, and rain,
Of course rain, all night and continues this morning, we
Were all wet cold and disagreeable, yet this is certainly
A fertill and a handsom valley, wrote Meriwether Lewis,
All of thirty-one years old that day, wandering the beach,
Not even four years left to go in his lovely muddled life,
In my walk of to Day I saw 17 Striped Snakes, he wrote
That night by the fire, sitting by his friend William Clark,
Clark roasting a grouse on a spit and advising his buddy
To mention the grouse too, which Lewis does, verry fat,
He notes carefully. We camped a little below the mouth
Of a creek, writes Lewis, and Clark laughs and says hey,
Did you scribble down that we were soaking wet all day,
That Sacagawea’s baby has cried ceaselessly for a week,
And that this grouse, fat as it is, isn’t big enough for you
To actually have any because I am about to gobble it all?
And Lewis smiles there on the bank of the Mighty River,
The first night in weeks they have not been accompanied
By curious residents annoyed & inquisitive & acquisitive,
The first night they are again just the Corps of Discovery,
Such a motley crew, by now shaggy and thin and sopping
Wet, bedding down above the tide line, two centuries ago,
The Shoshone girl with her baby just turned one year old,
The black man from Kentucky admired for his woodcraft,
The two captains from Virginia banking the fire laughing
As Lewis says a snake! and Clark says don’t even try that
On me, man, let’s get some sleep, we got a long way to go.

— Brian Doyle