Along the Briny Beach

[ J. R. Carpenter ] [ return ]
grainofsand sand grainofsand seaweed seaweed grainofsand shells shells shells braincoral braincoral braincoral grainofsand sand threeshells grainofsand driftwood driftwood grainofsand plasticwrap longwood rope rope grainofsand bottlecaps bottlecaps bottlecaps grainofsand husks husks grainofsand plastic shoe shoe shoe grainofsand sand coastline tractor
Atmospheric Dust - Habits of a Sea-slug and Cuttle-fish - Rocks, non-volcanic - Singular Incrustations - Insects the first Colonists of Islands - Burnished Rocks - Causes of discoloured Sea. Great Evaporation - Slavery - Clouds on the Corcovado - Heavy Rain - Musical Frogs - Phosphorescent insects - Elater, springing powers of - Blue Haze - Noise made by a Butterfly - Entomology - Ants - Wasp killing a Spider - Parasitical Spider - Gregarious Spider - Spider with an unsymmetrical web. Partridges - Absence of trees - Deer - Capybara, or River Hog - Tucutuco - Molothrus, cuckoo-like habits - Tyrant-flycatcher - Mocking-bird - Carrion Hawks - Tubes formed by lightning - House struck. Salt-Lakes - Flamingoes - Sacred Tree - Sand Dunes - Saline incrustations. Geology - Numerous gigantic extinct Quadrupeds - Recent Extinction - Longevity of Species - Large Animals do not require a luxuriant vegetation - Fossils - Two Species of Ostrich - Habits of Oven-bird - Armadilloes - Venomous Snake, Toad, Lizard - Hybernation of Animals - Habits of Sea-Pen - Antiquarian Relic. Features of the country - Long-legged Plover - Hail-storm - Natural enclosures. Thistle Beds - Little Owl - Saline streams - Level plains - Change in landscape - Geology - Tooth of extinct Horse - Effects of a great drought - Parana - Scissor-beak - Kingfisher, Parrot, and Scissor-tail - Revolution - State of Government. Perforated pebbles - Shepherd-dogs - Horses broken-in, Gauchos riding - Character of Inhabitants - Flocks of Butterflies - Aeronaut Spiders - Phosphorescence of the Sea - Port Desire - Geology of Patagonia - Fossil gigantic Animal - Types of Organisation constant - Change in the Zoology - Causes of Extinction. Expedition up the River - Immense streams of basaltic lava - Fragments not transported by the river - Excavation of the valley - Condor, habits of - Cordillera - Erratic boulders of great size - Return to the ship - Islands - Fire made of bones - Geology - Streams of stones - Scenes of violence - Penguin - Geese - Eggs of Doris - Compound animals. Good Success Bay - Scenery of the forests - Interview with the savages - Miserable condition of the savages - Famines - Cannibals - Matricide - Religious feelings - Great Gale - Glaciers - Return to the Ship - Second visit in the Ship to the Settlement - Equality of condition amongst the natives. Zoology - Great Seaweed - Climate - Fruit-trees and productions of the southern coasts - Height of snow-line - Descent of glaciers to the sea - Icebergs formed - Transportal of boulders - Climate and productions of the Antarctic Islands - Preservation of frozen carcasses - Recapitulation. Structure of the land - Shattered masses of greenstone - Immense valleys - Mines - State of miners - Hot-baths - Gold-mines - Grinding-mills - Perforated stones - Habits of the Puma - Humming-birds. General aspect - Boat excursion - Native Indians - Tame fox - Archipelago - Peninsula - Granitic range - Boat-wrecked sailors - Harbour - Wild potato - Barking-bird - Singular character of ornithology. Impenetrable forests - Earthquake - Great earthquake - Rocks fissured - Appearance of the former towns - The sea black and boiling - Direction of the vibrations - Stones twisted round - Great Wave - Permanent Elevation of the land - Area of volcanic phenomena - The connection between the elevatory and eruptive forces - Cause of earthquakes - Slow elevation of mountain-chains. Coast-road - Great loads carried - Earthquake - Step-formed terraces - Absence of recent deposits - Deserts - Rain and Earthquakes - Hydrophobia - Probable change of climate - River-bed arched by an earthquake - Cold gales of wind - Noises from a hill - Salt alluvium - Nitrate of soda - Unhealthy country - Ruins, overthrown by an earthquake - Recent subsidence - Elevated shells, their decomposition - Plain with embedded shells and fragments of pottery - Antiquity. Archipelago - The whole group volcanic - Number of craters - Leafless bushes - Salt-lake in crater - Natural history - Ornithology, curious finches - Reptiles - Great tortoises, habits of - Marine lizard, feeds on seaweed - Terrestrial lizard, burrowing habits, herbivorous - Importance of reptiles in the Archipelago - Fish, shells, insects - Botany - Differences in the species or races on different islands - Tameness of the birds - Fear of man an acquired instinct. Pass through the Low Archipelago - Aspect - Vegetation on the mountains - Excursion into the interior - Profound ravines - Succession of waterfalls - Number of wild useful plants - Temperance of the inhabitants - Bay of Islands - Missionary establishment - English weeds now run wild. Gradual extinction - Infection - Blue Mountains - View of the grand gulf-like valleys - Their origin and formation - State of Society - Aborigines all banished - Cheerless aspect of the country. Singular appearance - Scanty Flora - Transport of seeds - Birds and insects - Ebbing and flowing springs - Fields of dead coral - Stones transported in the roots of trees - Great crab - Stinging corals - Coral-eating fish - Coral formations - Lagoon islands or atolls - Depth at which reef-building corals can live - Vast areas interspersed with low coral islands - Barrier-reefs - Fringing-reefs - Conversion of fringing-reefs into barrier-reefs, and into atolls - Evidence of changes in level - Breaches in barrier-reefs - Maldiva atolls, their peculiar structure - Dead and submerged reefs - Areas of subsidence and elevation - Distribution of volcanoes - Subsidence slow and vast in amount. Great crateriform ring of mountains - History of the changes in the vegetation - Cause of the extinction of land-shells - Ascension - Variation in the imported rats - Volcanic bombs - Beds of infusoria - Splendour of tropical scenery - Singular reefs - Slavery - Return to England - Retrospect on our voyage.
Along the Briny Beach is a coastline generator. The source code loads the following variables: Land Sea Write Erase Walk Liminal Space. The variable _Read_ is assumed to be client-side. The function _Writing and Erasing_ returns: Edges Ledges and Legible Lines caught in the Double-Bind of Writing and Erasing. Onload: Write Coast.

Along the briny beach a garden grows. With silver bells and cockleshells, cockles and mussels, alive, alive oh. A coral orchard puts forth raucous pink blossoms. A bouquet of sea anemones tosses in the shallows. A crop of cliffs hedges a sand-sown lawn mown twice daily by long green-thumbed waves rowing in rolling rows. The shifting terrain where land and water meet is always neither land nor water and is always both. The sea garden's paths are fraught with comings and goings. Sea birds in ones and twos. Scissor-beak, Kingfisher, Parrot, and Scissor-tail. Changes in the Zoology. Causes of Extinction. From the ship the sea garden seems to glisten and drip with steam. Along a blue sea whose glitter is blurred by a creeping mist, the Walrus and the Carpenter are walking close at hand. A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk along the briny storied waiting in-between space. Wind blooms in the marram dunes. The tide far out, the ocean shrunken. On the bluff a shingled beach house sprouts, the colour of artichoke. On the horizon lines of tankers hang, like Chinese lanterns. Ocean currents collect crazy lawn ornaments. Shoes and shipwrecks, cabbages and kings. Water bottle caps and thick white snarls of string. At dawn an ancient tractor crawls along the briny beach, harvesting the tide's leaves. The world's plastic, the sea's weeds.

J.R. Carpenter is a reader, writer, eraser, walker and maker of zines, books, maps, poems, fictions, non-fictions and non-linear hypermedia narratives.


Bishop, Elizabeth. (1984) "The End of March," in The Complete Poems: 1927-1979, NY: FSG, page 179

Carroll, Lewis. (1872), "The Walrus and The Carpenter" in Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There

Conrad, Joseph. (1950) Heart of Darkness, NY & Toronto: Signet Classics, 24th printing

Darwin, Charles. (1913) The Voyage Of The Beagle, London: John Murray

Montfort, Nick. (2009) "Taroko Gorge" (WWW)