Ode to a Sand Dollar


Ode to a Sand Dollar


"Ode to a Sand Dollar" is a photograph/poem composition created in January 2022 for “The Art of Re-Climation” exhibit.

The live sand dollar was photographed at Grand Manan Island in New Brunswick Canada 2013. It was one of many nestled in the shallows of low tide, that grew more visible as the ebbing sea receded. Red darkening to almost burgundy, the sand dollars appeared to pop up along the water’s edge of the fine-grained sandy beach. I had never seen a live sand dollar.

The white sand dollar is a skeleton, one of numerous disks I have discovered over the years, washed up on hot summer beaches above high tide line, caught in clumps of dried seaweed, or wedged beside boulders.

“Ode to a Sand Dollar” was created in January 2022. While considering symptoms of climate change, I realized I had not seen a live sand dollar in a very long time, and even the bleached white sand dollars, etched with flower-like centers, had become an infrequent discovery. The health of the ocean swirled in my mind, eddies of fear about what humans have done so recklessly, and what we must do to turn the tide!

Betsy Headley
March 2022

Poet/photographer, Betsy Headley, lives in Swanville Maine. She is very involved in the poetry community of Belfast and published her first book, “Something Is Always Left” in 2017. She has just completed her second book of poetry that will include bird photographs, to be released soon. Betsy has been a wildlife/scenic photographer for over 40 years. Over the last several years, she has concentrated her photography on birds, particularly Maine birds.


Betsy Headley


January 2022



Betsy Headley, “Ode to a Sand Dollar,” All of Belfast: Climate Dialogues, accessed July 3, 2022, https://abcdbelfast.omeka.net/items/show/60.

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