[u:] [e] [æ] [əʊ] [i:] [ɔː] [ai] [ʌ] [eə:] [ɑː] [ɪ] [ei]
The Pacific at your door was wilder and colder
than my notion of the Pacific
and that was perfect, for I would have rotted
beside the luke-warm ocean I imagined.
Yet no way was its cold ascetic
as our monk-fished, snowed-into Atlantic;
no beehive hut for you
on the abstract sands of Malibu --
it was early Mondrian and his dunes
misting towards the ideal forms
though the wind and sea neighed loud
as wind and sea noise amplified.
I was there in the flesh
where I'd imagined I might be
and underwent the bluster of the day:
but why would it not come home to me?
Atlantic storms have flensed the cells
on the Great Skellig, the steps cut in the rock
I never climbed
between the graveyard and the boatslip
are welted solid to my instep.
But to rear and kick and cast that shoe --
beside that other western sea
far from the Skelligs, and far, far
from the suck of puddled, wintry ground,
our footsteps filled with blowing sand.