[u:] [e] [æ] [əʊ] [i:] [ɔː] [ai] [ʌ] [eə:] [ɑː] [ɪ] [ei]

Remembering Malibu

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.