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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.