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Remembering Malibu, for Brian Moore

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.

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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 --

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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?

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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

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from the suck of puddled, wintry ground,

our footsteps filled with blowing sand.

--SEAMUS HEANEY

“Remembering Malibu” from “Station Island” by Seamus Heaney. Copyright Copyright 1985 by Seamus Heaney. Reprinted by kind permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux Inc.


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