An undertow pulls up history
On the beach

Deposits another time
Ground down to sand,
Adding to the land.

These fecund flats
Where villas root
Was an old sea bed

And an ice age once ripped at the mountains
Sinking under this horizon.

Looking down to where
In martial ranks
The olive trees grow as twisted
As bad marriages,

Struck by the sun
Who is a red ghost
Bleeding through sea mist

I know at this season
The earth cannibalizes its dead.

Over at the cliffs skewers balance like ballerinas:

The tanner's trade of summer
Has leathered them,
Clamped them to rock stumps resisting the swell
Which chews sea caverns.

In this land and ocean
Explorers' blood runs in the rivers

Sun caked men stoic as churches
Proudly stake their corners
Of four hundred year old towns,

Fortitude flows in the breaking walls
Where mimosas
Thrust at the foundations of time.

Robert James Berry

If you've any comments on this poem, Robert James Berry would be pleased to hear from you.

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