White Rabbit – Beach House

James K. Baxter

Beach House

The wind outside this beach house
Shaking the veranda rail
Has the light of the sky behind its blows,
A violence stronger than the fable

Of life and art. Sitting alone
Late at the plywood table,
I have become a salt-scoured bone
Tumbling in the drifted rubble,

And you, my love, sleep under quilts within
The square bunk-room. When I was young
(Hot words and brandy on my tongue)
Only the grip of breast, mouth, loin,

Could ward off the incubus
Of night’s rage. Now I let
The waters grind me, knowing well that the sweet
Daybreak behind your eyes

Will not be struck dead by any wind,
And we will walk on the shore
A day older, while the yoked waves thunder,
As if the storm were a dream. Sleep sound.


For more on the NZ poet James K. Baxter:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_K._Baxter

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