The Atlantic at Tazacorte

I never got to walk on the beach,
Never got to shake black sand
From my shoes for weeks after:
It was closed, red flags hoisted,
You had only to lean towards the fence
For the policia local to shout you back.
Windless, yet the waves crashed sand
All over the road, rolled the sea wall
As if it wasn’t there, Hawaiian tubes
Lonely for surfers, Old Spice
And a blast of O Fortuna.
Waves that back home
Would generate severe weather warnings
Through the calm voice
Of the Shipping Forecast.
I couldn’t touch, but looked more
Than my fill until I was high
On salt and ozone, stoned
On spray and volcanic sand, drunk
On the sun diamonds
Scattered by each breaker.
I couldn’t pocket them, but
Was still rich in that air,
That spray, that sand, that sea, that sun.
Oh I was rich alright,
And I still am.

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