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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32, No. 23. September 24, 1969

At Papamoa Beach

At Papamoa Beach

for Paul Skinner

The scourge that is a kind of voice
forever calling does not leave us
alone for long. But this is easy
to forget lying here on my back
on the hot sand, conscious only
of a glaring blue vista of sky,
as if drowned in a well of sunlight,
or a turquoise gem, imprisoned
at its centre.

Yet as I tilt my head
forward a little I can see Mayor
Island intruding uncertainly
on the horizon, like a jellyfish
searching for a shape that means
stability in the tumble of the
tireless surf.

Somehow unreachable.
I felt your disappointment when
the trip to the Island was put off
because of rain. But, I think it
just as well — it is the accidents
that save us — here watching the
sea lazily plaiting ropes of sand.

–P. F. Ireland