He came from war zones to the sea,
Its pouring out and pouring back,
Its loose and slow monotony.
Along the fringe, where sight could reach,
Clay lands had broken to a wrack
As fine as salt to make a beach,
And ocean was suffused with sky,
A sky like water, vast and slack,
His vision could not occupy.
Arrayed in both, a monstrous sun
Swam through the empty zodiac
Defining many lights as one.
Why he was there he could not say.
His purpose and a simple knack
For travel ended where he lay,
And waited, without shade or shelter,
To hear the slight incoming smack
Of waves, their drag away from swelter;
As if external warmth could build
An inner source he'd grown to lack
When choices meant good people killed;
As if this hot reductive shore
Could temper or refine him back,
Before the peace, before the war.