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with the martello journal

Gáe Bolga

by rick magee

The stick is easily three times his height
but it fits well in his hands.
As the waves recede he chases them with his lance held high
striking at the water with a fierce battle cry.
When the waves return he flees shrieking
to stand on dry sand.
The waves today resemble small, docile ponies more than horses of the sea.
He chases and retreats endlessly, shouts and laughs harmonizing.
Water sprays from the stick as he swings it and
the droplets hang in the air prismatically.
Finally the small hero tires, his pants saltwater soaked.
He wants to take the stick with us.
It is a great stick, he insists, that makes a great thwack on the waves.
I agree that it is the grand stick of the world
but it will not fit in our car, and sure the airline
will balk if we try to carry it aboard.
I think too of the drifts of sand already collected on the floormats
that someone at the car rental office in Dublin will have to clean.
We decide the stick must go back to the sea
so we toss it high and leap when it splashes down.
The last we see of it it is drifting toward Skellig.

I am a native Californian who has lived on the East Coast of the US for over 25 years. I have recently had poems published in The American Journal of Poetry, The Madrigal, and Rough Diamond Poetry; I have two more poems that will come out later this month in Vocivia Magazine. My current project is a collection of poems based on place, and the three I am submitting now come from this. This past year I was named the Poet Laureate of Bethel, Connecticut. I teach literature and writing at Sacred Heart University, and my students have recently convinced me that we desperately need to have a poetry club for all of us who love language. I teach abroad at our campus in Dingle as often as I can.

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