Pride of Madeira hoist blue spires
against silver fog, muted sun, subtle bronze sky.
Hot pink ice plant is just beginning to bloom.
Nasturtium and white callas ramble from trail
down a rocky gully, to the edge of gold sea.
Morning is muggy—warm sand simmers
beneath sullen clouds, throws off sweaty heat.
Spring doesn’t know its own mind—
wavers between brightness and mist,
overcast, moody light.
All night, the sound of cannon booms,
torn coastline assaulted by turbulent surf.
Morning brings low tide, eroded beaches,
spindrift peeled from tops of mountainous waves.
Foam collects around driftwood; froth mounds
among wet rocks, rendered kelp, torn apart crabs.
Spume sizzles as rolling surge makes landfall,
whooshes ashore, then returns to the bay.
Breakers slam against fissured sea cliffs, propel spray
like a flight of lacey angels in cloudless spring air.
Torch lilies glow fiery orange in bright morning sun,
exude copious nectar, attract hummingbirds, bees.
Red hot pokers tenaciously adhere to rocky shore,
a scarlet parenthesis framing monolith stone.
Gulls find no hospitable perch upon their barbed fronds.
Squirrels seek refuge beneath silver succulent forts.
Cactus sentinels lift notched bayonets to sky,
warn away walkers with smoldering blooms.
At dusk, burning scepters border a winding trail,
guide coastal deer, lead adventurers home.
Jennifer Lagier made trivial pursuit her career choice for fifteen years. Now that she is retired, she has learned you can lead a snake to water, but can’t make him drink.