Malibu: to stay or not to stay?

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    It’s a hazardous life in Malibu,

    Where disasters strike from out the blue;

    Where PCH cliffs come crashing down,

    Thus isolating our little town.

    And a long ago winter, the most severe,

    Made a crumbling shambles of our pier.

    Giant waves shatter beach-front homes to shreds,

    Gales tear the roofs from over our heads.

    Rain-swollen rivers wipe out our bridges,

    Sweep fallen trees down from the ridges;

    We rock with quakes high on the Richter Scale.

    But all such natural disasters pale

    When Santa Anas scourge our town,

    When the tallest trees come toppling down.

    When hurricane winds drive raging fires

    That turn our homes into smoking pyres;

    This searing inferno in its haste

    Chars all before it to ashen waste.

    Yet for the past four decades and more,

    We have made our home along this shore;

    We had a duplex on Las Tunas Beach,

    Where we thought the fires could never reach,

    But many a night I took my stand

    Atop the roof, garden hose in hand,

    But there was nothing I could do to stay

    The towering surf that came next day.

    We had two stories at the setting sun,

    The next morning we had but one.

    We thought Point Dume a safer site,

    Only to lie awake night after night,

    Hearing the sirens and beset with fear

    As yet still another fire drew near.

    Why you might ask, do we remain

    In a place that resonates with pain?

    We have thought of moving many times

    To safer havens, softer climes,

    But Malibu’s glories intervene:

    The ocean’s palette of blue and green,

    A sunset glorifying the West,

    The soothing sigh of tides at rest.

    Golden coreopsis in summer bloom

    On the lofty headlands of Point Dume.

    Great flights of seabirds skimming the shore;

    Malibu is all of this and more.

    We are staying.

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    Readers are invited to submit poems no longer than 150 words in length. Submissions will be edited for spelling and punctuation only. Please submit entries to: The Malibu Times, 3864 Las Flores Canyon Rd., Malibu, CA 90265, or by e-mail to: malibunews@malibutimes.com.