Emmett Finch, a local poet who wrote about mermaids in Malibu died last week at the age of 100. Born in Manhattan Beach in 1921, he moved to Malibu in 1965, and his love for this place was a major theme of his poetry.
He called himself an adventurer, and prided himself on being able to meet life’s challenges. He survived World War II, a plane crash and many dangers while working as an LA County firefighter. Finch published 11 books and could often be seen at the Malibu Farmers Market before the pandemic, sharing his poetry with people.
A loved one described him as, “Both macho and gentle, friendly and introverted, cowboy and waterman, deeply spiritual and delighted by light verse, a Christian who believed in reincarnation” whose “uniqueness will be dearly missed.” The poet is survived by his wife, Renee.
My joy is now here by the seashore,
With the sky all sparkling blue—
I no longer seek to find a retreat,
I have found—my Malibu.