A cruel salt wind molests the twisted pine
who grovels on his gnarled knees for rain;
his futile prayers won’t mend his broken spine
nor will he stand, as in his dreams, again.

The cliffs themselves all crumble in the sea
and the tumble-down rocks resent the mocking tide
that feigns retreat but comes again at three;
the waves will win no matter how we’ve fortified.