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Bixbys Landing

by
 They burned lime on the hill and dropped it down
 here in an iron car
On a long cable; here the ships warped in
And took their loads from the engine, the water
 is deep to the cliff.
The car Hangs half way over in the gape of the gorge, Stationed like a north star above the peaks of the redwoods, iron perch For the little red hawks when they cease from hovering When they've struck prey; the spider's fling of a cable rust-glued to the pulleys.
The laborers are gone, but what a good multitude Is here in return: the rich-lichened rock, the rose-tipped stone-crop, the constant Ocean's voices, the cloud-lighted space.
The kilns are cold on the hill but here in the rust of the broken boiler Quick lizards lighten, and a rattle-snake flows Down the cracked masonry, over the crumbled fire-brick.
In the rotting timbers And roofless platforms all the free companies Of windy grasses have root and make seed; wild buckwheat blooms in the fat Weather-slacked lime from the bursted barrels.
Two duckhawks darting in the sky of their cliff-hung nest are the voice of the headland.
Wine-hearted solitude, our mother the wilderness, Men's failures are often as beautiful as men's triumphs, but your returnings Are even more precious than your first presence.

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