Brieuc Martin-Onraët

Beauty comes in many a guise.
He loved Beauty.
Mayhap, ‘tis why they loved one another.
For both were beautiful, inside and out.
Some say they were mimetic
Each reflecting the other.
I believe they were symbiotic.

When he saw Gaudi in Barcelona
He decided he would be an architect
For the beauty of lines.

He loved books. So did I. Did we.
What can be more beautiful
Than a book? Well-read. Worn-out.
Full of sand and grime.
Or leather-bound from centuries past.
We both liked Paul Auster and
Frank Herbert’s Dune, the desert planet.
He knew all about Muad’dib and
The Reverend Mothers of the Bene Gesserit :
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.*

He loved music from Jazz to Radiohead
To Blues to Dépêche Mode…
Music is one of Beauty’s incarnations.

He’d found that secret place at the end of the world.
Finis Terrae called The Capes.
Cabo San Lucas to the West
San José del Cabo to the East.
If you sail down straight on South
You will reach Antartica.

He liked graphic novels.
What the French and Belgian call BD,
Bande dessinée. The ninth Art.
He admired French artist Moebius
Aka Jean Giraud. A most talented sketch artist,
Moebius-Giraud would have drawn The Capes well.

His keen, bright eyes observed the world
Twice as much as he talked.
Most talk twice as much
As they should.

He’d come to the Capes with a few friends.
He so loved Friendship, another name for Beauty.
A big reddish house, with a large terrace
Overlooking the Sea of Cortez
Wild hares springing about in the nearby desert.

Dune might have looked so:
Arid, dry hills sloping down gently towards the sea.
Meagre shrubbery. Lone cacti.
Many birds. Of all shapes and hues.
He knew the names of all birds of prey.
Hawks, falcons, eagles.

I saw an eagle ten yards away
Gliding low above the beach.
Two feet wide. Almost black from head to talons,
The tips of each wing creamy white
As if the eagle wore gloves.
I don’t know the eagle’s name.

He’d found a lone beach at the end of that world.
Half an hour’s ride on a dirt road.
A small beach, two or three hundred yards wide maybe?
To the right, a low rocky hill tumbles into the sea.
To the left, a sandy hill, all cracked and parched by the sun
Leads you to the second beach.
No one there. Just the sand.
Bits and pieces of a dying coral reef.
And a gentle sea crashing softly.

There are fairy chimneys everywhere
On the slopes of the desert.
A line of rocks closes the beach to the left.
A beach? A creek, really.
This one and a few others form a necklace
Of beaches into a wider bay.
The Beauty of the sea.

They sat on the white sandy beach.
Old friends chatting, laughing or saying nothing
As only good friends can enjoy silence.
They may have played a game or two of football.
What the entire world calls football
And only a handful insist on calling soccer.
He was a good player, came back every Sunday
With his fair share of cuts and bruises.
They talked, and smiled, and laughed.
Watching the eagles and the sea.
Happiness is another name for Beauty.

As the afternoon lingered away
Some set out for a stroll.
He went swimming.
He was a good swimmer
And liked to snorkel around
In the crystal-clear shallow waters.

But Death, the eternal jealous enemy
Was hiding in the beautiful sea
And took him away from the woman he loved.
From all who loved him.


In loving memory of our Son-in-law, Andres, who left us in Los Cabos on May 6th.
Au revoir Andres. There are no other words to say but Au revoir.

— por Brieuc Martin-Onraët, 2017
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