Archive for January, 2011

AFON MENAI

Immemorially, at the ebb tide’s turn,

they pull for the bank, moor, wade, cast and wait.

(Terns flock, screeching). They haul the full net

to the edge of the sand. Kneeling, they pluck out

the shrimps, prawns, crawfish and return the rest.

The water slowly rises about them.

 

 

 

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GATESHEAD/NEWCASTLE

The Baltic, Gateshead © SCES 2004


Through the open hotel window, above

the river’s lulling sounds and revellers’ shouts,

kittiwakes cry, nesting on the art gallery.

I think of the oceans they have crossed

only to be here. Sometimes, when I

wake in the night, I cannot hear you breathe.

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CROSBY

Another Place ©SCES 2008

We crunch through razor shells and squelch through

blackish silt – there is coal in the drenched sand –

to reach the artist’s cast iron avatars.

They are steadfast against anglers, vandals,

local Tories, jet skiers, the Coastguard,

and the RSPB – but not the wind

or the sea. Some are rusting deeply,

some barnacled already, some sinking

or rising – others missing on this

shifty shore. They have watched the North Sea.

Now, from here, they can see Snowdonia,

The Skerries, Queenstown, the New World –

and, some, when the tide is in, sea creatures

in their wilderness of oblivion.

Above, ships pass and the wind farm turns.

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LLANBADRIG

Shipwrecked on his way to Ireland, the saint

was washed ashore to the foot of the cliff:

founded the church we walk uphill towards

between hedgerows of honeysuckle

and meadowsweet. The church squares to the wind.

A cemetery of slate edges the cliff.

We look down. A seal bobs by the lobster pots.

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HOLY ISLAND

Horses gallop across the beach, a dog

barks at a black headed gull that lifts

into the air as light as spume and we,

almost entirely by chance, find a rare orchid

on the dunes among the marram grass.

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