Anger, despair – torrential, unstoppable –
possesses me, unprompted. Undeserved,
you suffer it like hail. It leaves no signs.
Your heart is adamant, ever yielding.
Rainwater, falling on the marshy uplands,
courses through the thick glacial veneer –
beneath the main road near the chip shop,
past second homes and holiday lets,
under the promenade and by the pub –
onto the beach and into the oceans.
Safe behind glass, from our rented apartment,
white and spare like a sepulchre or a flag,
we watch a storm rise far out at sea then roll
inexorably towards us, obscuring
all – and hammer on our window like a door.
At low tide, we walk along the sands and round
the headland, rooks rising in clacking dudgeon
from the high rocks. In the wide estuary,
a solitary egret fishes. Returning,
at high tide, through littoral woods of elder
and ash, we walk at the foot of the sandstone cliffs –
rainwater flowing from fissures, seeping
into silent pools edged by ferns and fronds.
On the horizon: a warship anchors
at the ebb in Holyhead’s sea roads;
Manx is a stretch of cloud; and the Great Orme
the sea serpent the first Norsemen named it,
half submerged, sleeping or waiting.
Note: the poem was one of the first pieces to be published on the site in April 2009.