‘It is no hero, no ideal, just the industrially reproduced body
of a middle-aged man trying to remain standing and trying to breathe.’ Anthony Gormley
They are still standing and their slow carapace
of barnacles breathes. Small pools of eaten
razor clams and star fish lie at their feet – fry
dart amongst seaweed fronds and the dead.
An off shore breeze brings the calls of distant
sea birds close. The RNLI flag stiffens
and plastic kites, on the slight headland, swoop –
but the cumulus clouds and the con trails,
across the Atlantic, are almost still.
Wind turbines proliferate on Burbo Bank
and, beyond, along the North Wales coast.
Over the horizon, the world awaits
high tide. Meanwhile, on tricky sands, we move
with care among these icons of cast-iron
steadfastness and promise.
Note: The poem was first published on the site in July 2017.