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Along the path beside the forestry road,

through the plantation of pine and larch

planted as saplings to keep the dunes in check,

there is a first sighting of the island

with its mediaeval saint’s ruined chapel,

between the trees and across a sandy beach.


Out of sight is a pebbly strand exposed

except at the highest tides: an impromptu

causeway – for holiday makers now;

once, for lovers to the chapel with its

rumours of martyred blessings; and, once,

for soldiers, manning the concrete pill-box,

out of sight at the island’s seaward end

above the cove of beached razor shells.


No invaders came to fill those years of tides –

except cormorants to breed on rocks

below the redoubt, and odd, nameless couples

across the mainland’s sand hills and scurvy grass,

over the slip trench and through the barbed wire

like soldierly pilgrims.




© Copyright David Selzer
1 Response
  • Mary Clark
    April 5, 2019

    Very evocative, the tides of time. I felt I was there on the strand, the ‘impromptu causeway’, above ‘the beached razor shells,’ and later with the ‘soldierly pilgrims’.

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