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Tag Archives Atlantic

‘ANOTHER PLACE’ REVISITED AT LOW WATER

‘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,

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A DAY OUT

From one of the high rise budget hotels

in Portimao we picked up a group

of six challenged men and their two minders.

(Portugal, our tour guide told us later,

was enabling those – institutionalised

since childhood for learning difficulties –

to take vacations, with supervision,

from the drab, echoing, noisome halls).

Two were remarkable: a gaunt fellow

bent permanently double, always moving,

keeping close to the other, a joker

with moustached Arabic looks and frightened eyes.

 

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ANOTHER PLACE REVISITED AT LOW WATER


‘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,

share

MADELEINE MOMENTS

‘And suddenly the memory returns. The taste was that of the little crumb of madeleine…’

REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST, Marcel Proust

 

The day the season’s second Atlantic storm

was due there was I – after a sausage

and bacon bap with brown sauce and an Earl Grey

in the heritage station’s draughty café –

celebrating my 74th birthday

with my small family in a British Rail

standard compartment on the Santa Special.

 

We journeyed from Llangollen to Lapland

(aka Carrog) with mince pies,

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LOVE IN ITS ELEMENT: YNYS LLANDDWYN…

…is our sort of place – an island only
at spring tides. Sant Dwynwen, patroness
of lovers, was a princess, virgin, nun.
Her true love test required fresh bread crumbs,
a linen kerchief, a well, an eel
– and an optimistic lad and lass.
The saint’s shrine was popular until
the Puritan heave-ho – although, even now,
perhaps, in the earliest of summer’s dawns
or when mists rise or by full moonlight
some lovers will come to find the well.

Beyond the lighthouse, the cormorants and
distant rocks,

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AN ABRIDGED HISTORY OF THE WORLD

‘Holt Bridge On The River Dee’ By Richard Wilson RA

 

Near where the Romans made pottery and tiles

from the rich boulder clay the Ice Age brought,

a fourteenth century eight arch sandstone bridge

spans the River Dee, Afon Dyfrdwy,

linking Welsh Holt and English Farndon.

The bridge’s stones are from the same quarry

as Holt Castle’s, the first the invaders built.

Three centuries later the Roundheads took it.

 

Occasional salmon from the Atlantic

navigate the industrial detritus –

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ABERFFRAW, YNYS MÔN

Sand dunes, sharp with pampas grass, muffle

Caernavon Bay, St. George’s Channel,

the Atlantic. The Ffraw’s estuary flows

narrow as an eel. The curlews call.

 

The non-conformist chapel is up for sale

and the visitors’ centre does funeral teas.

The highway bypasses the village,

though here, fourteen centuries ago,

was the urbane, Christian court of Cadfan, Prince

of Gwynedd. Nothing remains. The Vikings

razed the wooden palace. He was buried

some two miles away,

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THE WAR ON TERROR

 

2001

Riding the F Train that August –

from Queens to Manhattan, Jamaica

Estates to Times Square – were all

of the hues and tongues and tribes and faiths.

Dead at our door, on our return,

wings stretched as if in flight,

lay a hen harrier, a female.

You chose to bury it gently

in the warm September earth.

Five thousand miles away,

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