Spring tide

A winter’s storm has flung

A thousand pebbles on the esplanade.

A thousand rounded cherts and flints

Rolled in the grey tide

And smothered by the sea’s grey foam.

I watch them as the setting sun

Gives each a slanting shadow tail

And like a thousand spawning fish

They face the West aligned

And swim upstream for home

Painted Dogs

The memory of you

Pursues me like a Painted Dog,

Tears at my empty stomach

With its wet teeth, it’s wild claws.

And the sea, grey and blue on its torn canvas

Pulls the colours of the landscape into view,

The twisted grass, the thorn trees

Leaning into the red clay

And the paths that run along the sandstone cliffs

Run to you,

To your crooked smile

To your sideways glance

To your absence of being.

And I shall look towards the lighthouse

And pull at the shingle with my tired fingers

And count the clouds in your distant eyes.

The memory of you

Pursues me down dark alleyways of green oak

Through splinters of sunlight

And over the twisted roots of your heart.

And the sea, grey and blue

On its torn canvas

Pulls at my animal soul

With its seaweed fingers.