Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Reculver Beach

The rough leather of a dog fish skin
Spiry and age-spotted into dry seaweed
Scratching on the soles of our shoes
And a perfect crab shell, legs and all
Hollowed out by the tide
Soft parts long since departed
Now weeping scales of salt onto our palms
Bleached shells and smooth pebbles
Picked from a beach pocked with horned poppy
As we walk beyond the reach of the sea

And all along the Viking Way they cycle
Flat out, fast and free
Billowing their hair with a windy brine
From Wigmore and wherever
In serious pursuit of leisure

Here now, the old flint walls
Flinching under a blue sky
As starlings form a chorus line
High up on the rafters of the old towers
To entertain us with a song and dance
From some bawdy, birdy music hall
Reviewing the late summer sky
This weather cannot last
Rain tomorrow
And they will give one last bow
Then exit left for winter

And all along the Viking Way we walk
Dawdling at the view
Of giant windmills out to sea
And trains and tractors
Pulling the flat land taught
Below a winnowed sky

We reach the car park
Just time for a drink and a snack
This weather cannot last
They say it'll rain tomorrow
And we comment, again, on the cormorants
Fishing from the posts in pairs
And if they were young egrets we saw in that tree
And we give one last bow to the beach
While checking our shoes
Then exit left for the motorway

Reculver Beach

Horned Sea Poppy

Reculver Towers & Roman Fort

Bleached beach flotsam

The Viking Coastal Trail