MS (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0031 Autumn's Wild, Rough Days

These wild, rough autumn days
as cooling Northern hemisphere
shudders towards its equinox
with gales and rain and blown-off leaves,
all the elements stirred up, and
bringing strange emotions;
everything is between;

but for children living by the sea,
days of joy and awe –
the sea, no longer blue
but savage brown-red, even emerald green,
which all the year
has bashed and nibbled at the cliffs
like kitchen-boy at pantried half-cut cake,
throws all its might as if it hated the whole idea of earth;
knowing that in one night,
it may do mighty things once in a while
that change the maps themselves – blocking estuaries
that have served ports for a thousand years,
with shingle banks; throwing new beaches
across bays, with stones so exquisitely graded
from rock to pebble, that it’s said,
night fishermen thrown onto such a beach without the moon
know exactly where they are by size of stone…

but for the child, a magic time:
the air’s a gift for lungs, like breathed champagne;
the sea after the gale is calming down;
but the beach is new: new toys thrown up,
seaweed of many shapes, still wild when wet,
along a new high tide line; stuff off ships, carved wood,
deck-mats, green globes that buoyed up nets,
boxes with some foreign words
to remind us that this same neighbour sea
has other foreign shores across the world..

and every stone and pebble, which yesterday
had muted, dusty-coloured, matt-textured anonymity,
now, wet with salty water, are translucent, shining jewels each one,
glass, white marble (and how far has that pebble come,
hassled and scoured across the ocean’s floor..) ,
rough granite of so many shades, hard serpentine,
purple, green, some striped; slate-blues, brick-reds, all
fit for a palace; gathered in an eager hand
which sees nothing in the world but gifts and miracles;
this lovely, wild, wild-hearted shore.

User Rating: 2,0 / 5 ( 6 votes ) 5

Comments (5)

A wild and woolley poem, Michael, with powerful images of sea and ships and colour and children's stories. loved it. Allie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Michael, there comes a time, after reading dozens, upon dozens of your work, that at some point with all due respect to the ''MIGHTY CRITIQUE'', that suffice to say this one time simply: Michael; A W E S O M E. .W R I T E ! ! ! Your Buddy in Casing, ..........F J R............... .........FRANK.............
(and how far has that pebble come, hassled and scoured across the ocean’s floor..) i have wondered about the tide rocked sands that used to swirl underfoot when i was a child. strange i know, but i wrote a poem about it. magical poem Michael, i enjoyed this very much! from a grown up child born raised by the seaside.. ~lots of crabs and jellyfish bite stories too~ ~kelly
Very beautiful poem. Some lines were so pretty and well composed...the theme worked wonders...Nibedita Deb.
Take a small piece of a seaside childhood memory, and buff and polish till it shines like a gem. That's what you've done here Michael! Danny