Before the castle, a curious cove.
Slate slabs spike from right and left
pointing fingers at the tide’s temerity
in trying to erode and erase, and man
has tamed the waves’ break. Look! A wall
of slate has half-enclosed a pool
where, twice a day, a placid pond
appears and timid swimmers test
their limits. When the waters wane
new worlds appear in hidden hollows.
Trapped sea-beasts cannot evade
the spade and bucket, scoop and net.
Yet I prefer to stare through glass
the pass and repass as the creeping
saline seeps toward the terraced
tourists on their picnic benches.
I have not the strength to stride
to where the tide is waiting. Let it
come to me! I’ll greet its reaching
arms with just my feet. Eleven
years I’ve dreamed of frigid foam
surrounding skin. Too soon to charge
into the wet, but not to shuffle,
sluggish, over shingle, smiling
at the treat to come, the reek of weed
as lapping liquid licks my toes.
First published in Reach Poetry