Barricane Beach

Barricane Beach

The North Devon coast, I remember now,
stretched wide beneath high summer sky.
In my late youth, childhood still in reach,
often I went down those steep stone steps
to study what the tides had left behind,
on the hard sand of Barricane Beach.
I bent my back, lifted with care,
a pebble from a rock pool floor,
my hope to find a crab.
Never had I seen such shells before.
I loved their colours and shapes.
I know now, I did not know then,
they were wave carried from the Caribbean.
It was as if the ocean had chosen the beach called Barricane
to store a hoard of exotic shells,
washed them in from a far south island.
The beach was sheltered, secluded, certainly,
embraced by stone arms, cliffs wind and water carved.
Better than postcards, I thought,
I sent shells nestled in cotton wool,
packed tight in envelopes with letters,
written rough on paper sheets,
to friends back home in Liverpool.
In my mind I can go and go again,
down to that beach called Barricane.
One late summer night, stood there alone,
I found a luminous pod.
Among the pebbles, washed by the last line of waves,
it shone like the shard of a star.
Back in my bedroom, placed on my window sill,
it glowed white, looked magical.
Next day I felt guilt, to have separated it from its liquid home.
I made my way to Barricane Beach,
threw it back in the ocean.
Was a strange relief to see and feel the splash,
sense the loss, the blank cold of vanishment.
What it was I never knew, not a naturalist to know.
The sea gulls grown large enough to gorge on ocean fish,
sublime to me when they circled and cried,
high and low over lines of waves,
truly like the calls of lost sailor souls.
Comical were those I watched swoop inland,
some to perch on the roof of the Red Barn café.
They stared down on humans, sat below, at tables in the open air.
One to be the thief of a discarded egg and cress sandwich,
another a scavenger of a bag of fish and chips.
Who knows what the investigator of the garbage bins will become,
eater of the last cob crust to the final crumb?
Their brains too small to have a fault,
perfect are they, from beak to webbed feet.
In my mind, it is never out of reach.
I go back to see what time can teach,
faraway, down there, on Barricane Beach.

Angel War: Goodreads Giveaway

One copy of my book, Angel War, is now available to win in a Goodreads Giveaway. The Goodreads Giveaway began on Monday, 20th, February, 2017, and ends on Tuesday, 28th, March, 2017.
Here is the link:
goodreads.com/giveaway/show/224282-angel-war/

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found anymore in heaven.”

Chapter Twelve, verses 7-8, The Revelation of Saint John the Divine, the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

My book is my version of that war and its aftermath.

Winter Night

Winter Night

The wren on the farthing coin I study.
Four of them made a penny.
Hard to leave my chair by the fire
this winter night, I think of old money.
My thoughts stretch out,
free of my body,
survey the cold, hard fields of February.
Further back I go,
by way of twig and cherry,
to find Weland the smith,
at work in the cave he made his forge,
watch his hammer on anvil clang and spark,
thuds shake the roots of his hidden valley.
A sword made by him worth more than gold.
A warrior weighs it in his hand,
longs to be in a tale forever told.
Further back, closer in,
my spirit walks, bare as the trees,
stood tall above me.
A snap here, creak there,
in the icy air.
Crows sweep down,
caw over the cold, hard fields of February.
Snowdrop, bluebell, daffodil wait to sprout.
Birds that migrate will not return
till branches bear leaf and berry.

For Billions Of Years

For Billions Of Years

They will begin to disappear,
one by one, here and there,
year by year,
they will begin to disappear,
people related to you,
friends that you knew,
till the many become few.
It is natural, it is the way.
Tropical fish may swim in your glass tank,
but you know nothing will stay.

For billions of years,
before I was born,
I was not here.
For billions of years,
when I am gone,
I will not be here.
You know that is true.
The same goes for you.

When I was younger,
such thoughts brightened my brain,
wakened my wonder.
Now all I can do is grow older,
but my burden is less on my shoulder.

Your middle eye is closed, forgotten,
but not all you see is burnt or broken.
The stranger you see in the street
may be free of sleep but has never woken.

Though you will never take it all in,
be brave, leave the cave,
away from the camp fire,
go off to explore
the forest, the desert, the city,
the mountain, the sea shore.
The dinosaurs were here,
and they were for a long time,
till one by one, here and there,
year by year, they began to disappear.
Some survive as skeletons in museums,
face it all with no fear.

 

 

Harbour Master

Harbour Master

Harbour master, keep awake,
do not sleep through the storm.
Reports of wrecks on the rocks
should never be.
Send out light ships
to guide all sailors home.
Lighthouse keepers,
cleanse your lamps clear.
Dark waves rise,
souls fear to drown at sea.
Remember the mariner
who slew the albatross.
After the deed, an icy ache
he felt inside his hollow trunk,
his punishment for the loss.

Winter night on the shore,
no light from moon or star.
Harbour master, study your charts,
to tell all sailors what to do,
reveal to them where they are.

Some are so far out at sea,
though they may dream
of a harbour below a cliff,
they let it go by,
as a hope of anchor,
naught but a mariner myth.