Fossils by Peter Ainscough
How the wind blows to make the waves play
On Mappleton Beach on a fierce winter’s day.
How the surf crashes and, breaking, it roars,
Grabbing the cliff in its spray-spitting jaws.
How the cliff falls to the waves’ fierce embrace;
How the clay crumbles all over the place,
Shedding its burden of thousands of years
So that many-formed, aeons-old, life reappears.
Metamorphed stones from some unknown seabed,
How still lies the life that the dying cliffs shed:
Belemnites, ammonites, crinoids and more
Litter the living and dying seashore.
And you and I wander and wonder and look
Trying to read more of this palaeo-book.
Chapter on chapter is opened… Then more
Is given to us as we walk through the door
Of the past brought to present, the exposing of years
Of vanished creation. Once more it appears.
Collect where you can , for soon the new tide
Will reach out again and brush all here aside.
So brave the waves’ retching and all the spray tears
And stroll once again in this garden of years;
Relish these times as we walk the beach shelves:
We’ll all soon be gone to this earth home ourselves.