by Peter Ainscough
Stretched like a lifting arm or bending leg,
Eager to start its journey and its race,
(A cliff’s creation or residual crag?)
Moving and changing at its self-owned pace.
Home to the chittering bunting, screaming gull,
Parading reed beds and the rubbled sand;
Mud beds shade the river’s reach and full
Of lugworm, stretched from the farmrich land
Where campers caravan in ugly crowds,
They ignore the beauty of this starkest place;
Or twitchers come in flocks to look for birds
Migrating – blind to the smile on nature’s face.
Summer hurries on. The camps disperse,
Now just occasional walkers brave the length,
Or birdmen watch to see what still occurs
When geese (and others) pause to gather strength.
Aeons pass as they have passed before,
The limb moves in the ocean, to and fro;
Towns grew and died on this consuming shore
And people always knew that this was so.
Now scientists hide within their ivory towers
And wonder whether this strange land will last,
Or calculate how long till sea devours
To breach and spew out one last fateful blast,
Destroying land and river in its rage.
Can this be so? Will this then be the end?
Or are they pessimistic in this age
Of doubt? For like reeds the limb will bend
And flex across the ages, as it always has,
And maybe always will. Not failure, change
Is what will be the future of this place
When land, the river and the sea exchange.
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Categories: Wednesday Writings