This poem is the first that was written on the first Scottish leg of my voyage around the Shipping Forecast areas. An empty beach is probably the place I feel most comfortable. I’m sure there’s something deeply psychological about that, but it’s not something I want to explore too deeply.
Saltwater seethes from the Black Isle to tease
an endless beach; sea touching sky
with a palette of blue green and haze grey.
Rothko shimmers quickening the landscape
painting waves in roiling torment.
Tide low, the white caps swell and claw,
hand over hand; ceaseless; desperate
to free themselves from the deeps
and reach the receding dry land. Sand -
uncaring – shifts like hard mist skittering,
dancing, leaving ripple tracks to be planed
smooth by a philistine moon on the next
flood. The dunes wait for the gambolling
winds to slow shudder them from the shore,
but are held back from pasture by an apology
of buckthorn, between high-tide and rye.
The threat of spring fills the harbour
with skiffs, dinghies and yachts waiting
to shred the peart colour fields and fill
the silent beach where Chaplin played…