Day 53

Great Eye, a lump of clay and sand, is dissolving a little more with each storm tide. It used to be further inland, less exposed to the direct action of sea. For a while it was the site of a folly building, which then became a coast guard rocket house, before the foundations and brickwork succumbed to the tides.

Random sections of old brickwork still exist, but they lie down the beach, edging toward the sea. The mortar still holds, but is gradually thinning. The red bricks have long since become smoothed and rounded off at their extremes. The sea has a way of rounding everything off, smoothing things out with its steady soothing motions.

I picked up several pebbles on the shore this afternoon, I kept hold of four: a black, flat ellipse of granite; another egg-shaped disc, closer to ivory than stone; a tiger-striped orange and brown disc, roughly the size of a 50 pence piece; a deep red pebble the size of my thumbnail.

I dropped a fifth stone accidentally when examining a dead green crab that had acted as host to several barnacles on its shell. This pebble was almost see-through and small enough to set in a ring for a little finger.

The granite disc fits perfectly into my right palm. I can close my hand fully around it. It warms in my grasp.

The red pebble gains a shine easily.

The tiger stone and its pallid twin lose their lustre once dry, but retain their physical integrity. The tiger stone is distinct enough to become a reminder of these days, walking this coastline during unusual times.

I was going to write about the sand martins here too. They are busy at Great Eye today. I will visit them again soon.

.

Christopher Perry

9th May, 2020

For Me?

I found it there on my way home

Tied with green nylon rope

Neatly knotted to a plastic drum

And two fathoms length further

Another, its side cut out, roughly trimmed

Where careless crabs might sidle in

I think it was meant

But then again, this fickle sea can be quite unkind

She probably had another buoy in mind

.

n.b. www.napowrimo.net Day 20 prompt: handmade gift…an improvised crab-pot found on the shore, gifted by the sea.

CLP 20/04/2020

On the Edge

Out here

The East Anglian landscape is so flat

That the curvature of Earth is apparent

And so here is not so flat at all

A world of its own

Even the sea moves on a different level

From beyond the dykes and shingle banks

Winds from North and East hold sway

Mighty oaks are bent to their will

Brow beaten in perpetual homage to Njord

This vast, sparse expanse

Denuded of shape

A dinner plate piled high

With sky

.

n.b. We are not alone; it just feels like that sometimes.

n.n.b. Njord was the Norse god of wind and sea, (and wealth).

Drift

I stood on the beach watching

It moved east, parallel to the shore

Bobbling on the sparkle of cat’s paws

Behind the forming swell of gentle breakers

A tern interrupted her flight to peer closer

Hanging just above in squealing hover

.

What it was I could not tell either

But curious, I walked to the foamy edge

My linen trousers rolled up to my knees

Advanced bare-foot, shin deep into the chill

It floated out beyond my reach

Elusive flotsam, mystery from the deep

.

n.b. Cat’s paws are a form of waves. They are capillary waves of a small scale that are pulled up from the surface of the sea by the wind and pulled back toward the surface by the meniscus, (surface tension of the water).

CLP 19/02/2020

On Portsmouth

Cramped together

On England’s island city

Flat, low vulnerable

.

n.b. A lively location as always, (and now quite lovable), but its topography suggests it has potential to become England’s Venice as sea levels rise.

n.n.b. Photograph taken from a screenshot from a newspaper website (www.theguardian.com) that used an image captured by a satellite sent up into near space in order to track hurricanes.

CLP 03/11/2019