how many tides have turned
shifted and smoothed
sifted and sorted
the pebbles so
today the sea would give up this stone
so you might gift it me
precious as any stone
I have ever held


CLP 13/09/2021

On the Beach

slipping on pebbles

this feels like treading water

yet gentle progress


CLP 18/08/2021

On the Beach

I’m never tired

of each tide’s unique beauty

waking next to you


CLP 03/08/2021

On Water xx

sorting through shingle

picking out perfect pebbles

stones skimming off waves


CLP 28/04/2021

On The Beach

These amongst others

Mother of pearl and sandstone

Everything but you


CLP 22/03/2021

On Pleasure iii

Morning lights our shore

gulls call us to discover

gifts brought in on tide


n.b. photograph courtesy of ACG.

CLP 04/09/2020


Crunching east on stony beach

With the westerly

Encouraging me to move along

With uncalled for shoves to my spine

Like an impatient copper

Clearing an unruly popular terrace

Causing me to stumble

As I stagger on loose pebbles

Waves tumble in

Wash through shingle

The rage of sea repressed

By this burly bully at our backs

My lips licked by briny spray

Sunglasses spotted with tear-salt smears

Ears wind-burnt

The white noise of breaking horses

Fills the air, all but deafens


Clear and shrill like blue-lighting sirens

Heading into battle

Against the insistent blows

With scratchy screeches

Wings like knives

Cutting through

Slicing and dicing

Contradicting the force

They stick to their intended course

Zigger-zagger dancing

Toward the setting sun


CLP 23/05/2020

On the Arrogant Sea

Waves batter shingle

Surprise at stones’ resistance

Draws astonished gasps


CLP 12/07/2020

Equinox – Autumn

Thickened by the tired air

Sticky with ripened fruit

Slow, pitch black, distorted, stretched

Beyond recognition

These shadows of ours

Run out

Black rivers

Bleeding the last of summer’s heat

From our veins

Onto the misted ground

Into the thin air of autumn

Warmth no longer from within

We become reptilian

Bask on the cool stones

Of an empty beach

Where the skin-deep solar glow

Drains with the ebb tide

We hold the last of harvest gold

In our joined hands


CLP 20/09/2019



Aloft on a waft

To drop mollusc on shingle

Did gulls teach or learn?


n.b. It is fascinating to watch gulls and crows rise 3 or 4 metres on the breeze with the intention of dropping a shelled shore-dweller onto the pebbled beach repeatedly until the shell cracks open and the meaty interior is accessible. When I mentioned this to my step-father, Frank Hawes, I had presumed the seabirds got the idea first. He said, “Maybe the gulls copied the crows.”

CLP 03/01/2019