Pottering about on the beach…


Writers and artists seem to suffer from an insatiable appetite for the mysteries of the sea, as well as many others living in these islands who are simply looking for a sand and sunshine fix. Who, I ask, can rely on the latter, on this north coast? However, there’s plenty to enjoy, even in February, given the benefits of a warm coat – this tree trunk, for instance…Selkie6giving rise to the literary musings below…

Tree trunk

Beached on Whitby’s tide

a selkie stretches out

the length of a whale

nose to tapered tail, curving,

the arms clutching the self,

this temporary grounding.


Tide will lift and carry her again

slash her against cliffs

bully her back out to sea

a plaything of riptides

like so many, these days.


Right now, she lies like sorrow

abandoned, noosed with coils of ivy

dead as winter.

Yet here, almost brazen,

tell-tale leaves of the predator,

broad, green, and,

even from her own skin

authentic spikes. Pine, I think.


There’s no timetable here,

no self-conscious essence of fate,

though a golden bough trails, too,

luring hope,

unconscious of a finite future,

the symbiosis of some forgotten lore

that may survive awhile

before the selkie surrenders to decay.



2 thoughts on “Pottering about on the beach…”

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