Sea pilgrims

Here we are,

the sea pilgrims.

The wanderers,

the seekers,

the beachcombers,

the sunset-catchers.

Not many of us tonight.

A grey damp evening,

dark before its time.

Unexpected flashes of white;

egrets flapping homewards

across clouds full of rain.

Thunder rumbles in the distance.

Water mirrors grey

and turns it into silver,

alchemy before our eyes.

An infinite supply of treasure

for a sea pilgrim.

We leave the shore,

turn inland.

The light darkens,

sky lowers,

but inside us the sea shines silver,

and fills our souls with light.

Duddon Estuary

The clouds dispersed to reveal the estuary

domed with blue.

A cold north wind blowing

but in the shelter of a hedge

the sun felt warm, springlike

with birdsong

and the first frogspawn in a ditch.

The rising, full moon high tide paused

at the outer edge of the saltmarshes

where the birds gathered;

curlew, oystercatcher, redshank.

Then the sea quietly,

relentlessly, marched on over the marshes

scattering birds, forming islands of green

that gradually disappeared underwater.

A stream of sea pushed in past our feet

to the railway embankment

signalling the time to leave

this inbetween place

to the sea and sky

and the birds.

A walk on Blawith Common

Weather and circumstance have conspired recently to keep my walks short

but today I was out for hours.

And now I am weary, that lovely tiredness of the body;

heavy limbs and aching muscles

thankful for a day outside

in the sun and frost.

Mind relaxed, soul nourished

by the long views of the fells and the sea,

clear blue skies and the orange glow of bracken.

Lungs full of fresh air,

I’ll sleep well tonight.