The Sandman

THE  SANDMAN

The sandman looms

long and low in the westerly sun

on the evening shore

treading his beach

with dedicated feet

an image hunter

heir of Autolycus

searching

 for Nature’s hidden ornaments

probing with his stick

revealing the sand crabs

tempting the tide to turn

and wash away his presence

leaving no imprint

only a fleeting glance

a captured instant

of memory

of another world

arcane and mystical

beneath the sand

before the glimpse

releases him

and he moves on

into the dying day.

The Sandman was spotted on the beach beside Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland,UK, in 2003 …
Photo and sketch …  WHB

Life In A Refuse Bin

Photo: WHB

A refuse bin … A refuse bin
All life is in a refuse bin.

* * *

Amidst the rubbish and the tat
There lies a hat, a mat, a rat;
Daily Mail-wrapped fish and chips
Taco, shrimp and truffle dips;
Damaged shoes and flip-flops too;
Pair of pants that once were blue.


Ice cream cones and such detritus;
Discarded puffer for bronchitis.
Shells and seaweed in there, also
A print of ‘Blue Nude’ by Picasso.
Doll’s head, torso, and an arm;
No legs in sight – sound the alarm!
Apple peelings, apple cores,
Offcuts from old vinyl floors.
Broken pencil, bunch of keys,
Half a sandwich filled with cheese.
Old bus tickets, betting slips,
Laddered tights and broken zips.
Cigarette butts by the score.
Junk and scrap for ever more.
Empty tins that once held coke.
It really is beyond a joke.
Lubricant, petroleum jelly,
Whole salami from the deli.
Junkie’s needles, discarded syringe,
Vestige of an all-night binge.

These remnants of a night of sin
. . . All denizens of a refuse bin.

Clothes and food for any family
Enough to live on very happily.
Soon all of this will ‘go to waste’
Unfit for someone else’s taste.
And waste disposal at the beach
Really does cry out for bleach.

# # #

But wait a moment, I can see
A scene as if it’s on TV.
A family playing in the sand
Oblivious in their own dreamland.
Quite unaware that they’re within
And central to a refuse bin.

This ‘bit of fun’ with simple rhyming couplets, was prompted by my photograph (top), taken on the promenade at Sandsend, a small holiday resort, near Whitby, on the North Sea coast of Yorkshire.

A Yard Of Ale

YardOfAle

A Yard Of Ale

A yard of ale, that old-time drink,
Keeps us a metre apart;
The distancing solution,
State of the safe-pub art.

And when I want to meet you over
Chips and battered cod,
Let’s use the café garden,
And a social-bubble pod.

We can gather on the beach
A metre-plus between us
A reasonable distance
To keep us heterogeneous.

When at last we can get closer,
Can shake hands and hug and kiss,
We will clutch our sides and laugh
Over these tortions and reminisce. 

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A Walk Through The Woods To The Sea

cascade creek environment fern

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A Walk Through The Woods To The Sea

As I breathe in the wild garlic woods
I resurrect a memory.
In bursts of fiery vision
Both eyes and nostrils
Recall the path
Descending without haste
From cornfield to woodland dell
To fern and rill
Beneath the high arches
Of the viaduct
Soft tread over the bracken-strewn turf
Beside the bubbling beck
To meet the waiting waves
On that bleached beach
Promising not only present joy
But with purpose
Though without foreknowledge
Building a cornerstone 
Of my being
Nature’s Marble Halls
Erected to sustain life
To ensure that richness of experience
This continuity of pleasure
Which brings meaning now
When I had thought
Only the memory remained

Wild-garlic

 

Cadiz

 [ Photo Gallery # 93 ]

Cadiz – Spain

Cádiz is a city and port in south-western Spain. It is the capital of the Province of Cádiz, one of eight which make up the autonomous community of Andalusia.  In my Photo Gallery today I include just a selection of the photographs which I took whilst wandering around the city on a visit there in 2006.

There are narrow streets, beautiful tree-lined plazas, a magnificent seafront promenade adorned with wonderful fountains, paved with colourful majolica tiles, and surrounded by a variety of trees and flowers.  Alameda Apodaca is a beautiful spot in the city of Cadiz, ideal for a stroll and to cool down on hot summer days.  It is a broad avenue with cobbled streets, and a variety of cobblestones and majolica tiles forming geometrical designs.

 

Cadiz (1)

View of the city from the sea with Cadiz Cathedral dominating the skyline

Cadiz (2)

Monument of the Spanish Constitution (approved in 1812)

Cadiz (3)

Blossoming Jacaranda tree

Cadiz (4)

Arbol del Mora, giant Moreton Bay Fig Trees (Ficus macrophylla) planted around 1900

Cadiz (5)

Fountain and tiled majolica paving in the Alameda Apodaca

Cadiz (6)

In Park Genoves

Cadiz (7)

In the amazing Park Genoves, a botanical wonderland filled with over 100 species of trees and shrubs

Cadiz (8)

 On one of Cadiz beaches, below the statue bust of Paco Alba, composer and creator of the  Carnival comparsa of Cádiz.

Cadiz (9)

A Cadiz Roofscape

Cadiz (10)

Cadiz street entertainment

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The Coast of North West Cornwall

[ Photo Gallery # 87 }

To the east and the west of the Camel Estuary (see my blog of a week ago ) lie numerous inlets of the sea . Delightful coves and small villages  clinging to the Cornish cliffs.  Below is a gallery of my photographs of a number of these.

42Polzeath

Rough sea on a misty morning at Polzeath

45nrPortQuin

After the shower near Port Quin

48PortQuin

Sign on entering the National Trust village of Port Quin

49PortQuin

View of the inlet at Port Quin

55PortIsaac

The village of Port Isaac – used as the setting for the TV series ‘Doc Martin’.

56PortIsaac

Looking out to sea from the harbourside of Port Isaac

60Trevone

The beach at Trevone Bay near Padstow

64TrevoseHead

The Lighthouse at Trevose Head, a headland on the Atlantic coast of north Cornwall

68TrevoseHead

The Neal Rock with the Trevose Head lighthouse in the background

69TrevoseHead

Close up view of The Neal Rock at Trevose Head

74BedruthanSteps

The cliffs and rocks at Bedruthan Steps

75BedruthanSteps

The granite rocks that are dotted across the beach are, according to legend, stepping stones for the Giant Bedruthan.

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North Yorkshire Coast #2

[ Photo Gallery # 79 ]

Moving further along the North Sea coast of Yorkshire from the scenes of the villages north of Whitby in my previous Photo Gallery ( # 78), I post below just a selection of my photographs of two seaside towns, Saltburn and Redcar.

Both were and still are holiday resorts, once much more popular as such than they are today.   Both still maintain a small, if much diminished, fishing fleet and still do their utmost to attract visitors.  Their great glory is the beautiful 8 mile long beach, one of the longest unbroken stretches in the United Kingdom, running from South Gare, at the mouth of the River Tees, southwards, along the seafront of Redcar, past Marske-by-the-Sea, to Huntcliffe at Saltburn.

01 saltburn

SALTBURN: Huntcliffe,Cat Nab & the Ship Inn.

02 saltburn

SALTBURN: The view south from the entrance to the funicular cliff railway and Huntcliffe,

03 SaltburnSurfers

Saltburn is one of the original centres of the north-east surfing scene

04 saltburn

The funicular railway at Saltburn began operating in 1884 and is the oldest operating water-balance cliff lift in the United Kingdom.

05 saltburn

A misty view upwards showing the balanced ascending and descending carriages

06 saltburn

Saltburn pier, first opened in 1869, is now the last pier remaining in Yorkshire.  It has itself been frequently damaged in the past by North Sea storms, but remains a popular attraction.

06a Saltburn

View from the pier southwards to Huntcliffe

06b Saltburn

Saltburn Pier – looking due East to the North Sea

07 redcar

The view to sea from REDCAR.  Not what I had expected to see, 10 years after my previous visit!

08 redcar

REDCAR: Wind Turbines – now detracting from the view of the North Sea

09 redcar

Even the re-designed and modern seafront promenade now has wind turbines as a backdrop

10 redcar

REDCAR  . . .  and the fishing boats now have these to contend with too!

11 redcar

REDCAR BEACON:  Now sporting  a seafront helter-skelter – Sorry, NO, it is apparently a Vertical Pier, with its own restaurant and giving beautiful views along the Yorkshire coastline. 

12 redcar

REDCAR:  . . . and sand sculptures to enhance the view!?

 

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North Yorkshire Coast #1

[ Photo Gallery # 78 ]

After my three Photo Galleries displaying the delights of Whitby, my next two galleries will cover some of the delights of the Yorkshire coast further north, now named the ‘North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast’.

01 NY Heritage Coast

‘Heritage Coast’ sign at Sandsend

02 HawskerChurch

A sea mist masks the church and gravestones of the coastal village of Hawsker

03 sandsend

Evening view to the north from the beach at Sandsend

04 sandsend

Rough sea looking south towards Whitby from Sandsend.

05 sandsend-westbek

Misty morning beside Westbek at Sandsend

06 RunswickBay

The picturesque artists’ village of Runswick Bay

06a Runswick

High tide in the bay at Runswick

06b Runswick

Further view of Runswick Bay

07 Skinningrove

The old mining village of Skinningrove where the Kilton Beck meets the North Sea and still runs red with the iron deposits carried down from the surrounding hills .  Known as ‘Britain’s Iron Valley’.

Kilton Culvert

Kilton Culvert (N.B. not one of my own photographs)

09Skinningrove

Three views of the ‘Repus’ Cobble, an old Skinningrove fishing boat now positioned looking out to the North Sea from the beach at Skinningrove.

10 Skinningrove

It is not clear why this cobble has been named ‘Repus’, but it has been pointed out that the name spells ‘Super’ backwords!

11 Skinningrove

Manning the prow of the ‘Repus’ Cobble

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Sea  Light

Katie Sarra-Seascape (1)

 

SEA  LIGHT

 

As the swell of the sea reaches the shore
Waves wilfully break on the beckoning beach;
Light catches the colours riding the crests,
Blushing in red, in pink and in peach.

While above as we watch in reverence and awe,
The marmalade sky sugars the view,
Embracing the split twixt heaven and earth,
Splitting the vibrant view into two.

In such scenes as this all life gains a meaning,
For life and desire reside in the sea;
The beauty of nature is here embodied,
Bringing contentment and stillness to me.

Katie Sarra-Seascape (2)

 

wave-pattern

My poem originates from a consideration of the oil paintings of Devon artist, Katie Sarra.  Many of Katie’s paintings present visions of the sea in its many different moods, still, turbulent, calm , moody.   Many of these seascapes are displayed in her gallery facing the River Daw as it runs through the Devonshire seaside town of Dawlish.  Her gallery is named ‘SEA LIGHT’.   It is a great joy to spend time in this beautiful gallery which doubles as a thriving cafe and tea rooms.  Two photographs of the gallery front below . . .

 

wave-pattern

Zakinthos

[ Photo Blog  #68 ]

Zakinthos

Zakynthos, or Zante,  is a Greek island in the Mediterranean’s southern Ionian Sea. The island’s capital is the coastal city, which is itself called Zakynthos.  It is centred around the waterfront area of Solomos Square.  I visited the island in 2006 and include below some of the photographs of the island and its capital which I took at that time.

Zakinthos (1)

Approaching Zakinthos from the sea

Zakinthos (2)

Rainbow over the island

Zakinthos (3)

Rainbow

Zakinthos (4)

Cypress trees in the wooded hills above the island’s capital

Zakinthos (5)

One of the island’s many tourist beaches

Zakinthos (6)

Harbour side – Fish fresh from the sea

Zakinthos (7)

Colourful fishing nets

Zakinthos (8)

Zakinthos (9)

A Bougainvillea-clad house in Solomos Square 

Zakinthos (15)

Bronze bust of a Greek Orthodox bishop outside the Church of St Agios Dionysios, Zakynthos

Zakinthos (16)

Statue of Liberty on Solomos square in Zakynthos city 

Zakinthos (17)

Close-up of ‘Liberty’

Zakinthos (18)

Jason’s long-lost and battered Argo perhaps !?

Zakinthos (19)

Zante’s turquoise sea

Zakinthos (20)

Zakinthos (21)

P&O ‘Arcadia’ at Zakinthos

 

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