The Pebble Path to Peace

At evening with a heavy heart
I’d had enough of talk.
My mind’s reflections overwrought
I left the house to walk.

I came across it quite by chance
Whilst ambling by the sea.
I’d hoped to clear my head of doubt,
To find some certainty.

I dimly saw the trail ahead
Climbing to my right,
A Pilgrims’ Way to paradise;
It was not there last night.

Its pebbles seemed to call to me
To follow where they led;
To seek their end where ere that be,
Pursue them without dread.

Their blue and red encouraged me,
Spoke to me of hope,
Of everlasting certitude,
The means by which I’d cope.

They led me on beside the sea,
Meandered to and fro
Until abruptly then they ceased;
In front a golden glow.

The certainty I’d hoped to find
Was there in front of me;
A testament to Nature’s Grace –
The Glory of the Sea.

A feeling of contentment spread
Throughout my fatigued mind.
My body too relaxed in peace,
Resentment left behind.

I’d found what I was searching for,
Afforded by that path
Of coloured pebbles on the shore;
My soul’s search aftermath.

Both photographs were taken by me (WHB) one evening in 2009 
along the seashore of the English Channel at Swanage, Dorset, UK.

THE FORSAKEN MERMAID


Photo: WHB – taken in Aberporth, Ceredigion, on the West Coast of Wales, facing towards Cardigan Bay and the Irish Sea

She emanates wistfulness
melancholy, sorrow
bound to her rock
out of sight of her sea.
Andromeda’s prison
awaiting her Perseus.

She thinks of the sea,
beseeching the ocean,
to roll in and take her
to wash her away
to be lost in the waves
to swirl with the kelp
in that pellucid world
in those welcoming depths
to join the white horses
to laze in the rock pools
bask on the corals
where once were her friends

No coteries here
no sisters, no mermen,
no one to favour her –
offspring or lovers.
That whirlpool which bred her
the spray which had bathed her
sequestrated and gone now
no longer her milieu.

Is this always and ever
is this life’s stricture
retribution for what?
For loving her kingdom
her aquatic birthright?
Or for being in form
not fish, fowl nor fiend?

For living a life
half tide-borne,
half earth-child,
hermaphrodite, epicene,
ambiguous, undefined,
a shadowy being,
crippled, malformed?

Her joy now –
the sunlight,
the breeze
and the dew
the song of the seagull
the far sigh of the sea.

Only these now remind her
of when she was free.

Poem: WHB (Copyright)

Remembrance

‘The Churchyard’ – WHB … Pen: 1981

With bared feet
and sadness in my soul
I walk in the shallows
the waves rippling to my bare feet
I follow the ribs of the sand
to their end
in the swell of the next wave
and by their disappearance
I recognise the promise
of their continuation
for the world is in flux
a life beginning
as another ends
memory
fading at first
soon settles
into expectation
an affirmation
as the embers
of all that cease to be
are carried forward
in the seeds of
a future hope

Death Wish at Sea

big waves under cloudy sky

Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS on Pexels.com

The storm was predicted,
Jet black was the sky,
But I  needed to cross,
I remember not why.

The ship sailed for Dublin,
I knew I must try
To bolster my nerves
My fear to defy.

A storm was predicted,
Air pressure awry.
Not for the first time
I feared I would die.

But that storm was a beast
And I let out a cry,
‘Please Lord do listen,
Oh please let me die!’

But we made it across
That dread Irish Sea,
But I’ve never yet mastered
My fears. Let them be!

 

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Westwards

Stockholm Archipelago (4)

‘Baltic Sunset’ . . .  Photo – WHB – 2019   ©

 

WESTWARDS

As the sun sinks down
In the Western sky,
My mind rejoices
With the thought that I

One day might follow
Its receding track,
To find where it leads
With no turning back.

And where it ends I’d
Be content to rest,
build a new home there
In the far northwest.

The rest of the days
Still vouchsafed to me,
Content to reside
By that other sea,

But I know at heart
That it cannot be;
Our time has long passed,
We just are not free.

Those causes to stumble,
Our exchanges unfurled,
Tell us our new life lies
In a parallel world.

Bar-Rose

 

ATHENA

Poseidon&Athena-WHB

POSEIDON & ATHENA:  WHB … Pen & Ink, 2019

ATHENA

 

She
Born of male
Warrior Goddess
Meant not to fail

Faced fear
Lord of the Sea
Her major prize
Attica’s key

Poseidon’s trident
Challenged by
Athena’s spear
The stakes so high

But olive tree
Of course
Beat salt spring
And horse

The prize
The city
The winner
No pity

Athens the realm 
Athena’s gain
Poseidon’s loss
To him the pain

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Athena and Poseidon vied for control of Athens and its surrounding territory, Attica. … Poseidon struck the rock with his trident and produced a salt spring or a horse.  

Athena brought forth an olive tree from the ground by the touch of her spear and she was proclaimed the victor.

The Ballad of the Fatberg

Fatberg – Fatberg, Growing so fast;
Fatberg – Fatberg, Growing so fast;
Please don’t tell them where I am
They’re sure to set up a webcam.

I’ve made my way along this river
Accepting all from every giver
Now I’m stuck – a great fat ball.
Full of gunge and ten feet tall.

Mounds of wet-wipes, cooking fat.
Now you know what happens to that.
Rolled into one gigantic ball,
Big as the goddammed Albert Hall.

They say how many of us exist
In pipes and rivers in our midst.
Across our fair and pleasant land
Disposed of waste … Ain’t it grand!

When they’ve dispersed my fat and grease
all those wet wipes, every piece
Then at last I’ll meet my end
But then the next one will descend

And when dissolved, where do we go?
Why, into the sea then, don’t you know?
That great big cess pool in the ocean,
Unlikely to stir your dulled emotions. 

A FATBERG is a congealed mass in a sewer system formed by the combination of non-biodegradable solid matter, such as wet wipes, and congealed grease or cooking fat. Fatbergs became a problem in the 2010s in England, because of ageing Victorian sewers and the rise in usage of disposable cloths. Wikipedia

Chesil Beach, Jurassic Coast, Dorset

[ Photo Gallery # 99 ]

Chesil Beach is one of the glories of England’s coastline. The name derives from the Old English ‘ceosel’ or ‘cisel’, meaning “gravel” or “shingle”.  It lies at the eastern end of what is known as the Jurassic Coast which stretches for many miles along the shores of Dorset and Devon on England’s southern coast.  My Gallery this week displays a number of photographs which  I took there 10 years ago.

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Dorset-Oct07 61 ChesilBeachDorset-Oct07 62 ChesilBeach

 

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“I Would Live In Your Love” … Sara Teasdale

[  # 93 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

beach blue horizon motion

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I Would Live In Your Love – Sara Teasdale

I would  live in your love

As the sea-grasses live in the sea,

Borne up by each wave as it passes,

Drawn down by each wave that recedes;

I would empty my soul

Of the dreams that have gathered in me

I would beat with your heart as it beats,

I would follow your soul as it leads.

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A gentle love poem by the American lyric poet, Sara Teasdale (1884-1933).  After her marriage in 1914, she used the name Sara Teasdale Filsinger.  As the sea-grass lives in and is sustained by the sea, so the poet wishes her life to be consumed and given wholly to her love. The images created belie her own love story when it would appear that she married largely to meet with the wishes of her parents.  The marriage ended in divorce in 1929 and just four years later Sarah was found dead in her bath.  Although denied at the time, it is believed that the death was suicide.
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