‘As When …’ – Three Haiku

RoundBritain (9)FarneIsles

‘Farne Islands’ Northumbria … Photo: WHB – 2012

As When . . .



As when the waves rage
So does my turbulent life
Beat upon my shore

As when the sky weeps
So do my eyes shed their tears
For those friends now gone

As when the wind gusts
So does my discontent rage
For those without love





My Dancing Heart


My heart has danced
has trembled to the music of time
has rejoiced in the moment
throbbed in both joy and pain

I’ve moved to the music
done all that
travelled where no one has been before
listened to the wind
whispered to the trees
sighed with the sea
in its motion-hungry fervour
and trembled with the waves
as they shuddered towards the shore

I have given my time to the poetry of life
sung its stanzas
rhymed with its lusting lilt
in tune with its echoing cadences

Now in the fullness of my seasons
I recline and muse
over time passed by

Is it to be experienced again
does renewal with the Spring follow
in another life
whilst this one fades

The gaps which are left
the shreds in the curtain of my hopes
tear through the seams of my mind
crossing the border into
the parallel worlds in which
my existence lives on
matching my movements
mirroring the moments
since birth in the old
to death in the  now
thus bringing on the new

And my heart now murmurs
to itself
in mockery and mime
bridging the chasm
that separates this world from the next



Sea  Light

Katie Sarra-Seascape (1)




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)



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 . . .



Western Cornwall #1

[  Photo Blog # 72  ]

Cornwall Map

I visited the western and the southernmost extremities of Cornwall on several summertime occasions between 2006 and 2008.  For the next three Thursdays I will offer some of the many photographs I took on these journeys.   The weather was not always bright and sunny!

01 Glendurgan

Glendurgan Gardens – owned by the National Trust

02 Glendurgan

The beach at Glendurgan on the Helford River

03 Glendurgan

Glendurgan – The Beach

04 KingHarryFerry

On the King Harry Ferry

05 KynanceCove

Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsular

06 KynanceCove

Kynance Cove

07 LamornaCove

Lamorna Cove on the Penwith peninsula approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Penzance

08 LamornaCove

Lamorna Cove

09 LamornaCove

Lamorna Cove

10 LizardLighthouse

The Lizard – Lighthouse

11 LizardLighthouse

The Lizard – Lighthouse

12 Marazion-StMichaelsMt

St. Michael’s Mount – from Marazion

13 Marazion-StMichaelsMt

St. Michael’s Mount – from Marazion



Swanage-Apr09c (34)




The back of midnight’s moon

Is gifted me

Bringing a still

And total beauty

In its light across the calm waters

The path to it calls me

And I know

With an unfamiliar certainty

My faith can bear me to it

To that paradise in the sky

Heaven’s haven

Realised in this

So delicate a moment

My life transmuted

Into one of peace and serenity

The death of life


Meaningful rebirth

But even as I watch

The golden glow diminishes

   The pull of the pellucid path

Slowly fades behind the clouds

The chance is gone

For now

But I feel an assurance

That another day

It will be offered me again


with open arms

I will grasp it


Photographs:  WHB   ©


Collaborative poem – written by WHB, based on a prose description by Canadian artist, Alma Kerr, of an experience when looking, at evening time, across the waters of the Pacific, off the western coast of British Columbia . . .


A Dreamer No More


Ardminish Bay, Isle Of Gigha, Scotland – Photo: WHB  2001   ©


At The Sea’s Edge

I long for those times
When I sit by the sea
Breathe in the salt air
Feeling wanted yet free

Just to linger alone
On the beach of the bay
Is to lust after life
Till the end of the day

To cry out aloud
To the gulls and the terns
Will bring me alive
Till eternity burns

To feel the wave breaking
Its power at my feet
I would give up a fortune
My journey complete

Firm sand underfoot
I will tread as I go
Splash in the ripples
My delight I will show

I’ll follow the shoreline
and mirror its arc
The rocks I will climb
To the high watermark

Then I’ll trickle warm sand
From the cup of my palm
To steady my senses
Bring stillness and calm

I’ll melt into the moment
My heart will stop beating
I’ll hold onto the thrill
Though the memory is fleeting

But to sense you were with me
In body and thought
Would bring to my dream
Everything that I sought.

These are the moments
That I have longed for
My lifetime’s summation
A dreamer no more




What The Sea Discards

Detectorist2bWhat The Sea Discards:   Life with a Beach Metal Detector

The sea still surged,
The storm still raged,
The wind incessant,
A beast uncaged.

Amidst the tempest,
Calm, intent,
Body taut
And forward bent,

Moves this figure
With steady tread,
Seeking gold,
His daily bread.

Sift the shingle
Trawl the shore,
Seashore scavenger
Beach troubadour.

Autolycus, his
Ancient counterpart,
Plying his trade
With bleeding heart,

To find amongst
The sea’s debris
His longed for love,
Life’s golden key.

Something to clutch
Dredged from life’s tide;
A token wish,


Photographs by WHB:  On a West Sussex beach – October 2017   ©



Death Is An Unmapped Sea


Photo:  ‘On Chesil Beach’ by WHB – 2007   ©


Death is an Unmapped Sea

Day dawns and life now reasserts its sway;
Sleep ends and dreams now slowly fade away,
Leaving behind the gains which I thought real.
Reality and the sun the truth reveal,
That time has shattered youth and brought old age.
Shall I depart midst over-arching rage,
Those aspirations which I held most dear,
Abandoned now as hope gives way to fear?
Now that I’m hurt, unheard and unfulfilled,
Can I refute those truths my life distilled,
And face what unmapped seas fate holds in store,
Without a faith to bear me to the shore?



Summer Geese

Geese at QB-August2017b

Painting in acrylic by Canadian artist, Alma Kerr – October 2017  ©



I walk not with the summer geese

but I follow them

as they make their stately way

along the water’s edge

through the incoming waves

towards the seagrass


So beautiful

this sense that Nature and I

Are aligned

Working to the same end

Coupled in a determination

To follow our will

Into whatever the future will bring



Poem composed in collaboration between Alma and Roland – November 2017


A Trawler’s Resting Place

TheStade 6

Photograph at the Stade, Hastings, by WHB – October 2017   ©


THE STADE  (Hastings)

A Trawler’s Resting Place


desolate and deconstructed
now at rest
my remnant life
so inexorably sea-linked 
still confronted
and yet consoled
by those waves
forever beating
on the shingle
of my shore

here on the stade
in the first throes of death
it is my destined fate
to pass on my faith
to those who succeed me

for hope exists
rebirth is on offer
amidst the rigours
of a relentless sea
on my pebbled bed
above the tides
prow still proudly fronting
those endless tides
white waves
bursting at my bows

resting at last
only my memories
trawling my sea-going past
recapturing the rapture
of my vibrant youth
the courageous tenor
of my old life
now entombed
beside my brethren
brothers in desuetude
companions of my death in life
the mystery of my history
encapsulated in this
maritime minster
my tomb inscribed
with my exploits
within the planking of my hull
and the bulkheads of my carcass

but … no shipshape shrine
rather sea-scavengers paradise
Davy Jones the organ donor
salty entrails examined
my sea-going body parts
prized and picked over
human gulls
ancient sea-dog mariners
making claim again
to my once upon a time worth
my parts in death available
transplanting hope
bringing new life to old

what the sea has not already claimed
to tempt a new generation
regeneration offered
my hull disembowelled
stripped to its frame
rust freed
fading sea-life re-empowered
man’s eternal battle with the sea
love-hate affirmed
continued and confirmed
empowering new sea ventures

harbingers of a new generation
to be subjected once more
to the ocean’s
recondite whim
and arcane  grace