Thursday, 2 December 2010

The Beached Margin

A week into British Summer Time, the season’s tide-tables just published,
Easter Saturday sunshine seeks out the apricot, copper and gold
in your breeze-burnished hair. Yachts circumnavigate the spit.
Saltation and slumping deposit purple-veined oysters among the limpets,
mussels and piebald pebbles that catch your discerning eye.
Turnstones race like toddlers between balls of washed-up sponge.
We clamber onto shingle from the esplanade and over a groyne,
whose posts are capped like heavy-duty molars, with rusty iron.
The tide-raked beach invites us to play: dig tunnels with spades,
swing out over the channel, or leg it up a springboard
and swallow-dive into the sea. Beyond all, there’s the sight of you,
beachcombing along the tideline, that’s enough to summon starfish
twirling across the waves to pirouette on a patch of pristine sand.



After Edward Wadsworth, 1937

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