This cycle of poems was written over seven days at Ballyholme, Co. Down. Beside the stream that flows into the wide sandy strand, there is a Viking grave. It is a special place.


word music

I

mellow
misty
mournful
moments
minding
me of
memories
made
many
moons ago
moving
swiftly
moving
slow
'cross
Perseus
by
Mars
my mind
is made
of minute
minutes
just
like these

made
once

made
mine

made
whole


II

below the
windmill
down
the lane
where
Nancy Spain
yet
lingers

in the
dank dark
air
you kiss
me 'gainst
the thorn freed
bush

your hair
a mass
of
rain drops

and
as your
hand yet
moves to kiss
my hollowed head
by surgeons made

I touch
your slender
thighs

as
spirits
fly
amidst
the scents
of broomtime


III

bells and gulls
send out
their calls
to
faithful
fickle
fellows
and as I
waken
from my dreams
it seems
to me
I am yet free
if
I could yet remember
the power
of mine
own wings


IV

by
this groin grey
languid sea
you took me
and
I take thee
to walk along
the
lip lap strand
as hand in hand
and
side by side
the tide doth
push and pull
the shattered shells
a'tumbling
while out
upon
the severed point
to our amazement
wild geese graze
upon
the sea sad sand
as far
beyond
the curlew's cry
the pot men
fish
their tiny boats
set still
in the silver sea
as
I with thee
and thee
with me
leave foot marks
in the sand
'til
tideturn
time


V

beneath
Scrabo's
solitary claw
she creeps
along
the loughland shore
slip sliding
over slobs
'n shingle banks

hiding in hollows

hanging in the air

just off the ground
without a stir

moist
mellow
maddening

this was not
a will o' the whisp
this is the mist
radiant
'neath the rising sun
blanketing our earth
as one
softening
shrill sounds
covering
smothering
choking

yet

in a moment

gone


VI

lying
in the morning sun

gull cry

shadowlands

safe
soft shore

I feel your hand
in mine
yet
you are gone
for
four score years
we have not run
stolen
sadly
one by one
as mist before the sun
I lie alone
and wonder
what would have been
as glow on glow
and row on row
the town below
awakens
and
I
for one
am not yet
done


VII

last night
I felt
a change
a'coming
across
the wide sweep
of our bay
from thigh
to thigh
the stars so lit
the sky
that we could be
as Vikings
you and me
landing as
for the first time
upon this wooded shore
first stepping
the virgin sand
to slake our thirsts
and passions
at the mouth
of the torrented stream
no light
except a crescent moon
no fear
except a solitary deer
astride a grassy knoll
no fright
except a flight
of busy babbling gulls
chastening our boldness
almost
as one


VIII

today
the air is clear
all mystery is gone
awakened by an early call
I saw the sea afrothing
against the clay cropped cliffs
but now
some hours since
as light crept up
beyond the sunken brow
I wonder now
if life will be
as it was then
a moment
in God's diurnal game
of struggle strife
of mist of light
of living and
yes
yes
the loving
O
yes
the
loving




Poetry by Peter Humphreys The PoetBay support member heart!
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Written on 2008-02-17 at 20:46

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Chris Fernie
Dear Peter,

Thank you for taking me to your special place, which reminds me of my lonely, heroic 'voyages' around Heysham harbour and Sunderland Point - ''... the church was in ruins, the sea was reclaiming the land..'.

Yours is a truly epic piece of writing, worthy of a Viking bard, methinks!

Cheers, Chris
2008-02-17


Rob Graber
"and
I
for one
am not yet
done"

What a wondrously sad and lovely piece this is!
2008-02-17