BACK IN TUEBINGEN IN NOVEMBER FOR TUEBINGEN/DURHAM 30TH ANNIVERSARY ANTHOLOGY LAUNCH

BACK IN TUEBINGEN IN NOVEMBER FOR TUEBINGEN/DURHAM 30TH ANNIVERSARY ANTHOLOGY LAUNCH

6.8.14

ST. MARY'S ISLAND, WHITLEY BAY


FRIENDS OF ST. MARY’S ISLAND

Around the low water mark,
kelp beds grow.
Network of rockpools,
boulder shore.

Long-legged bar-tailed godwit,
expert
at finding
mud and sand-living worms.

Seabed of rocky reefs,
shipwrecks dived within and around.
Wrasse and lumpsucker.
Seashore Code.

Remembered rambles,
geology jaunts.
Soft coral communities.
Relic dunes.






















THE BEACON


A St. Mary’s Light
incandescent
with rage.
A three ton lens,
balanced
on a trough of mercury,
kept revolving,
round the gas mantle,
by a simple pendulum 
wound up
on the hour.
A climb
up 137 steps,
inside the 120 foot tower,
a hiss of flame,
clamping 
of a prism
constantly
turning.
Since medieval times,
across the ocean fields,
this beacon 
has burned,
blinking
on the drink.
Years sailed by,
memories
of shipwrecks,
of Russian soldiers
cholera-wracked
in 1799,
of the ‘Gothenburg City’
and rats with chewed tails.
These heartbreaking waves,
the illumination
of shafts of history:
the rays
and days
of a shining Empire
sunk.




KEITH ARMSTRONG



the jingling geordie

My photo
whitley bay, tyne and wear, United Kingdom
poet and raconteur