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Miriam May 4
Surging forward ,then drawing back
Whispering,fizzing,ebb and flow
Abruptly returning before you know
White tipped army eager to charge
Abuzz,bubbling,runaway,absorbate
Skimming the sand,skulking and skittering
Resting and retreating before next burst
Boldness,beauty and wonder collide
This is the turn of the sea tide
A poem simply about the sea and its tide
Copyright © mhawley 2019
Chris Slade Apr 17
When the skylarks would warble hover and sing
at about a hundred feet, high on the wing, and we…
on a heat clicking Sunday between Salt End and the sea,
well we knew - just from the ozone, on the breeze
that we’d be off …a shimmering heat haze convoy of old crocks,
Bud, Margaret, Brian and me to Tunstall,
a diminishing, mystical land of sun, sand, sea - and tumbling rocks.

But it wasn’t just us…it was a cavalcade - motors galore.
Uncles,  Aunties, Cousins, Grans, Grandads and more
in Austins, Morris’s, Vauxhalls and Fords,
And a big old Rover wi’them wide running boards,
a motor bike’n’sidecar with Maurice, Denise & our Val
to wring the best from the day a’la Plage de Tunstall’…

The beach crackled in the heat…
if you walked too slow it’d burn your feet.
and our Dads, our ‘civil engineers’, built a brick oven and in a
giggling gaggle… Mums cooked a real Sunday dinner.
Kids’d run back & forth to the sea and back
buckets & spades, hacking big holes and shots in goal,
cricket with fallen rocks for a wicket and,
after pudding, burying drunken dads in the sand.

Heavy, wet woolen cozzies, sand in groins,
...changing in turn, under a soaking wet, gritty towel.

“Don’t dry me with that, Ow! Buddy hell - watch my sunburn.”
Then, all back in the cars, for our return
into the sunset and driving away.

Chaffing sore shoulders.

Chuffing good day! - yeah…Parfait!!
Memories of an East Yorkshire childhood. Let's hear it for Tunstall.
We all have heard the stories
Of spirit ships and ghosts
That sail upon the oceans
And up along the coasts

This tale is a whopper
And I'll not forget the day
So as God is my witness
Listen now, to what I say

We were sitting in the tavern
Telling tales of days of old
When the door, it burst right open
And Bill came running from the cold

His face as white as ever
Like he just had seen a ghost
When we told him that we thought this
He said " I did, just up the coast"

We laughed and ordered whiskey
To warm us up inside
"I did, by gum, I saw it"
"I saw the Nell McBride"

"There's no way that you saw that boat"
"It's been sunk a hundred years"
"A hundred sixty" said a voice
As we tended to our beers

"The Nell McBride was lost boys"
"Late eighteen  and fifty nine"
"You didn't see her Billy"
"She's sunk down in the brine"

" I did" said Bill , "I saw her"
"I was standing  on up the beach"
"She came out of the clouds there"
"Aw, Bill... cut back on the screech"

"I haven't had a drop today"
"And you know, I don't tell lies"
"I saw the Captain up on deck"
"I looked right in his eyes'

The wind was really howling
We all huddled round the fire
As far fetched as the story was
Old Bill, he was no liar

"The Nell McBride was lost at sea"
"All 14 men were drowned"
"The ship went to the bottom"
"And no bodies were found"

The barkeep chirped "We have ghosts here"
"I have seen a few"
"With all those lost at sea near here"
"I believe in them, don't you?"

We laughed at him and Billy
Ghosts, nope, dead is dead
Bill just sat there shaking
He believed the words he'd said

Now, me, I was a pup then
Just a minnow if you please
But, I sat and felt my hair rise up
I'd not heard of ghosts like these

"The last time the Nell McBride"
"Was seen was in ought four"
"Old Johnson, at the light house"
"Said he saw that ship and more"

"They proved Old Johnson crazy"
"All alone out with the light"
"Was just the moon a playing"
"There was nothing there that night"

Another man chimed in then
"Old Johnson was no loon"
"His diary says he say that ship"
"'Twas no trick of the moon"

"Okay then boys, tomorrow"
"We'll meet here and head on out"
"We'll see the ghost out sailing"
"Or we'll see that she is now't"

The wind was really whipping
It was getting louder as they sat
Nobody was heading home
They were safer where they sat

"Ghost ships sail the waters"
"I believe to warn us still"
"I believe The Nell is out there"
"I believe in our boy Bill"

"There's tales of ships and mermaids"
"There's been sighting of great whales"
"Their stories boy's just stories"
"They ain't nothing more than tales"

At this the wind was screaming
Like a wail now or a scream
My hair was up directly
This could only be a dream

"I remember when Mike Watson"
"Said he saw that woman all in black"
"Waiting on her rooftop"
"For her husband to come back"

"I remember that as well" said Bill
"God, old Mike he loved to talk"
"He saw her on the roof in black"
"On the iron widows walk"

So, tomorrow it was settled
We would meet and hit the coast
Watching for the Nell McBride
Waiting for the ghost

"Boys, we never made it"
"We don't talk about that night"
"See, Billy boy, he left us there"
"And he disappeared from sight"

"Turns out Billy Boyle"
"Drowned early in the day"
"Was it his ghost come calling"
"It is not for us to say"

"Bill Boyle washed ashore you see"
"About two...yep he was dead"
"So just was it that came to us"
"And said the things he said"

"There's ghosts out on the water"
"Like the ghostly  Nell McBride"
"I swear and cross my heart now"
"But, boys...you must decide"
elle Oct 2018
starch light, wet wood
leaves drip overhead

I look out my window,
morning sweeps up from underneath, pink light
the mist over our fields, guides me to the coast

hanging rows of laundry,
gravel under bare feet
the wind sighs through my sheets,
and sings herself
into me

I keep changing my address-
and fresh dew lights the way
no concrete stairwells or cigarettes
no tab on my path,
just laying in the grass

with a new book. with my quiet thoughts.

I’m a girl in the woods,
here to greet my big sea
and touch the dirt with my heart
I'm a girl
inside my mind, and right beside my body
I don’t need your city. I am

free
since i was small,
i wanted to live forever.

every dawn is a hit of reality
and i’m eager for another.
and another.
and another.

i exhale, my cool breath hitting the air -
flavored with desperation;
is it so wrong to want more?

i wilt, only slightly, thinking about the end.

when i slouch in my chair,
i feel my heart shift closer to the soil at my feet

and i do not sink in the midst
of the flood -
i do not lose myself in the rainwater
pooling at my ankles -
i do not clench my eyes shut,
fearing where i will go
when i do

i need this more than you,
i swear.

and when i feel the back of the chair
digging into my spine
or the quiet, creeping ache of age
tugging on strands of my hair,
i resist; i deny it

the adrenaline of dawn’s kiss
is my defense against the rot,
but the night reminds me
of being small with skinned knees and a medicated wish.

i surrender, subject to the infestation of memory -
yet, my oldest prayer continues to echo
in every inch of this room:

sempervirens, sempervirens
(always green, always green)
first draft
Angelica Apr 2018
I grew up
by the seashore
Never learning
how to swim
Saw sunrise
turn to sunset
As the lazy waves
turned in

Years of watching
the horizon
Spent changing
with the tides
The ocean breeze
still pulled me home
The deep blue
still mystified
Eyes cracked open like

the clam peeking out at sea;

the morning beckons.
KiraLili Aug 2017
The window framed you
Your eyes took in the ocean
As I gazed on your Renoir reclined figure
The satin sheet on your hip
Matched the frothing waves beyond
You saw the sea
But I saw what the threads laid bare
Living Impressionist Paintings
The water swells,
small waves roll into the beach
the ocean,
sends it's soft thundering
to where we sit amongst the driftwood
-contemplating the hazy obscurity spread before us.

The sea's gentle rumbling
is that of a slumbering beast
a deep
                slow
                        breath
in
            and then
                                           out.
waiting,
for the season to change.
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