Standing on North Marine Drive.
Fronting North Bay Foreshore
Thinking how far inland I'd have been
I'm the time of the old Danelaw.
One thousand years ago
Where did the coast used to be
How many villages, homes, farms
Now lie under the sea.
Did the long ships slide ashore here
Was it the scene of fights to the deaths
Was this land soaked with blood as
The defeated drew their last breath.
Coated now in concrete with boulders,
Shore defences against relentless tides
I wonder what ancient history
The ground underneath hides.
Overlooked by its ancient castle
Standing on its rock promontory
This part of the coast seems
Dominated by long past history.
Five hundred years it's stood
Majestically looking down
Now it's just in ruins but
An essential part of the town.
Night and day the constant sound
Of tides as they ebb and flow
Relentlessly pounding the land
In their cycle of come and go,
Smug and secure in the knowledge
That what will be will be
And in due and proper course
This land will be eaten by sea.
I stand with camera raised
This crisp December day
To photograph waves, risking
A soaking by the flung white spray.
Childhood memories refreshed,
The sea bringing a certain release
It is time to return home
I am happy and totally at peace.