Oh Borth, you’ re a wild one!
Half in the maw of Cardigan Bay
Those houses like bunting
All strung out for the day.
As between mortar and pestle
Where the sea grinds the land,
Here rock becomes pebble,
And pebble becomes sand.
A Rufty-tufty little town
That lies like the Maginot line
At the end of the salt marsh
Where the sheep come in brine.
And the holiday makers
Run down to the sea.
And remember what it is like.
When they could just, simply be.
Bernard’s work has appeared in many publications including, Aesthetica Magazine and The Edinburgh Review. In 2017 a selection of his poetry ‘In Free Fall’ was published by Leaf by Leaf Press. In 2019 he won second prize in The Aurora Prize for Writing for his poem Manor Farm.
Oh Mr Oystercatcher, with your orange-red bill
and long scarlet legs; you make your way along
the shoreline, piping your call as you go.
Is it because this is your land, your territory?
Because you have young, safe in their nests?
Or because this wide stretch of cling film water
is yours, is yours to wade in, to fly over, to hunt from?
What right have I, in longing to stay in this place?
Today’s a new day, time to move on, discover, rest, reflect.
As a small parcel of seaweed floats north with the tide,
and you, Mr Oystercatcher, resume your wading, feeding,
I thank God for this special place and offer it to Him,
… and to you, Mr Oystercatcher!
Hilary is a North Yorkshire-based writer and poet whose passions are: faith, family, linguistics and language, landscape, people watching and travel; her writing is infused with these.
‘Hit the Ground Running’ was published in 2013. She has co-written/contributed to other collections. Her new book, ‘GASP’ is released later this year.