Bridlington Bay – an ode
This morning we walked the shore at Bridlington Bay.
The cold still air on our faces,
The winter sun gliding through the sky
Peeping through the misty cloud
Like a moon
Lost in the daylight.
On the beaches the dogs played,
Running free on the wet sands,
Sands revealed by the retreating waves,
As seagulls circled and swooped
With raucous calls.
In the harbor the sanderlings and sandpipers
Pecked a living from the mud,
Industriously trotting and bobbing
To pick invisible morsels,
Oblivious to us.
We walked the length of the bay and back,
Past shuttered ice-cream parlours,
Closed museums and deserted funfairs,
Stranded speed boats and the pirate ship.
A flock of Turnstones skimmed
And wheeled across the wet sand
With black and white flashes
Of wings and body.
A speedy flock,
To swoop and come to rest
On the edge of the promenade
Under the balustrade,
Ignoring the dog walkers and couples
Habituated to humans.
We stopped to admire
The Gansey girl,
Frozen in time,
On the pier.
We passed the facades
Of the Punch and Judy and the clowns,
Past the brightly coloured
Waiting for summer.
Then back to the plaque
To the two Hawaiian Princes
Who introduced surfing
To Britain from this very beach.
Who had their boards fashioned
By local boat builders.
We read about the exploits
Of Amy Johnson, of Lawrence of Arabia,
Nelson and Captain Cook,
Then coffee and soup
Overlooking the bay
As the light played
Across the beach and water,
Creating a changing
Mosaic of beauty.
Back along the promenade,
Reading the poems
Set in stone,
Peering out to sea
Just a few hours
In a tableau
Of unrelenting, gradual change –
Onward into the unknown.
A fleeting role,
As Bridlington Bay
There is something magical about walking by the sea. In winter, when the place is shut down and there are no crowds to push through, we see a different side.
There is a beauty, a peace, and time to contemplate. Nature is evident, going on around us, used to us, ignoring our presence.
Among the deserted trappings of the gaudy entertainment it is easy to imagine the intransigence of our presence.
When we are gone and the evidence of our presence is confined to a layer in the rock the bay will prevail.