Poetry – Bridlington Bay – an ode

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

Walking past,

Habituated to humans.

We stopped to admire

The Gansey girl,

Frozen in time,

Waiting patiently

On the pier.

We passed the facades

Of the Punch and Judy and the clowns,

Past the brightly coloured

Beach chalets,

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,

Whose connections

Were renowned.

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

And words

Set in stone,



Peering out to sea

And contemplating

The nuance.

Just a few hours

In a tableau

Stretching back

Across centuries,


Of unrelenting, gradual change –

Onward into the unknown.

A tableau

In which

We play

A fleeting role,

As Bridlington Bay


Opher 6.1.2019

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.

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