Archive for November 7th, 2012


The Tides of the Severn (1982 – 2012 – 2042)

(“Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better”:  A. Einstein)


When free I cycled past Llanwern

Where all about was coated bronze,

And warblers chattered in the reeds,

And sang away the thumps of steel.


Then past the railway, orchard, church,

And out on to the flat and green,

Where grey was liberated earth,

And land was sea and sea was sky.


My bike had kicked the salt and mud

Until my legs were driftwood black.

As oystercatchers yelped and fled

I flew the bike to scatter more.


Then out as far as land would hold,

I stopped to place myself in life:

How distant Newport seemed and small,

Out here where worlds dissolved and flowed.


In thirty years I might return

To where that marshland used to be,

To find how even memories

Are washed away by rising tides.


In thirty years I’d look around

And note how cities fought the sea,

And blamed the sea, and blamed the sky,

And built their barricades so high,


And there I’d stand, a crooked man.

A mile inland from where I rode,

I’d watch the Severn lap the church

And wash away the graveyard walls.