Wednesday, 13 July 2016


First published at Silver Birch Press

Somewhere there are dark clouds.
Somewhere the oppressor grief adds his heavy weights.
Somewhere there is war, or struggle, or suffering.

But not here.

Here you can see the mild sun
shining in a cloudless sky.
The moving river seems perfectly still,
filled with floating reflections.
A man from long ago
reclines on the sand, a rod in his hand,
although he doesn't care if nothing bites,
and a little fair-haired boy, his youngest,
kneels near him laughing in pure childish delight.

Let me fill in some things you cannot see.
To the right is the boulder-made breakwater
where the river empties into the incessant sea.
To the left a little fleet of trawlers
sits quietly moored to a jetty.
Hidden too but fixed in memory
and fundamental to the scene
are his other children, playing in the sand,
laughing and splashing in the shallow water.

Hidden too is the woman, his wife,
who seeing the moment and capturing it, said:

Here. Take this gift and carry it with you.
See what joy is.
Know how it is made of small, inconsequential moments.
Cherish it. Always remember,
no matter what comes or what clouds descend,

this still blue day,
lying on this sand, rod in hand
while the children splash and play.

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