2020, Lockdown, News

Seeing Sea with Sara

I came to see the sea, after months lockdowned in the woods
The dogs went berserk, yelping, clawing windows, changing seats
As if they too recalled the route, smelt the sea, sensed the light
Or knew of my childhood when my mother, like every other mother
challenged ‘6p for the first to see the sea’.

We walk, Sara and I, her dog, my dogs, released, bumping, sparing
we walk down industrial lined fields, Barley hairy blue green
and this year onions on the other side, being irrigated, gifting
a rainbow to us passing. It is the dryest May on record.

It is the path Sara walks every day, knows, yet knows far more
this lockdown time, time to walk without haste, empty of other
stuff to occupy the mind, it absorbs the stuff in front of the eye
the extraordinary emerging of spring, the detail of bud.

Oaks dwarfed by the challenge of sea wind, offer their branches at eye level
for us to see the baby acorns forming on the Pedunculate oak.
In 63 years I’ve never considered the sex life of trees, but here now,
we photograph in amazement.

Across the reed beds we walk, the dogs way ahead, spike ears
on shingle bank checking our slower talking progress.
The sea, the sea, clear, delicious, unhindered,
Oh to stretch the eyes, and mind to exchange and find our common lines
as we walked on sand and pebbles, then sat and talked, of Pinker
major and minor keys, reading back our histories, finding patterns
in our lives, repeats of wasted times in dead end thoughts, then this

Keeping distances from others now gathered on the shore,
we turned our backs and walked up the street indulging
in a light pastry and coffee, before calling it a day. Dogs smellling
sweet of salt, replete, sank into seats, and I returned to the woods.

Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea) and Pedunculate Oak (Quercus robur),

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