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Tuesday 25 September 2012

On Pagham Beach.

Have you noticed how events that seem not to be connected often seem as though they ought to be?

I am sitting on a wooden bench seat
on a pebble beach, face towards the sea
in a high wind, beside a boulder carved
from worthy motives to a shape that fails
to lift my spirits, make that famous surge
of pure adrenalin. It sits there, squat,
sufficient in its heft, its small brass plate
a telling of the fact that off this beach
the well-known harbour - Mulberry - was born.*
A few weeks. Fifty sections, each of some
six thousand tons. I've often wondered how
the German spotter planes could miss so much.
The plaque explains: the builders sank each piece
as it was finished. One would not refloat.
It lies there, visible at each low tide.

A young man pushes a twin buggy round
from six O'clock, almost collapses on
the far end of the seat. Falls forward, head
resting on the handle of the buggy.
Fast asleep - while tucked inside, two twin boys,
identical, are also sound asleep.

From 4 O'clock two more young men. Also
in charge of twins. Two more identical.
The men themselves the same. Three pairs in all,
so something in the world's great scheme of things,
its hidden depths, is working its self out!
The new (child) twins are older boys. Lower
infants, I would guess. They carry buckets
full of bits: short lengths of wood, match boxes,
twigs and paper cups, boat shapes and plastic
items which they take down to the sea to float
them there. On each occasion though, the large 
waves sink or swamp them and they pick them from 
the water run up to the rock, climb on,
and lay their treasues in the sun - to dry!
The high wind promptly blows them off. They weight
them then with pebbles or with sand and try
to fit them to each other. Like maybe
they are jig-saw bits. I fantasize now.
Are they building their own Mulberry... but 
no, it doesn't work. End! cries one. They sweep
the boulder clean and run back to the men.

The man beside me rises, walks away to 9 O'clock.
The other two - at that exact same moment -
turn, depart the way they'd come, but stooping.
Flicking pebbles. The pebbles fail to skim.
The waves must always have the final word.

* Here


Brian Miller said...

ha you had me right there...engrossed in watching what they were doing....i def look for those connections as well...the waves though often do have the last word.....great to see you again sir...smiles.

Mary said...

You are quite the observer of life, Dave. I was right there with you as you watched, pondered, and fantasized. And yes, the waves always DO have the final word.

kaykuala said...

Wonder what they were up to! The most amazing is 3 sets of identical twins all at one spot. Quite a spectacle to see. Yes, the water's having the last word and the Mulberry their secret! Very observant narrative, Dave! Very interesting!


Shadow said...

You are a people watcher of note, loving your observations today.

Elephant's Child said...

Twins always fascinate me, as does learning. I had never heard of the Mulberry - thank you. I also am often looking for connections/answers where quite possibly there are none.
And yes, the ocean always wins.

Carl said...

That a gem. You set the scene so deftly and left us ready for the people to come onto the stage. Nice piece Dave.

Linda said...

A real gem, Dave. Thank you so much for sharing.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Yes, I agree, "the waves must always have the final word."

Dave, are you apart of any poetry anthology?

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Mesmerizing lines. Perfect the waves at the end. I really sense “the last word” that has always been theirs.

Steve King said...

What wonderful details that seem to fit together as one. The sea has always been waiting there, and the waves always have their say. Very provocative poem. Love the voice. Nice work.

Tabor said...

The ocean is our permanence isn't it? And the twins do not know.

pam prince said...

Brilliant scene setting - I enjoyed reading this.

Dave King said...

Yes, sometimes everything seems connected. Other times it's all fractured. Must be my state of mind, I think. Thanks for.

Ah, really good to have a fellow fantasizer! Thanks.

I quite agree. I thought three sets of twins was the amazing bit. What chance of that happening in such circumstances?

I am a people watcher, that bit's true! Thanks for the kind remark.

The Elephant's Child
Me too, twins fascinate me greatly. Maybe something to do with my child development studies. We studied twins quite a lot. Thanks for your response.

Thanks Carl. My one regret was that I hadn't taken any pics. The poems don't come at the time, but usually after I get home. Then I discover that I've taken all the wrong things!!

And thank you so much for saying.

To answer your question, not really, no. Maybe I should look to that! Thanks for your interest.

Yes, indeed. I'm sure that must be so. Thanks for your kind words.

Hi Steve and welcome. Good to have your company. Much appreciate your comments. Thank you for them.

Very true and very perceptive. That wouuld have made an excellent angle. Thanks for it.

A very warm welcome to the blog. Thank you so much for your visit and for commenting. Really good to know you enjoyed it.

Ygraine said...

The power of Nature has the final say!
There is a lot these boys - and the rest of us - could learn from Her if we would only enter into silence and listen...:)

Carl said...

Dave - Tocomment on your comment. I have the other side of the problem. I will be out hiking and have the whole poem come to me out of the blue, but not right it down. The pics don't help me recapture the poem. I have to carry a notebook and stop to write it out when the lightning strikes. Poems and fragments come to me much like dreams and are just as elusive to recapture.