Trebarwith Strand

Raymond Friel

Evening station:
two bucket seats, glasses
on a handy sill.

The bristly sea
half-fills the big basin
of the headlands;

on lower slopes
crocosmia smoulders
in the coarse grass;

hydrangeas
spill over the stone wall
of Treneglos

(hortensia
like a blousy barmaid
at the pumps).

The roofs of shops
(towers of beach clutter
locked in the dark)

draw the lazy
eye to the sun’s minted
after-image.

The sky in this
lighter aquamarine,
just, than the sea.

Perfect, you said,
bar the off-centre plug
of bird-white rock.

That, you’d leave out
your composition: Sea,
mixed media.

     *

Two hours before,
Sunday’s low-key high tide
prompted retreat

for sun-reddened,
half-cut generations
with Cool-It tubs

and rolled-up mats;
a wet suit dragged along
like the charred skin

of Icarus.
They stepped uncertainly
on slippy stones –

burbles of spume
prodding at red-raw heels –
nudging children,

steadying the old
onto the solid platform
of the world.