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Written after my first visit, on a bright but very blustery day in late April


Ten thousand golden crystals carpet waves
Which, wind-whipped, surge ... and splatter on the wharf:
To sun, a splintered mirror; naught but slaves
To tempest, set relentless on its course.

Along the emptied quayside, thus assailed,
Two dozen watchmen, pink- or yellow-washed,
Hold fast their line of brickwork barricade
With which the coastal landscape is embossed –

A terrace pierced by worm-holes, climbing steep
To splice the blustery harbour set downstairs
To gentle bustle 'long the village street,
Where shops and taverns beckon with their wares.

Aligned in blissful conjugality
March coupling courses, ceremonial,
To rocky spur, emerging out the sea
Like Venus – there the siren temple calls.

Beyond, more houses cluster round about
A few thin lanes that wind the rugged slopes,
And somewhere rise a church-spire and redoubt
Set in a frame of pine and myrtle groves.

High overhead the verdant cliff-top towers,
Hospice to lizards, flora tinted greens:
(oak, bay, and cactus, quenched by April's showers)
Turquoise on lime, or jade on aquamarine.

From lofty heights sound plaintiff, mewling cries
Of ever-present gulls; they hover, wheel,
Then swoop down to the swells to seek a prize,
Angelic fishers. Hearken their appeals!

The salt-sea air is punctuated by
Selections from a palette of perfumes:
Here cloying olive and sweet roses vie,
There fragrant lilac and the citrous broom.

On azure chaise beneath cerulean shade
That haven-cradled hamlet, lackadaise,
Lies soft with all its restless charms displayed,
By Time's embrittling fingers barely grazed.
Whilst we, who merely glimpse it, ponder and give praise.
ten thousand golden crystals
on azure chaise beneath cerulean shade
hospice to lizards
flora tinted greens
a palette of perfumes
angelic fishers
photos: Stephen Alsford

Created: November 17, 2014. © Stephen Alsford