Crystal blue, as a boy,
The Tyrrhenian Sea stuck sand to my skin,
Sparkled joy in my heart.
Laughing with my father in his boat.
Shellfish collecting from tidal pools.
Laying in the warm sand with Veronaia.
Such memories I brought to the Saxon Shore,
Called by my youth.
‘Centurion do your duty, stand guard!’
And I still do,
While fat, dark bees and occasional butterflies
Dance with the Marram grass.
Shin stinging through summer seed heads,
You step over yellow flowers
That dot the dunes.
Millennia here, my bones
Beside the ever shifting sea,
Gradually becoming sand beneath your feet.
A blue brown hue, the eastern tide is often wild.
Calmed today, warm salted breezes blow
Lulled white clouds huge across the sky.
Gentle, I wonder how relentless waves,
Sighing against the shore,
Might yet show mercy and begin to take me home.
Winner of the Poetry section in the 2016 East Anglian Festival of Culture writing competition.