In the background

On the main drag, by the hide,
a skeleton tree
empty of hangings now
stands calmly

Reeds brush the sky:
blue is removed from blue, and
strange calls are raised in protest

Then they subside
as if knowing it is too late
for beauty, when everyone
believes the same lie

A bunting poses in a nearby bush
and there is movement
just off the boardwalk as we sit
almost sheltered

There is no salt here now,
and no bread, but
the sea will come in again;
tides will turn

whether I am here to witness
or have passed by, despairing
of making a difference

Yes, the sea is always there
in the background,
a gift of faith

sometimes thrown back,
sometimes too strong to resist


This was written after a visit to the nature reserve at Cley in North Norfolk, which had been inundated by the sea and then came back