Lindisfarne is Just Across

His spirit is there,

And I’d like a few words 

But his bones are adored now

Under an ornate pile of masonry

On a bend high above the Wear.

His spirit is not far. Just over there

Across a couple of miles of mudflat,

Over the singing seals.

There’s nowt between Cuthbert and me

Save the gathering tide of disbelief

That smothers the footprints of Cuddy’s duck

And man, as though they never did exist.

Families of geese bell in

From Spitzbergen, and are pleased

To find a few bits of seagrass, 

But it’s pizza for me.

I’d better switch the oven on,

And give up gazing at stranded sea dragons

And frosted kelp, and seamarks stood about

Like totems of pagan priests.

A tide of change sweeps in and smothers

The tiny twitterings and haunted tickings of black ooze

And the stillborn burrowings of billions.

Now in the dying light across the flood –

The flight of birds, the cries, the beat of wings:

Eider, Sheldrake, Greenshank, Wigeon, Whooper,

Piper of the Sands, the Peewit, and the Smew,

And at the end of it all – calling the night down –

The Whaup.

Harry Nicholson 17/8/22

About Harry Nicholson

I once bred Beveren rabbits in all colours. Today, I'm an enameller who works with a kiln, fusing pictures in glass onto copper. On Amazon is my novel, 'Tom Fleck', set in the North of England of 1513 - the year of Flodden. A sequel to 'Tom Fleck' is 'The Black Caravel' published in 2016. My anthology of poems came out in 2015: 'Wandering About.' Recently I published memoirs of my time in the Merchant Navy: 'The Best of Days' and 'You'll See Wonders" I've a blog of poems, stories and art at:
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