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Evening peace, Cavendish Dock, Barrow by RG Head - Lancashire Poetry

PUBLISHED: 14:03 20 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:30 20 February 2013

A poem by RG Head

This old se wall is vast, and stays

Implacable to time and tide,

To times and tides and weather wild

In autumn stillness, evening light,

The sea is hushed, is smooth, is still;

A grey glass mirror to the sky,

And not an oar disturbs its peace.

The sky itself is featureless, dove grey,

Except at highest zenith there, above:

A little patch of blue and pink.

And Walneys long dark spread

Lies horizontal, left to right:

An artists brushstroke of dark grey,

Laid flat and uniform and drab:

The shore where Fox, the Quaker

Nearly died for blows and stones

The crass mob rained so long ago,

His blood upon the shingle spilled.

His only thought to give them peace

Those very stones must still be there!

Now quiet in dusk, this nearer shore

In nearer times has often sent

With brass band blare and waving flags

The great ships sliding to their launch

Stern first to the channels high flood tide

Which stirred with slow and waveless swirls:

The startled sea reared up, and churned

Their huge propellers in reverse

As drag chains flung the slipway dust

Sky-high and far the mid-day glare

Far south, a small red cliff of clay

Hides Rampside and its causeway road,

But Piel Isles little huddle stands

Revealed: the castle ruins, and

The inn, its dormer windows bright,

And rowing boats from tides clasp pulled.

Here in the foreground, in the ebb,

A crumbling tower of falling stones,

Mute, grim, and broken, whispering not

The raging storms it has withstood

The lighthouse beams from Morecambe Bay;

A seagull shriek the silence breaks

In the hush of many evenings

Yet to be, this place, these islands

And this sea, O will they still seem

The same, and marvellous to me?

RG Head

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