A Time to Skim Stones

Spectres on the headland
through coarse calling gullets
the song of the cliffs
and white wings
hold the green under breast

and furl it under
and up
cassocked grey tuft:

saints on a wind-licked

Silt has smothered the rocks
that mackerel-bodied boys dived off
and gushed
through salt blue effusion
and up
to those blackened crowns
torn from the cliffs, like
falling into the sea.

Men whose hair was the colour of the stuff
Labradors leave behind the Aga
wrought from the rock,
with many-creased palm,
steps up to the old slate house,
before they wandered into the caves
and passed out of remembrance.

Naked infants thumb the year
hewn into the steps
and pick at the scallop shells
cupped by the tides
and killed against the rocks,
lain still like thrown rice
brushed under chapel pews.

And families pass through
for a time to skim stones.
Hooded purple and blue
ink blotches on the sea’s lips.

And a dog called Gelert
is running through the children
and the foaming troughs,
spinning out his opus in the wavetops.

Those opal-eyed ministers
call for it all,
and elapse,
spirits on the
spindrifting spray

Featured Image – Berit on Wikimedia Commons with License

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