David Shoestring

Rookie - 260 Points (Birmingham)

Wembury Beach - Poem by David Shoestring

How jolly it is still on Wembury beach
To see bright waters lit with sun,
And proud parents shine with glee,
Watching their noisy offsprings run,
And chased, splash with shrieks
Into the frothy, slippy sloppy sea.

Many were the timeless, childhood summers spent
At Sherford Road, from where on Sundays we went,
Packed in Uncle’s Alfred’s Ford Consul, two by two,
And driven sedately down to the blue,
Blue remembered summer sea,
Phillipa, Andy, Peter and Me.

We drive past Wembury Post Office and local shop,
Where we stopped once, I remember
To buy a bottle of pop,
And I saw hanging there, three or four
Brightly coloured Beach Balls
In a net beside the door.

And outside the shop, dangling from overhead brackets,
Cricket bats and tennis racquets
In many colours; each made from plastic
And attached to a ball by a length of elastic.
Can I have an ice-lol, or a penny bar of choc?
Aunt Miriam says I must be careful;
I’ve only brought one frock.

We bounce down narrow winding lanes
Clutching bags of newly purchased sweets,
Sitting on soft coil-sprung upholstery
And slippery leather seats.
Gnarled hedges, wild grown and Devon high
Stretch up to a blue, blue summer sky,
Hiding from our young eyes the sight
Of distant moors to the left, or the sea on the right.
Not seeing perhaps,
But knowing still where we were soon to be;
Dancing excitedly on rock-strewn sands,
Beside the frothy, slippy sloppy sea.

Down, down towards a sheltered half-moon bay,
Past lime washed stone built cottages
Shuttered fast against the storms.
Down to little Wembury Church,
Shepherding on the beach below, the silhouetted forms
Of tiny fishing boats, which congregate and stand
Embedded in a ring of tidal sand;
Upturned, the unsighted hulls point towards the sky;
A sand encrusted starry-gazey pie.

And always, the wretched, anguished cry of gulls
Swirling high above the fishing boat hulls.
As from the Church we look out and see once more
The Mewstone, bathed by a languid, sun speckled sea.
And below on the beach, children playing, just as we,
In the wet gritty rock strewn sand,
Beside the frothy, slippy sloppy sea;
Phillipa, Andy, Peter and Me.

© David Shoestring

Topic(s) of this poem: beach, childhood, england, landscape , nostalgia, sea, seaside

Poet's Notes about The Poem

‘How jolly it is’ are the opening words of this verse, an old fashioned expression chosen deliberately to reflect an older way of life in the 1950’s, a time of simple childhood pleasures as then untouched and unsullied by the advent of today’s modern technology.

For those unfamiliar with England’s geography, the village of Wembury is near to Elburton, a suburb of Plymouth and very close to the south coast of Devon, and where my wife Carol spent many happy summers with her cousins at their house in Sherford Road. This poem is written for Carol and her cousins, Phillipa, Andy and Peter.

Revisiting recently, it is wonderfully reassuring to see that so little of the landscape has changed in this tiny corner of the world, and that the same simple pleasures exist for the children playing on the sands, and for their proud parents that ‘shine with glee’.

David Shoestring

Comments about Wembury Beach by David Shoestring

  • Edmund Strolis (10/29/2015 6:11:00 PM)

    Do you know that before even glancing at the photo your words had already painted such an image that had it looked any different I would have been surprised. My goodness what a glorious poem and what a fortunate man to have enjoyed these vibrant and stimulating shores. Slippery leather seats, fishing boats embedded in rings of high tide. Each impression as wonderful as the next. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, October 29, 2015

Poem Edited: Thursday, October 29, 2015

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