The Sun, The Sea, The Oyster-Catchers And Me. - Poem by Tony Jolley
For all his indisputable majesty,
King Sol’s royal arrival was accompanied
Merely by the muted, grey obeisance of the occasional, low-lying cloud
And the discordant, yet somehow strangely mournful anthem
Of a lonely, wheeling Herring Gull who had obviously set his alarm all too early.
Even the sea seemed mildly disinterested,
Indifferent to the first subtle reflections and refractions
Graciously gifted by the sovereign’s slow ascendance,
And washed and lapped rather than waved and crashed
An altogether bare acknowledgement, well short of a welcome.
It appeared that only the Oyster-Catchers were gathered in greeting,
Their seek-in-the-sand, strict-tempo formation
Elevated to an energetic splash-dance of quickstep and stab
Sixteeen to the dozen in all directions
As if frantic to find pearls to present to their coming king.
Then there was me.
I saw his gilded state-coach crest the faint horizon
And burn a bright hole clear through Old Harry
To cast a chalk eye at his slumbering, coastal kingdom
And upon one subject who couldn’t meet his glowing gaze
And bowed before his glory.
A ‘Moses moment’, I mused, looking vainly
For a cleft in the concrete sea wall – a cleft that wasn’t there.
They don’t make rock like they used to.
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