One XI

11 of 12 in the ’12 months V’ series from Jemverse

With 'Dog Days' just beginning
July the first is here
for long hot days of summer
the ones I most revere
A child of summer born and bred
these are the days for me
getting browner in the sunshine
on the beach beside the sea

©Jemverse

Photo – Sally Croucher

[The ‘dog days of summer’ are historically the period following the heliacal rising of the star system ‘Sirius’ (known colloquially as the ‘dog star’). Hellenistic astrology connected Sirius with heat and the Greeks knew it as ‘scorcher’, a derivative transcription of the Egyptian word ‘spdt’].

The last West Pier II

Part of the ‘Past to Present’ series from Jemverse

I found it on the high tide line
after a night of fire
the Grand Old Lady of the sea
destroyed by spite and ire
Yet carried on an ebbing tide
along the coast to me
a memory of those boards I trod
now rescued from the sea
So though her grandeur is no more
complete her fall from grace
Brighton's West Pier always will
in history have her place

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics – Brighton’s closed West Pier, early 1980’s (pre fires).

On 28 March 2003 the pavilion at the end of the derelict West Pier in Brighton caught fire. Always presumed to have been the work of arsonists, yet never proven, it was still the final death knell for the grand old lady. Opened back in 1866 and surviving two world wars, the pier was sadly closed to the public in 1975. However, I still have fond memories of walking its promenade decks back in the 60s and early 70s. Who knows, I could have trodden the very board fragment I rescued and which now has pride of place in my back garden.

The pier head, summer 2002
My salvaged board fragment

Beaches

Looking out 'cross windswept beaches
though this one's far from home
a familiar feeling warms me
from all the views I've known
For here I'm in my element
close to the sea, my heart
a synergy that's part of me
and has been from the start

©Jemverse

Photo – the beach at Camber Sands, East Sussex, looking West – Jempics

Easter’s Grace II

Once some several years ago
In hallowed ground near here
I bowed and offered humber prayer
the beach and sea quite near
A little chapel on the shore
at Easter time at home
with crown of thorns up on the wall
for people to atone
And now as then on Saturday
the sun becomes the son
as at Easter his forgiveness
is complete for everyone

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Back again

I'm down at the beach hut
it needs no explaining
making the most of
the sun still remaining
the locks were quite stiff
from the salt and the rain
but they loosened at last
so it's open again
And so it will stay
now the Spring has arrived
and the long days of winter
we all have survived
many days in the sunshine
down here on the beach
sitting long at the beach hut
all within easy reach

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics (selfie)

When it’s found

For me it's usually in the sun
when summer's kissed the sky
and I'm down upon the beach
where slow seas quietly lie
But it can be most anywhere
just need wide open eyes
so you will spot it when it's found
and not be that surprised
Having said that when you find it
that 'je ne sais quoi' there
is always quite surprising
and may catch you unaware
for sometimes it's illusive
biding time for when it's right
as when it's found it's always
there quite evident in sight

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Of fortune and privilege

A horse wandered slow on the golden foreshore
as the sun diamonds shone on the sea
and high on the shingle the wolf wagged his tail
with my two daughters and me
Eastward we wandered this vista beside
our fortune and privilege known
a walk on the beach in winter sunshine
here in Sussex this place that is home

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Morning Dawning

Another early morning
and the beach is quiet and still
the sea a mirror calm
barely moving there until
the world around in slumber
slowly wakes up with the dawn
and I again am thankful
that another day is born

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Me by the sea

Gold on water evening time
on the beach into sublime
Westward walking all this mine
In Sussex by the sea

Sea air salty winter clime
far out there horizon line
evening shadows intertwine
In Sussex by the sea

All these wonders help define
the sea in me this storyline
of beaches with the weather fine
In Sussex by the sea

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Contentment II

Caught a sunset to die for on the beach in the gold
just there in time in the afternoon cold
and down on the shoreline where the waves meet the sand
just down from the shingle took in this view grand
And breathing in deep the fresh salty air
I knew perfect the privilege I had to be there
For this was a moment to seize for the day
and know a contentment in every way

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

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