St Mary of the Harbour

So, there’s already some words written
about me as I am today
But there’s more to make the story
complete in every way
For once I was much bigger
cruciform in shape
Part of Shoreham’s presence
on the Sussex south landscape

St Mary of the Harbour
I was known as when first built
before my western transepts
fell to ruin with a tilt
Gone by medieval times
my nave in disrepair
My walls retained the choir
with the tower remaining there

Five hundred years have passed since then
yet still some vestige stands
reminding folk that once my size
was wonderful and grand
St Mary of the Harbour
I still stand proud and tall
The parish church of Shoreham
overlooking one and all

 

©Jemverse

Photos – Jempics. Top – the ruins of the western transept walls. Bottom left – filled in nave arches against the standing tower and ruined nave walls. Bottom right – St Mary of the Harbour today. See also Church – 29/11/17

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Mother Nature (4) – Rapeseed

Celebrating nature over
seven vibrant days
Her hand of wonder covered
in seven different ways

Day four and back to yellow
and in May the fields of Rape
Amazing and spectacular
there on the landscape

That featured here on Bignor Hill
up on the South Downs Way
A field of wonder captured
on a sunny Sussex day

©Jemverse

From 3 through 10 December, Jemverse has seven poems to celebrate Mother Nature’s hand – a different wonder every day. Photo – Jempics

Complete

6 of 6 in the Jemverse ‘Shoreham’ series

There’s a view which here in Shoreham
is complete in every way
as it epitomises
all about the place, I’d say
It looks across the river
to the church up in the town
Enough to always take away
a trace of any frown
It’s a view which brings me pleasure
coupled with a sense of pride
of Shoreham here in Sussex
the place where I reside

©Jemverse

‘Complete’ aptly completes the Jemverse ‘Shoreham’ series. You can no longer see this actual view of Shoreham, so I’m really pleased I captured it in January 2012. In September that year, the old 1920’s footbridge was closed, demolished and eventually replaced by the new Adur Ferry bridge. The footings for the new bridge differ, changing the view of the town. Still good but not quite as iconic.

Shingle

4 of 6 in the Jemverse ‘Shoreham’ series

The shingle covered beaches
mightn’t be your cup of tea
But they’re all a part of Sussex
so that’s good enough for me
You might prefer the feel of sand
Well Shoreham has that too
For at low tide there’s great expanse
extending from the land

And the shingle has its treasures
revealed from time to time
A lovely bit of driftwood
or a seashell rare and fine
But best of all for me at least
are the pebbles which I find
Especially the ones with holes
to which I am inclined

So whenever I am down there
(a lot I’ll have you know)
I’ll search for one which has a hole
and homeward it will go
Shingle treasures cherished
and kept in easy reach
Tactile and quite beautiful
and found on Shoreham beach

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Quirky

3 of 6 in the Jemverse ‘Shoreham’ series

And I am a community
fascination here to pique
All along the river bank
quirky and unique
Houseboats here in residence
tradition to bizarre
Conformity is alien
I’m not particular
But I’m as much a part of Shoreham
as the townsfolk either side
Here on Adur’s mudflats
where my people all reside

©Jemverse

Continuing the Jemverse ‘Shoreham’ series, Quirky is all about the houseboat community on Riverbank. Moored along the mudflat banks of the River Adur estuary at Shoreham, the boats vary from the traditional to the not-so-traditional. The one in the background here is part of the ‘Verda’ community built, owned and resided on by Hamish, a local Shoreham sculptor. Photo – Jempics

Convenient

2 of 6 in the Jemverse ‘Shoreham’ series

There’s a house whose walls were green
but now they’re painted grey
Where for quarter of a century
we have been every day
It’s positioned in a little street
just up from Shoreham station
Fifteen minutes from the beach
if you’ve the inclination

It’s convenient for shops in town
and pubs for food and beer
So we know we are quite fortunate
to be living quite so near
And yes, you might have guessed it
from the many lines I’ve written
that Shoreham has a special place
with which we are quite smitten

©Jemverse

‘Convenient’ is 2 of 6 in the Jemverse ‘Shoreham’ series celebrating the little town on the south coast of the UK where we live. The picture here was snapped when the big tree opposite our house was felled in June 2015 after it had fallen unwell. It’s been replaced now with a sapling which is already growing tall.

Everything

1 of 6 in the Jemverse ‘Shoreham’ series

It has the downs, it has the sea
with a river running through
It has a thousand years of history
for the memories it grew
It has my heart, it has my love
with home right at the centre
It has excitement every day
for a spirit of adventure
It has unique, it has sublime
with everything for me
It has a name, synonymous
with Shoreham by the Sea

©Jemverse

Today sees the start of another Jemverse mini-series, this one being six poems about aspects of my home town of Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, UK. I took the picture used for ‘Everything’ in June 2014 from the beach side of the town looking back across the river to the 11th century tower of the parish church of St Mary de Haura. 

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