Northwords Now Issue 35

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Under Grizzled Skies

by Robert Leach

Under grizzled skies the dark North Sea
Thumps and thumps the listless sands.

Gulls squat and paddle in the rushing shallows,
A handful of plovers peck a bit,
Skip a step, run a yard or two
Through the dreary skeins of seaweed
Yawing at the water’s edge, and a heron
Lands lazily, stands
Gravestone still, grey and black.

It’s barely a breath
In the lungs of eternity.
Then –

A man with a dog – the dog,
Frisky with freedom, trot-lollops
To the tide-line. The birds
Bridle, reluctantly retreat. The dog,
Desolate as abandoned love, leaves

And there’s only the surf-topped swell
And fall, swell and fall – time’s nocturne
Like a dull hammer on a dull anvil –
Till sulkily, the birds return.