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.
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.