Cuckoo Days

 

From Berrow Church across the dunes towards the tide-swept beach

With flotsam nudged up on the shore 'til it lies out of reach

Where dogs run freely in the sun and masters call in vain

And sticks are fetched and dropped so they can just be thrown again

Where eels have left ghost tracery round pink shells pressed in sand

And names that have withstood the waves still show their authors' hand

Where early trippers claim their pitch and happy children call

As fathers unload seats and rugs to find that bat and ball

Inside immobile homes and tents the families awake

And youngsters champing for the off while breakfasts mothers make

Beneath the hill the cafe waits with smells to tempt the tongue

And metal stallions gird their loins to carry jockeys young

Ahead the climb to stand atop where Celtic Man once chose

To make his home and build his tribe while scanning seas for foes

Within the shelter of the rocks the goats still gently graze

Protected from the heat of day and from the public gaze

From below the alien screech of bright-plumed cockatoo

Mingles with the seabird calls against the dome of blue

Brisk walkers snake towards the fort where Frenchmen toiled through gales

To build defences 'gainst their kin within the sight of Wales

Out in the Channel past the isles where Vikings made their base

Container ships of motor cars surge through the tidal race

The Quantocks rim one skyline yet hold within their sweep

An ugly nuclear blockhouse with dangers in its keep

The Weston piers stand grandly behind the sails of red

And speedboats stitch between the waves while gulls wheel overhead

From old Brean Down to seaside town a curve of shimmering bay

With bluebell haze and cuckoo days to greet the month of May.