Friday, 21 August 2009

St Ives

Summer’s turning cold

even with a southern breeze

and crazy seagulls mock a falling day

expecting winter fish


but children still bob like seals in the cool sea

or skim flat stones from a beach,

reaching for a sense of water.


In the wind, kites fly up, parallaxing clouds

and hot smoke leaps away from chimney stacks.


Grounded, sixteen old and puddled tables

that could fodder more than a hundred people

sit empty.


At dusk, an archetypical truth;

this place is water, air and fire and earth.




  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Beautiful imagery! I love the inclusion of all four elements. (by the way, that deleted comment was me, I was accidentally signed in under someone else).

  3. I visited this poem from twitter - thank you for it. St Ives is my home town, so that and the regularly-visible seals resonated for me! You might enjoy my own poem on the four elements, maybe? It's here: - but scroll to the bottom for the poem!

  4. PS I agree completely with your strapline on words mattering, and Blavatsky's comment.

  5. A great story told in a concise narrative. Nice work.

  6. My childhood home,
    St.Ives in Sydney, Australia, surrounded by bush,
    we played in the creek down the road,
    we had mulberrys and honeysuckle in the paddocks,
    there was a huge apple tree left from the orchards of long ago,
    we were Pirate Kings and Robin Hoods men,
    the summer sounds of cicadas loud enough to hold in hand,
    sunlight dappled by gum trees,
    just an ordinary ideal idle childhood in Australia really,

  7. My world away from St.Ives,
    after the deaths of my parents from cancer both,
    after Dad went first, and Mom went next,
    knowing the horror awaiting her,
    after the storm that tore through while we wandered through
    all the debris of our mother death,
    after the bunfight of the will and silliness,
    after years have passed,
    and I still return,
    to mow the occasional lawn,
    of living and deceased neighbours,
    after time has flowed like some treacle from a jar,
    my St.Ives is now others,
    it's history in suburban size,
    where the universe can find some mention,
    where life is lived on a smaller scale,
    but large in it's own way.
    Seize the Day!
    And let the past be remembered.

  8. Sorry for being rude and intruding my St.Ives here. Thanks for the great poem, beautiful.
    Such a contrast to St.Ives in NSW Sydney.
    All the best.

  9. Just beautiful. The images are so sharp and concise. I love "crazy seagulls mock a falling day".

  10. I love this poem. Although I am not from St. Ives, the image of skimming flat stones takes me back to The Finger Lakes and my youthful yearnings that the summer wouldn't end.

    Beautiful poem. Thank you.