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Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The Pier: A Poem by Pete Marshall


The Pier

I walked along these wooden planks
as wind would lash and tear my face
the seas would crash beneath my feet
and rain would strike my inner faith

my eyes stared down as feet trod forth
my coat was buttoned, drenched but warm
the gulls would screech and ride the storm
as depths were dredged and hope reborn

upon these planks that Satan swiped
who’s bombs would fall in darkened nights
but seas would swirl and hold its strength
as planks were walked and centuries spent

A tram would pass and catch my eye
as lovers kissed a mile goodbye
A child waved through misty glass
the planks were heavy, wooden paths

and blackened skies and cloudy greys
that hid the shores of Kent’s parade
would mark a time when boats would rise
and clouds would clear from weeping eyes


****************
In the Thames Estuary stands the longest Pier in the world, Southend Pier, reaching out to 1.34 miles. There are times in my life when my mind needs cleansing and there is nothing more refreshing, whatever the weather, of a walk along this Grade II listed landmark. 

The Pier has a history dating back to 1830. It has been spoken of by Sir John Betjeman, mentioned in the Hitch Hikers Guide to The Galaxy, and thwarted Hitler's plans as a major landing stage during World War II, serving over 80,000 ships. To me however, the Pier is and has always been part of my life. As a child my parents would often taken me on weekly walks along this landmark and today I still enjoy and celebrate its beauty.

This is my poem for One Shot Wednesday, run by One Stop Poetry, a fast growing site dedicated to poets & writers of all genres.


image courtesy creative commons flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimdelaney/

60 comments:

anthonynorth said...

You captured the atmosphere perfectly.

william said...

I almost felt as if I was walking on it, great imagery pete, you are a prolific writer, no doubt about that :)

Emmanuel Ibok said...

I enjoyed the flow of the poem...could hardly notice the stanza...and you brought the imagery to life with your words. The rhymes put it all to bed.

Nice work, Mate...Cheers!

n. davis rosback said...

enjoyed poem, note and photo.
thanks in sharing.

Caty said...

such a great description, I now feel like I've been there myself. Loved the photo as well. Thanks for sharing :)

tuberider said...

This is really great. I had no idea Southend Pier was the longest in the world, nice that you put some history into the poem.

Steve said...

Reader encompassing, intense description, utilizing a structured-rhyme style (that I usually don't care for, unless the writer is excellent, as you clearly are. . . I'm basing this on all the poems I've read from you thus far.)

Exemplary work, my friend. :)

Brian Miller said...

thanks for taking us on that walk with you pete...hope those clouds roll away soon...smiles. nice one shot!

signed...bkm said...

a beautiful read and the flow of pulling the ebb and tide of the pier's history into it....make it come alive.....thank you ...bkm

SuziCate said...

What talent that you can take a piece of history and make it flow with such eloquence. Brilliant!

One Stop - The Place For Poets, Writers & Artists said...

I can feel the solace sought through the ages.

What a great piece of poetry - giving life to this pier that has seen so much

A One Shot masterpiece


Moon smiles

dustus said...

"as depths were dredged and hope reborn" so many great lines in this one, Pete. thanks for sharing the significance of the spot too, both personal and historical. Stellar flow

Carrie Burtt said...

Pete this is a beautiful poem...i love the flow and rhyme...there is something about being on a peir...

Maureen said...

I enjoyed this, and the wonderful backstory. I especially like the concluding line "boats would rise and clouds would clear from weeping eyes"; it's a lovely image.

alex said...

love reading your poem
):)(:(

Beachanny said...

If all you did was give us the vivid image, your work would be brilliant; but it's not all you do. You tie each observance to something real, and something emotionally observed. Truly gifted work, here. Thank you.
Gay @beachanny

Nick Rolynd said...

Amazing imagery, not to mention the emotions...I loved the flow, the subtle and off rhymes. Honestly, great piece!

TALON said...

You gift-wrap the past and the present, Pete. Beautiful.

haisley said...

another work o an artist pete....good poem!!!!!Great one shot la!!!!

Wild Rose said...

Loved the lines and the photo is great. Amazing imagery and next time you will have to come hunt me down Pete haha won't come till you do :)

I love the new background..

Boonie S said...

Powerful piece. Thanks for this.

All the best, Boonie

stryka66 said...

Great write, Pete - took me all the way...

River said...

I enjoyed this poem a lot. It flowed, tapped into emotion, and good imagery. :)

gautami tripathy said...

Beautifully captured and such great flow.

the middles makes it

heartspell said...

Such a lovely share; in verse and story... I'm glad you still have this place of comforting refuge. :) heartspell

Eric Alder said...

Southend Pier sounds like an awesome place to take a walk.

And, since it's the world's longest pier, nobody will tell you to take a long walk off a short pier.

Nice One Shot, Pete!

Leo said...

I sort of find inspiration in the rain, rather than it striking my faith, but I like that imagery too, Pete! lovely poem and One Shot!

My One Shot!

Desert Rose said...

Your poem is so much inspiring Pete! you are a natural..impressive imagery and amazing flow, it worked perfectly for me..:)

the photo is MIND BLOWING..:))

Claudia said...

with the first stanza you managed to draw me into this poem and made me feel standing myself on that pier...
liked the flow and the historical reference

Steven Marty Grant said...

Sounds like a magical place

HisFireFly said...

I join the chorus singing that youbrought this place to life!

Nessa said...

You made it sound like a place full of ghosts.

Belinda said...

Great poem. Sounds like a very special place.

Lovely Annie said...

I was so caught up in the imagery that i actually sighed in relief when I learned the coat was warm despite being drenched! Powerful...You really took me there, the balance of the light and dark is present in so many ways!

Awesome One Shot!

Mama Zen said...

Lovely imagery! I could see it.

Asobime said...

Very atmospheric....and reminds me of some of Wordsworth. You are in excellent company then...LOL!

Good cadence, good rhythm....and great imagery....flows very well.

Good job!

Best,
Lady Nyo (also known as Asobime...a very ancient Japanese word for whore..I think)

CM said...

Such rich history and your words recaptured this. I've never heard of this pier, but now I'm curious. Off to Google it...thanks for the history lesson!

Terresa said...

The poem evokes history in a pace and flow that move along, as I'd imagine, the water in the Thames.

I visited London last fall for the 2nd time in my life, and was loathe to leave it. It stands, to date, as one of the cities I've fallen in love with. I envy you this Pier.

Shashi said...

Very vividly picturised and I could almost walk the mile with the "Kiss" and wave the kid good bye... I loved the way you have captured the scene...

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
I will great if you connect with me at Twitter @VerseEveryDay to read daily #FreeHaiku on love, life and longing

Bill Cook said...

Nicely written. I have a similar affinity for piers. - bill

John's comments said...

Real emotional pain below the surface of the words at what lost and what remembered. And binding with briars our joys and desires. Hope your week goes well.

Pete Marshall said...

thanks anthony...knowing you, you have probably walked the damn thing

Cheers William...and thanks for that i appreciate it

cheers lordy..your comments are always a pleasure

cheers N.Davies..great picture..really worked well

hi caty...thanks for that..they did link well cheers

Pete Marshall said...

cheers tuberider...yep its massive...and just keeps going..makes sundays walking so refreshing...a mile out to sea..the wind is amazing...really does blow away the cobwebs

hi steve...thanks i appreciate that wonderful comment..cheers pete

Pete Marshall said...

cheers bri....i appreciate your kind words

hi bkm...many thanks..yes it is so alive!

cheers suzicate..that was a wonderful comment

Pete Marshall said...

cheers moonie...masterpiece..like that my friend

cheers dustus...it was a good write for me...ta mate

thanks carrie...am glad you enjoyed it

Pete Marshall said...

hi maureen..to know the area would make the line "boats would rise" more significant...southend pier is on an estuary and when the tide is out it is just mud flats that the boats sit on!!!!!

cheers alex

Pete Marshall said...

cheers beachanny...your comments really lift me..thanks my friend

thanks nick...i appreciate that..

thanks talon....thats a great comment about gift wrapping it

cheers haisley

Pete Marshall said...

hi wildrose..chase me off the pier..lol

cheers boonie...

hi alec...always a pleasure to see you around..like that "took me all the way"...

thanks river....

Pete Marshall said...

cheers tripathy...thanks for commenting

thanks heartspell..yes it is a great place to be at times

cheers murk...i like the word motivated

cheers eric....mind you you can easily walk off the end..re the lack of barriers.....

Pete Marshall said...

thanks leo...the rain striking your face can be refreshing, awakening and painful...

cheers desert rose...great photo that captures it so well

thanks claudia..glad you liked it

cheers steven..yes it is an amazing place

Pete Marshall said...

thanks firefly...then a job done good..cheers

cheers nessa...i suppose it could be viewed that way..with the history associated...and in the past there was an amazing ghost train that used to run at the end..until the ship ploughed through it one night...

Pete Marshall said...

cheers belinda...yes it is

thanks mama...

cheers asobime...thats a compliment

hi cm...hope you enjoyed the study

cheers teressa...the pier stand just before the mouth of the thames as it enters the north sea..glad you liked london

Pete Marshall said...

cheers shashi...i like the lines you picked

thanks bill..they are a wonderful, walk..theres a sense of freedom whilst still being intouch..

thanks john..very perceptive

The Muse said...

venturing back into the world of words...must say i was pleased to be able to read your work, pete. history is a fascinating subject and to breathe even more life into its ancient bones, is more thrilling...
i am sure you have heard bravo, but i have to add one more!

Amanda said...

Amazing description...felt as if I was there...you are such a wonderfulpoet my friend x

Cindybrown said...

That was nice!! I felt like I was there!!

Christine said...

I feel so at home with this poem as I spend many an hour on the pier here in Eastbourne. The way you describe the wooden planks which have been walked on by so many is really vivid. Brilliant work as always.

Christine

Anonymous said...

have been reading your poems from wordpress.

its an outstanding poem pete. very beautiful.

trisha

Doubtfulpoet said...

Oo I almost said I've been there! Really enjoyed it, you took me there and told me a great vibrant story ;) Thinking I must be doing something wrong now, where do you get time to do everything lol xxxx

senderupwords said...

as lovers kissed a mile goodbye... WOWzers. Nice write Pete. Nice One Shot. Love and Light, Sender