by Pete Marshall
The tidal surge that flows upstream
and creeps along through shallow creeks
the waders dip and search for food
as boats will rise from peaceful sleep
The sea will swirl across the banks
and fill the channels searching claws
that suck the souls of those who walk
upon the flats when tides no more
The cockle sheds still thrive with life
as wind blows through this busy wharf
and out to sea where boats once sailed
who gathered strength for England's cause
A walk beside this sheltered marsh
sees kestrels swoop upon their prey
and boats that sailed now gather mast
as tides will flow and drift away
Originally published at One Stop Poetry 6th Nov 2010
This poem is written about the small fishing village of Leigh - on - Sea, Essex, situated in the Thames Estuary. The artwork accompanying this is a pastel drawing by local artist Donna Cove.
I have known Donna for many years and her drawings are always a joy to behold so its been a great pleasure of mine to be able to show her piece "Abandoned" which was drawn on the marshes of Leigh on Sea.
Leigh is just down the road from me and is located on the marshes of the Thames Estuary. Recently it was nominated as the 2nd most desirable place to live within the UK. It has a great history, having been mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086. From here in 1940 a large flotilla of little boats were to depart and rescue British Troops from the beaches of Dunkirk. In 1620 the Mayflower was to dock here to take on provisions before beginning its epic voyage to the new world with the Pilgrim Fathers. In 1917 the famous writer H G Wells was to purchase a house here for his mistress, and John Fowles, author of the French Lieutenant's Woman was born here in 1926.
A walk down the cobbled streets of Old Leigh is a walk back in time. If you are ever visiting the UK it can be found, by train, about an hours journey from London.