April on The Wirral

14 Apr

new brighton

Pale shards of semi-whiteness across the river mouth:

thin cranes and looming gantries of the docks.

Against them, a brighter whiteness,

a lighthouse layered in sharp focus on its rocks,

the causeway a line of dark in the murky sea,

gulls following in case scraps were left behind.

An unrenovated fort stands

(proud as the lighthouse), sand

beneath, the strip decreasing with the rising tide.

Children, crowded on the shrinking beach,

pull small dogs in and out of lapping waves

or scramble barefoot, risking a spiked ending to the day

on boulders that keep the invading sea at bay.

A small yacht motors calmly towards the open water,

heading for the mists,

a noisy boat pulls a smaller one

in looping spirals round

the lighthouse just for fun

and there are shrieks of fright

or glee

while shuffling figures watch

from a pontoon

moored by a buoy that guards the channel

in case a ferry should go astray.

Crowds, shops, cars

as far

as the eye can see.

A queue

to find a space and then

another queue

for toilets or a drink,

or sandwiches that by the time the queue has gone

have vanished too.

Shaking the sand off our feet

and clutching a picnic we steal away

further along the coast and round the headland.

Turning south we reach

a long flat beach,

the tide

by now almost to the horizon.

A few dogs chase each other or a thrown ball;

a car braves the boat ramp

driving in crazy rings

near the sea wall.

The crowds have stayed

near the shops and ice cream vans.

Here there is loneliness and space,

only a few miles away.

We eat, watching a huge stretch of

damp sand

spread out to a charcoal smudge of what might be


A horse thuds past,

cantering against the sky.

Could we ride, we wonder,

all the way out to Ireland

if we were foolish enough to try?


I don’t usually post two poems in a row but this was an immediate reaction to a lovely day out, and needed to be posted while the date was still appropriate. Dedicated to Flair, who showed me round The Wirral, and whose birthday is this week.


Posted by on April 14, 2015 in poetry



8 responses to “April on The Wirral

  1. Chris

    April 14, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Lovely and evocative 🙂

  2. jaymountney

    April 14, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Every time I post a poem I get more followers – today my novel went live (details next post) so I need followers… Seriously, I had a great day out with a friend from Liverpool and got it all down while it was still fresh in my mind!

  3. Kat Soini

    April 15, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    This has such a wonderful sense of place I almost feel like I was there with you, watching the sea and sharing a picnic! More poetry I say!

  4. jaymountney

    April 15, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Obviously I was actually there, taking the photograph! I’m so glad you like my poetry! It isn’t as angsty or philosophical as yours – but I do enjoy describing the real and the down to earth. You would have enjoyed the picnic.

  5. Marg

    April 17, 2015 at 10:10 am

    It is a lovely poem. I drifted past a few days ago to read, then forgot to drift back again to comment, but here I am:)

    • jaymountney

      April 17, 2015 at 4:19 pm

      I’m glad you came back! You would have enjoyed the day out. In some respects it reminded me of Broadstairs – slightly old fashioned and extremely English! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  6. Flair

    April 25, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Dear friend and what a lovely time we had. It is all encapsulated in your words.


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