A Cliff Walk In North Devon When I Was Twelve
I was walking along a cliff,
It was late afternoon and a cool wind blew my hair,
Below was the casual sea in its commotions,
In and out, out and in as if
It would catch out the very tides.
I could see the wet sand and slowly appearing pools
Where my grandfather caught netfuls of prawns while we,
My sister and I, caught four or five between us.
But that day I was happy alone and walking along
The high cliff. I breathed the healing salt,
Stared at the sea moving and suddenly had
Such a sense of exaltation,
Such certainty that all was well with the world
And I was one with, at ease with everything,
Reconciled to the humdrum hurts of life,
Knowing for certain that some invisible Power
Had fashioned the turning seas and the tides and moon
And made me for some purpose as yet unknown
But something, however small or large it was,
Only I could achieve but need not hurry.
No, must not hurry but move in accord with tide,
Collecting the changing moons, being grateful and glad
That for a moment or two I could see creation
Planned and purposed and somehow achieved by love.
from New and Collected Poems