When the tide is out,
for long man and his companions
stand proud together,
facing the western horizon,
full of promise.
Inevitably the tide turns,
heads back towards the shore.
Wave after wave comes closer,
at first harmless,
but soon a sea of troubles.
The forward phalanx slowly disappear from view,
then ever more of his companions.
Soon the waves lap at his feet,
up his legs, to his torso.
He is alone.
The occasional wave splashes right over his head,
yet recedes. He endures,
again and again submerged.
Unbowed, he is the survivor.
The primitive force of earth and moon spent,
the waves slacken, begin to recede,
new hope kindled.
Soon the heads of companions appear
in the lull of a wave.
New life, new companionship,
the promise of idyllic times again…
The cycle of earth, of life,
* * * * *
Inspired by a high tide at Antony Gormley’s Another Place on Crosby Beach, where 100 cast iron figures face towards the sea at varying distances from the land. In my mind this presents a metaphor of the wave of troubles now besetting us human beings, with the effects of global warming, the floods and wildfires, the species extinctions, the pullution, the failing societies, shortages of resources, the covid pandemic, the rise of nationalism and inequality, and on and on. Nature tells us there will be a way through, but many of us may not like it…