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Romney Marsh

It may at first seem
Quite remote -
Soundless. Colourless,
Like some half-forgotten dream.

Desolate. Shadowless,
Save for those
Of the ancient blackthorn -
Stunted. Leafless,
They are tossed and torn
By the cold, salt-laden winds.

But this enchanted Marsh,
According to the season,
Has many a different mood.
Only beneath a winter’s sun,
Is it hostile, subdued.

For a thousand years or more
The sea has been driven away -
To reveal this vast and lonely land
Of varied hues. Brown and gold.
Edged by ridges of sea-washed sand.
Withered grass. Ragged weeds,
They cannot help but sway
In the winds, bleak and cold.

I watch the sullen skies
In the water. Resting,
Dullest leaden-grey and deep.
I hear the calling
Of the sea-birds, circling
Amidst the grazing sheep.
Echoes of loneliness
In song. Cries to break the stillness,
Carried swiftly along
By the cold, salt-laden winds.

Romney Marsh in Winter


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© Helen Lyon 1999
All Rights Reserved