Sunday, 28 April 2019

Rooks





Dear Reader,

After a pretty trying week looking after my sister who has dementia, Francis and I went down to my favourite place in Dorset, Lyme Regis.  Enjoying a well earned rest we stayed at an airbnb in the town, and spent much of our time in the sunshine on Charmouth and Lyme beaches.  Francis played his bagpipe on the beach, which amused lots of people.

But the interesting thing to recount to you was the absence of seagulls.  This is the reason.  Two enormous birds of prey called Winnie and Kojak patrol beaches in Lyme Regis to prevent visitors having their sandwiches, fish and chips, or ice cream stolen by the gulls. Apparently through the summer months the eagles will patrol the promenade on their owner's arms.  Their presence is enough to stop hundreds of seagulls from swooping down, tests have shown.  The Lyme Regis Town Council has tried other methods to deter the gulls but nothing has worked as well.

                                                                              *

Rooks

I was fourteen,
when I first heard
the call of the rooks
caw-cawing
their eerie cries.

From a Cornish cottage garden
I walked down through
dark woods to the beach,
a remote place,
just dunes, sand, the sea
and me, a confused, angry teenager,
with the rooks caw-cawing in my ears
disturbing my thoughts.

Even now, in later years,
whenever I hear whispers from the wind,
or sea lapping over large grey stones
ever forward, ever backward,
glimpse a faraway horizon
and see twilight descending
darkening the sky,
the rooks in large black groups
flying high towards
their evening bed,
cawing, cawing, cawing,
my heart misses a beat
and an unexplained sadness
overcomes me.

                                                                      *

With very best wishes, Patricia

1 comment:

Eugenie said...

This is wonderful! The story of last week, and the poem, are brilliant and evocative.