A Day In Devon

by Michael Keeling

Flanked by brambles
where toad flax strained to light
and pink thrift hugged the ground,
the cliff path wound its way
defined by nature’s edge.

Tempted by blackberries
we paused and picked
till fingertips were stained
and the chill wind
made walking essential.

Far below, a rock-flanked beach,
dotted by sheltering sun-seekers
and impervious children,
boasted parents, with wet-suited bravery,
feinting to surf.

Above, scudding clouds
weakened the sun
landscaping light and shade,
while temperature demanded
quickening footsteps.

Away to the horizon
a flotilla of sails signalled a regatta
where bodies bent and sinews strained
to keep afloat
and winning took second place.

Home from the cliff path
cheeks glowed
and tired frames settled comfortably.
As the evening light faded
a Mahler symphony was broadcast from the Proms.


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