The image is inspired by ‘The Wave’ a woodcut by Japanese artist Hokusai, created 1829/1833, the first of thirty-six views he did of Mount Fuji. I have obviously replaced Mount Fuji with Scarborough castle. It is a mix of collage and acrylic paint.
Once a writer puts their work into the public domain, it is for the reader to discover meaning and emotional connection if it is there for them find. So please read the poem and make what you will of it. On the other hand, I enjoy hearing from writers about their own take on their work, so that is below too.
The Day the Sea Froze Over at Scarborough
I walked to the shore as usual
and all was silent,
the scream of the seagull froze
above the un-pounding waves.
The crystal curve caught in mid-plunge,
surely the weight of it will crack
the prism, release what lies beneath:
the crab, the weed, the worm?
People stand and stare
at the roar-less sea, there’s ice enough
to burn a thousand tongues,
cold enough to ache.
The starlings fly and drop
and reform once more, our comma,
our full-stop, our question mark
punctuating the sky.
Even as I walk, the thaw begins.
Water droplets blindingly glitter,
slush edges the beach,
the dregs of souring ice cream Sundaes.
And we who have seen
turn to comfort one another
from the glare of others’
The Day the Sea Froze Over at Scarborough is a classic ‘what if?’ poem. The first time I saw snow on the beach, I was surprised. And I have always been interested by paintings of frost fairs on the River Thames. I began to ponder, what if the sea froze here? I enjoy watching nature and this has also gone into the poem. Lastly, but maybe most importantly, is the final verse. This covers a host of situations where a small group has seen or experienced something which others do not quite believe.