#NationalMarineWeek 2021 24th July – 8th August. Fifteenth Day August 7th: Shoreline, Have you written unpublished/published poetry/artwork about the shoreline ? Poetry and Artworks/photo challenge. When a week is sixteen days to account for the tides in Britain. Here are the second eight day themes: Aug 1st: Crabs and other crustacea, Aug 2nd: Rocky Shorelines, Aug 3rd: Mermaids And Sea Monsters, Aug 4th: Sea Shanties, And Other Sea Songs, Aug 5th: Ocean Vegetation Aug 6th: Deep Sea Aug 7th: Shorelines Aug 8th: What Should We Do For Sealife?

Fifteenth Day -Shoreline

Shoreline 3shoreline by Geoff HolmesShoreline 2


-All photos by Geoff Holmes

Beyond The Bounds by Geoff Holmes

Beyond Bounds by Geoff Holmes


Welsh shoreline by Steven Stokes

-Steven Stokes (chwydd y môr – Welsh for ‘sea swell’)

Sea E-Scape

Relax, close your eyes and listen
to the gentle sound of salty waves
lapping against a sun kissed shore
feel the delicate sea breeze
admire the orange tinged sunset
gaze upon the far away horizon
which seems impossible to reach
and know the fear and doubt
can be overcome
in the secret and secluded sea scape
of your mind

-Diane Rossi


The only sure lines in life
are those drawn by the maker.

A tiny turtle who speed-skitters to reach the surf,
what is his life worth ?
That sharp-eyed ever-present shadow,
is hard-wired to hunger.

Each nip of a lobster claw,
every dodge of beak and maw,
life becomes slightly better prepared for.

Coping strategies for limpets to hold on.
Anchoring to sea grass with a prehensile tail.
Hiding amongst floating weeds until the coast is clear.

But when the tide dumps you onto a beach
like a refuse pile,
amongst other refugees you mingle,
Scratting amongst steamy bladder-wrack
slipping twix bits of stony shingle.

This is No Man’s Land for whale, mermaid, turtle;
because limbs so agile out there,
drag without the buoyancy of water.
Opportunists rub their hands –
a Gull’s sharp beak plucks defenceless turtlings
from beach to sky,
where it is all but certain now, these little mites,
before really living, will die.

Nature is crueller than Jimmy Saville.
Only some species survive the transition.
Ones who tolerate salt, wind, drought ;
Ones who eat other ones slow on their feet ;
Ones who manage to return to their natural habitat;
Ones who avoid being boiled alive by people;
One is a small number.

To survive a shoreline requires specialist skill,
sense to select a sure line your life will take.
Is it instinct, or luck, which determines,

-John Wolf 7th August 2021.

shoreline by ann mcdonald

-Ann McDonald

Costa Brava by Ryan Gibbs

-Ryan Gibbs (First published in Mediterranean Poetry)


.head above water – a swimmer’s perspective.

Metaphorically, i have spent much of my life, keeping my head above water.

Dealing with life facts and disappointments, not forgetting the quiet times to help the work along

I lived on the coast, played by the sea

As a child, I floated gently until all became spongey. Now I swim head above water, up and down obsessively counting, hoping all will come clear..

Friends in water talk more, baring much, reflecting their clothing

I am drawn to water, my work reflective. Writing, swimming, painting, drawing.

I collect cuttings of people in water.

“a diary, a personal relationship with the landscape.

“Shoreline would be more an exploration of the concept….shorelines more related to actual examples…..how about that?

Shoreline…..an ever-changing interface……between 2 media…..2
worlds…..can be crossed in both directions, but only temporarily?……but
aren’t we only here because something had the courage to cross
permanently…..something emerging from the sea is such a powerful
image….turtles, ursula andress in dr. no, monsters from the deep…..and
why do we find it such an attractive place to be
xx salty”


Sea Shanty

I’ll sing you a song of the foreshore and strand
Way down Redcar
I’ll sing you a song of the foreshore and strand
And we’re bound for the vertical pier.

Then howay, pet, howay,
Way down Redcar.
So tara to all you who bewailed the cost
For we’re bound for the vertical pier.

Sing ‘Hello there Beacon, all shiny and new,’
Oh, down Redcar.
And ‘Hello steps up to the wraparound view,’
For we’re bound for the vertical pier.

Then Howay, pet, Howay,
Way down Redcar
And tara to all you who bewailed the cost
For we’re bound for the vertical pier

And this is Redcar

You’ll love it here. There’s sand and sea. Sometimes there is sun. And sex is not unlikely.
The wind turbines off-shore add to the attraction, don’t you think? Look at them milling their arms like old lady giants at a keep-fit class.
The beach is wide – ideal for dogs and horses too. Watch out for the shit. Just on that stretch though. There’s family sand nearer to town.
You should’ve seen it when we came on club trips as kids. You couldn’t move for deck chairs, windbreaks, kiosks selling jugs of tea. And shuggy-boats and that high slide we used to climb, clutching a little mat to sit on, glide down again. These days, there’s roundabouts and trampolines.
There is a pier – maybe you haven’t noticed? It’s vertical. Looks like a helter-skelter. Some say it’s an abomination. I like it though. Do you? It catches your eye, scintillating purple in the sun. And you can climb it like a spiral staircase, come out at the top, view the town, the waves, the length of beach.
Oh look! The sand’s all gone down there, swept away by storms last month. A morass of mud now amid the remains of ancient forest – see, stumps, branches, roots, at least 7000 years old, they reckon. It’s really brought the people in. Hundreds more than usual
though it’s always popular here on Sundays, a multicultural crowd strolling along, facing that North Sea wind, buying lemon tops from Pacitto’s, eating chips in the refurbed shelters near the water-spurts.
That way? That’s South Gare. You can watch tankers head into Teesport, visit the little village of fishermen’s huts, crooked chimneys smoking.
Over there? The steel works. Closed down. They’re dismantling it.

Undercover in Redcar

We scan the beach, note
the exuberance of dogs bounding
across the sand into the waves,
peer into flotsam – sea coal, crab claws,
razor shells, the vertebrae of fish.
The sea has set them out;
displays them warily; sidles
up to check their whereabouts.

On wet shore, horseshoes sink, tracks
confused with paw marks, footprints.
At South Gare, we miss the steps,
scramble instead over the rocks, haul up
by rusting No Entry sign. A tanker
heads in to Teesport, noiseless under
the wind’s bluster, the churn of waves.
We survey through our binoculars.

Tugs close in. Dwarfed by its bulk,
they chivvy the ship their way and it goes
quietly. Round the corner, fishermen’s huts
are shuttered, hunkered down
against the searching wind. One smoking
chimney signals as we walk past.
Down the road, in the hulk of steelworks,
one light pretends that things go on as normal.

4 stanzas in the North Sea wind
In hulk of steelworks, one light pretends that things go on as normal
though the blast furnace is turned off, coke ovens extinguished,
a community of workers left to cool five years ago
in the North Sea wind.

Sea coal, crab claws, razorshells, the vertebrae of fish,
footprints, pawprints, hoofprints,
the runes of sanderling and oystercatcher
honour the North Sea wind.

The pier is a beacon, draws you to its verticality.
Offshore turbines, bright as local Lemon Tops,
transmute energy, wring electricity
from the North Sea Wind.

Turbines’ feet become mini-reefs where the benthos
spawn, forage, shelter – molluscs, bivalves, worms,
echidnoderms stirring up carbon, foundation of our world
beneath the North Sea wind.

Redcar, March

Windy Redcar beach.
Caterpillar tracks lead us to another age.
Creatures once light and fluid
lie heavy now in dark stone.

Sea water fizzles, bubbles
round smooth stones, sinks.
Lugworms extrude their sand-spaghetti heaps,
wind-strewn white feathers cling,
icing the sticky shingle.

Mussel shells crunch under heels.
Sanderlings skitter in unison
and oyster-catchers, herded by the waves,
pipe complaints.

From the sea
I am rooted in the sea.
Waves roll stone after
stone, anchor my feet.
Foam spawns round my ankles,
aeon-worn grit grips my toes,
encrusts them like barnacles –
my feet are ancient artefacts
brought up by divers.
Salt of the sea, I crawl
(too painful to stand)
up the shingle
(unable to stand)
until I reach dry land.

Sea Change

Crisped brittle-black,
I contort in salty sunlight.
Time was, I’d glide, fluid,
slime-slide. Then, I swayed
sinuous. Now, I twist on the shingle, dried.
Once, immortal water wrote my name.
Now, I’m just a scribble on the shore,
a frozen writhing, a mourning ribbon
tied to the sea’s portal.

-All poems above by Ann Cuthbert

Bios And Links

-Geoff Holmes

was born in Cambridge and grew up in Jersey and East Anglia.  He now lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire where he tries to improve his local greenspace, the Swanee.  He is lucky also to be able to spend time quite often on The Wash at Snettisham Beach. He is father to four children and was once a vicar but now works in medical statistics and modelling.

-Ryan Gibbs

is an English professor who lives in London, Canada. His over forty published poems have appeared in journals and anthologies in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Malta, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon. His children’s poetry has been included in the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness.

-Steven Stokes

is a South Wales-based haikuist who began writing and sharing his poetry in 2020. Steven publishes his work via stevenlstokes.wordpress.com and three of his poems were included in the recent Dylan Thomas-inspired anthology ‘How Time has Ticked a Heaven Around the Stars’

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.