No sleep last night. NE gale blowing straight in. Terrifying sounds of wind in trees, waves crashing. Thought the cliff was collapsing, my recurring fear. Living on the edge is wonderful when it’s calm or when the prevailing SW is blowing and the surf is up, corrugations filing in. Otherwise, it’s scarey. My imagination has me hurtling to the rocks below, the house collapsing around me. Poor birds, I have put out fatballs and sunflower seeds, but only a robin and the pigeons have appeared.


Reason for Eating Chocolate

It is difficult to think small surrounded as we are by sea.

There’s too much water, sky and weather to think of little things

like buttered toast, or a bee trapped in a shut room, or a red balloon.

I can’t help conjuring loud words to go with the panorama,

like anarchy, madness and the screaming habdabs.

Turner would have done something with these plum-

purple waves, the beryline, verdigris breakers, ocherish clouds,

and charcoal horizon. He would have shown

exactly how sea-mist smothers and pearls

the white beach, how it dissolves the known world.

Sea demands constant attention,

like a child with a tantrum in a shopping aisle.

How can you possibly concentrate on low-fat yoghurt

and tins of Portugese sardines in this infernal din?

The bay is on three sides of us, breathing deeply,

and although I might want to examine say

a tiny spider hanging from an invisible thread,

or lick a finger to thread cotton through the eye of a needle,

or enjoy the yellow stamens of a white camellia,

I find it impossible. I am too frail, too small to cope

with the enormity of ocean day in day out.

It is too big a scope. Even the clouds are huge.

You watch the weather come in over the roof of the bay,

the squall that crumples the water, anvil clouds telling of thunder.

There I go again, you see, it’s impossible to write about minutiae –

wheelbarrows, chickens, the cold at the heart of a candle flame. A white pebble, say,

that would be marvellous to consider, but no,

I would do better to produce a Wagnerian tale of afterlife.

If you keep a goldfish in a small bowl, he stays small,

but if you transfer him to a pond he grows to fit his habitat.

I am eating as much chocolate as possible, so I am solid enough

to be anchored to the earth, so the Force 9 north-easterly,

or a prevailing south-westerly won’t blow me over the cliff,

down into the greedy sea, where I’ll be swallowed alive.

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