Friday 8 December 2017


Rocky Valley, early December, evening

Wild gorse merges with inky sea.
A stony uneven path climbs steeply upward
towards a star-dotted, almost black sky

devoid of any comfort. I pause, suddenly uneasy.
The shadowy precipices, blurred depth of landscape
in darkness and the ceaseless crashing of wild tide

far below are all too evocative of nautical phantoms
I'm extremely reluctant to confront alone.
yet, here I am, utterly powerless to resist

this crazy, reckless compulsion to return
and touch the past, when we were together
and loneliness was no more than a vague concept

of something that only happened to someone else.
But now the ties are so stretched. Perhaps any memories
I can conjure up will help to clarify

these abstract images of blissful bygone days spent
with my only child: his brown eyes, dark hair,
red hat and striped shirt. And he, barely more than waist high;

small hand in mine, happy laughter. Traversing
this very path, over twenty years ago. Somehow
tonight feels less real. It could so easily be not now,

but back then. The fierce crashing of waves on rocks
so far below: trance-inducing. Timeless.

Ayrton's rock

Reaching the jutting rock, feeling the way -
risking life and limb in the steeply sloping blackness.
A dance of shadows spiral around me

in the tall grasses and jagged edges
of primal stone, as I squeeze into the sheltered alcove.
Remembering, with a choking lump in my throat.

Bending down, running fingertips over the great slab underfoot.
Pushing aside prickly undergrowth - it's still here!
Carved in the stone: AYRTON 1997. Tenderly tracing every letter and digit.

And I never thought then for one moment I'd return

someday in an older form of myself. But here, now,
buffeted by the chill night wind,

I turn towards the restless Atlantic and clear
a space in gut-wrenching nostalgia to whisper,
Ayrton - like a mantra, over and over again:

a magical chant capable, I hope, of reversing time itself.
And the Universe is stilled. The years between unwound.

Rocky Valley, dawn

The return journey. The last thing on earth
I want to be doing. The cold, long shadows
so vividly reminiscent of the empty space I carry

deep inside. Even the mournful cries of the gulls
speak to my Soul of abandoned nests
and redundant mother-love steeped in mourning.

However, living in the past is not really my scene -
not since my hot tears drowned my daughter's gravestone
and smudged the heart-broken messages on rose bordered cards:

debilitating agony, synonymous with relentless winds like these.
Motherhood is an excruciating affair -
at least, it has been for me.

Nine pregnancies, and only Ayrton lives on.
I find him, suddenly, on the approach to Trethevy Mill,
anxiously seeking me. Dare I even hope it is an omen?

That the maternal bond is actually elastic still?
The gulls are deafening, waves still crashing. Everything falls into place.


  1. Enjoyed all. Like how the memories of the past merge and fit, without reducing the importance of the present..

    1. Thank you so much, Anthony. Really happy you enjoyed.:))

  2. Beautiful. :-) You drew me in completely.

    Greetings from London.

    1. Thank you, much! :))

      Greetings from Hampshire.

  3. Wow Ygraine!! Truly beautiful!! Love the pictures! Love your writing! I truly love how you describe everything! Magnificent!! Big Hugs and Much Love!

    1. Oh are SO kind!
      My most heart-felt thanks...:))

      Lots of Love & Hugs xoxoxo

  4. I enjoyed reading them all and loved your pictures too.

    All the best Jan


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