Beaches of my Acquaintance

At the end of Whitby prom
the tide roisters in,
ricochets off the rocks,
rebounds, meets itself
coming back, explodes
in a cacophonous
cauldron of foam,
scatters salt-tasting spray
and roars its delight.

I could stand here for hours.

In County Down, a strand below the sand dunes
where, on a second date, I ponder the etiquette
of leaving her in the car with the other girls
while I go off to play football on the beach.
Go on she says, You want to
and then laughs when I pull
a pair of trainers
from under the back seat.

I could stand here for hours.

A stony beach
on the side of Belfast Lough.
I have been here many times,
in person, in my head
and in my poems.
Is there anything more satisfying
than skimming stones across
the surface of still waters.

I could stand here for hours.

Miles and miles of empty sand
in the north of County Antrim
where the sea arrives
from across vast distances of ocean.
I watch the tide celebrate
as it breaks upon the strand
and feel drawn by an urge
to walk toward the waves
and to keep walking.


30 Responses to “Beaches of my Acquaintance”

  1. Elaine Randall English Says:

    Very nice bit….love the alliteration…..

    • belfastdavid Says:

      πŸ™‚ Thank you Elaine

      I hope the weather has settled down in your part of the world

  2. Beaches of your acquaintance, they will always be there and the sea will always make such memories…

    I loved the poem. I know the Whitby coast is fantastic. You might like the sea of Terschelling too πŸ™‚

    • belfastdavid Says:

      They are always there in my mind Ina πŸ™‚

      I am quite sure I would enjoy the sea of Terschelling too having seen some pictures. Perhaps one day……… πŸ™‚



  3. Peter Doyle Says:

    I know a few too… well painted mate.

  4. Vera Hazelgrove Says:

    This will be a new favorite! Very enjoyable,
    It makes me wish to linger …
    and read again …

    a word-painting! πŸ™‚

    Enjoy the rest of your week,
    Vera & Karley

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Vera for this lovely comment.

      It is interesting how different people do pictures – I have to do them in words and I love the process of doing that πŸ™‚

      You and Karley have a good week too

  5. christine Says:

    I love this David, it has to be one of my favourites! And I am so glad you decided to leave in the names of the beaches, it just adds something. (can’t find a word)

    Now then, those trainers!!! I can vividly picture the look on your face ,the twinkle in your eye and that wink! You know the one! – incorrigible??!

    Lots of love



    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Christine,

      Yes the names needed to be there πŸ™‚

      As to the twinkle you know me very well. πŸ™‚
      As did the lady in the poem – her response showed that!! πŸ™‚

      Lots of love

      • β€œPresence” is what it adds, Christine. It’s very good, isn’t it! When are you going to start posting some of your poetry here? I sometimes read David’s comments about your poetry being exceptional, and I would love to be able to read it.

        I hope you are feeling better. Prayers and good thoughts your way.


    • christine Says:

      Hello Shirley

      Thank you for your kind wishes, they are appreciated. I am gradually coming to terms with MS.

      As for the poetry, maybe one day…

      Take care


  6. sandra Says:

    Thanks for the ocean visits… I miss it so!!! Great, great write, David; hugs!!

  7. awwwwwwww… so beautiful. makes me think of the many hours would spend “tanning” at the beach, simply gripping my knees and watching the horizon as the sailboats came and went

  8. Mmm. This is really beautiful. I get the feeling of being seduced by the scenery. I love the beach and know that feeling of lingering and losing track of time. I particularly enjoy the phrasing here…
    “the tide roisters in,
    ricochets off the rocks,
    rebounds, meets itself
    coming back, explodes
    in a cacophonous
    cauldron of foam,”
    and here…
    “I watch the tide celebrate
    as it breaks upon the strand”

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Cathy,

      I often feel I am “seduced by the scenery” when I visit these beaches. So the poem is a love poem really!

  9. Sad yet triumphant at the same time…

  10. A wistful feel.. I can relate to beautiful…

  11. This is beautiful, David – and very ‘you’, I think. There’s a beach in Brittany that has exactly the same effect on me; everyone needs places where they could ‘stand for hours’, and yours all sound wonderful. Thnak you for inviting us to stand and watch with you.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Delighted to have you stand on the beach with me Nick.

      As for “you”, I am not sure that trying different things takes me away from my own voice πŸ™‚

  12. David,

    A new favorite! This took me to stand beside you on each shore. Thank you.

    I get that some people might read the last lines of your poem and find a sense of sadness. What I read is an urge to walk forward into the sea and become a part of her, to keep her with you, and you with her, forever. This is not to die, but to live forever, in another way. That is what I have always taken your “Walking Into Eternity” phrase to mean.

    Well done.

    Much love, my friend. Take care of yourself.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      I would be delighted Shirley to have you stand beside me on the shore. πŸ™‚

      Your interpretation of “Walking into Eternity” is absolutely spot on – that is exactly what it means to me!!

      Thank you my friend.

      Much love to you
      You take goos care of yourself too


  13. Hi Daivd,

    I really love this poem. It reminds me of “I Have Sat By The Sea” and the most famous front cover of Walking into Eternity.

    There is just something in your description of the sea that is so tangible and easily brings to my mind the peace and calm I myself find each time I visit the ocean. No matter how painful the hurt or bittersweet the memories, the ocean has that power to wash it all clean and restore clarity.
    Maybe it’s your love of the ocean that comes through. It is one I immediately identify with.

    This poem leaves me with the taste of brine and beautful sense of rememberance. I shall start my day all the better for it. Thankyou. πŸ™‚

    Take good care.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Tikarma,

      I love that front cover picture – I have a version of it, framed, on my bedroom wall πŸ™‚

      I have, over time, written a number of poems which are variations of “I Have Sat By The Sea” – There is another one under construction at the moment, but I have a mind to enter it in a competition so it might be a while before it appears on here. πŸ™‚

      I also have a mind to collect together some of the Whitby poems and publish them in a booklet – We shall see.

      I love that your day will be the better for reading the poem. Thank you

      You take good care too

  14. Evokes strong visuals and a sense of joy, sadness, nostalgia. Lots!

    Many of the image with stay in mind – the tide celebrating – the cauldron of foam.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Jamie,

      It is a very personal poem – a travel through the places on my memory which help me restore my equilibrium

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