“Did you know” he said
“that each sea
has a different heartbeat.”

And suddenly
some of the pieces
which make up
the jigsaw
of my life
fell into place.

From Portrush Strand
by the White Rocks
on the northern coast of Ireland
where the Atlantic arrives
in long rolling waves
with a heartbeat that is steady,
regular and oh so powerful.

To Cultra village
on the east coast
where the Irish Sea
has a more staccato beat;
shorter waves which can
manifest on the shore in ripples.

To Whitby
on the east coast of England
where the North Sea
seems to swirl
to an intermittent rhythm,
sometimes short,
sometimes long
but with an emphasis
on every seventh beat.

These are the places that I go
when I have a need
to ease my soul;
let my heartbeat
mirror that
of the ocean,
restore to me
a sense of purpose
and of calm.

The quote at the beginning of this poem is from my friend David Tait.
It is the first stanza of a sequence of poems he wrote with the overall title ‘Heartbeat’.
(he knows I have used it, but not yet that I have pinched his title as well :))

He read his poems at the Heart Cafe last night.
Which will be his last public poetry reading before he moves next month to live and work in China.
I wish him well with that but I shall miss him.

So in a lot of ways I am delighted that his final reading should inspire me to write a poem.
It will help keep him warm in my memory whilst he is away



16 Responses to “Heartbeat”

  1. Glad to hear that you had a good time & that your departing friend inspires you. Yes, the spirit of the various seas & oceans have their very own beat that draws & soothes us (:

  2. Hi David

    This absolutely is a beautiful poem.
    It is true, I often noticed the difference in pulse of difference seas. The Baltic is green and more savage I think. Wilder. Maybe the deeper the sea is, the longer the interfalls, not too sure.

    I live on an island in between 2 seas. The North Sea is the one that has the strongest heart beat here, while the Waddensea is more quick. Every sea has a heartbeat of its own, I love the poem and the thought. 🙂 A year ago I was in Whitby and the Norht Sea seemed different there, maybe because of the cliffs.

    Sorry that your friend went to China, I can imagine you will miss him. 🙂

    Arohanui 🙂


    • different seas I mean 🙂

    • Thank you Ina,

      I did think of you after I posted the poem – living on an island and so close to the sea you are much more in touch with its rhythms than I am.

      But I had not realised you were between two seas – that must make your island even more special 🙂

      And it is fascinating that you noticed a difference between the two sides of the North Sea – you must have taken the time to listen 🙂

      Stay warm and well

      Arohanui 🙂

  3. This is a wonderful poem David.

    How great that you were able to get inspiration from David Tait’s final reaing beore China; I know you will miss him. But his reading served you well and inspired you indeed!

    Your love of the sea oozes from this poem.

    Love you loads



    • Thank you Christine,

      David Tait played a significant part in the development of my poetry.
      And I have little doubt that we will continue to communicate across the divide via the internet. 🙂

      And now, having written the poem, I am dreaming of moving to the seaside. 🙂

      Love you loads

  4. Lovely … and seeking solice in the sea, perfect! The thrum of the universe …

  5. THis is a lovely testimony — I am thankful that I know about him, now! SOrry I’ve been out of touch, but my hip continues to heal, and my spirits are good. I hope you are well!

  6. A most enjoyable poem which took me all the way to those different places, and leaves me with a longing to get to the ocean here 🙂

    I hope you will be able to stay in touch with your poet friend – why China? if one is allowed to be curious.

    I wish you a great weekend
    with Love
    Vera & Yeva

    • Thank you Vera,

      It does us all good to take time out to visit the ocean. I hope you have the opportunity to get there 🙂

      You are allowed to be curious, but all I will say is that there is a love story involved, but it is not my business to tell it 🙂

      You have a good weekend too

      With lots of love

  7. David, I love this beautiful poem, and hadn’t thought about it that way before – the different heartbeats of different seas. But it’s true – along our Washington/Oregon coastline there are many rhythms – and I’m familiar with that emphasis on every 7th wave, on one of our beaches here. Beautifully written observations!

    • Thank you Betty,

      It is true, but I hadn’t thought of it either until David Tait said it!!!

      We do well to sit by the sea and tune ourselves in to its rhythms.


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