Mervyn Linford - Poet   


Black-tailed Godwits – Mersea Island   

Three godwits –
three black-tailed godwits
standing at the tide’s full edge.

One - on one leg:
head tucked in beneath a wing -


The others – busier with worms and molluscs –
and all such things secreted in the ooze beneath their feet

     are almost black

silhouetted in the heat of late September
and the sun-shot, glittering, shatter of the sea
     in smithereens.

Bladder wrack and eelgrass
seep into the senses with the smell
of oyster smacks and cockle spits and brine

and early, but expected, from the east
the darkening skeins of those dark-bellied geese
who write their cursive script across a sky as wide as winter.