The Chimneys of Portpatrick

It’s always easier to write when on holiday. The combination of more time and being generally more relaxed, with visiting new and interesting places helps the creative flow. We have visited Portpatrick a few times now, finding out about ships wrecked on the rocky shore line, and how it served as a version of Gretna green for couples who caught the boat across from Belfast.  The ferries no longer come into Portpatrick, the little bay and harbour could not cope with the large ships required these days, which now dock at Cairnryan a little further north. Instead Portpatrick remains a picturesque little coastal village – a beautiful unspoilt spot away from the hubbub of much of modern life; a great spot for a relaxing break. It was only yesterday as I walked down to the sea, that I noticed the extraordinary number of chimney pots on the buildings around the bay. I found myself a comfy large rock to sit on, gazing out at the sea, and wrote this poem.

The chimneys of Portpatrick
That stand above the bay
Stretch up heavenward to the sun
That shines on us today
How long they’ve stood there watching
I really do not know
They have seen the waters rise
They’ve seen the tide ebb low.
 
The chimneys of Portpatrick
Have stood there oh so long
They’ve heard the ocean raging
Witnessed her waves so strong.
And in the still calm moments
That come both day and night
Know the peace just hides from view
The ocean’s fearsome might
 
The chimneys of Portpatrick
Stood solemn as the waves
Threw boat, then boat against the rocks
And not all souls were saved
The lighthouse stood as warning
It’s light shone through the night
The brave and daring lifeboat crew
Risked all for stranger’s plight
 
The chimneys of Portpatrick
That witnessed so much woe
Also saw such joyful days
Saw lovers come and go
Across the sea from Ireland
Where family disapproved
Wedding vows they came to say
Their lasting love to prove
 
The chimneys of Portpatrick
Stand cold and smoke no more
Yet still we come to visit
This bonny stretch of shore
And while we swim the waters
We drink, we eat, we play
The chimneys of Portpatrick
Stand proud above the bay
 
 

A Little Tale

https://www.flickr.com/photos/reecardov/5047706897/in/photostream/

Inspiration can come at any time, and in any place, which is why I never go anywhere without a notebook. I also have a transcribing app on my phone so I can speak ideas into it while I’m on the go. That proved quite useful last week when inspiration struck on the walk to work. It was only 2 lines at the time, but I spoke them into my phone and forgot about them, until today. As the kids are now back at school this is the first day I have had to myself in a while, so I have got out my notebooks and phone to look at what I have scribbled down in the last few weeks, and see what I can do with any of it.

The two lines that came to me on the way to work last week have evolved into the following.

The moral of my little tale I hope to be made clear
I tell it as the sun descends as night is drawing near.
I do not wish to cause a fright, but wish it to be known
That anywhere you go round here you’re never quite alone.

So heed my warning, heed it well, hear now all I say
Or you may never see again the brilliant light of day.
The all pervading presence of the life from days gone by
Will not allow the innocent to pass unhindered nigh

I speak of old and ancient tales that logic would decry.
The stuff of myths and legends long unseen by living eye
Of creatures from an evil hand with purposes so bleak
Of voices from enshrouded mouths, that wail and howl and shriek

Let none here mesmerise you, they seek to captivate
To lure you in until you find, retreat is now too late
So turn around, take no more steps along this errant path
Flee, make haste, take flight unto the warmth of home and hearth

The moral of my little tale, I pray has been made clear
I tell it as my hope descends, my end fast drawing near.