CLIFFTOPS, GORLESTON Wendy Webb
High on the cliffs, following the Lowestoft sign
from Yarmouth, parking along a mile
of beach road, straight as a seagull’s aim,
residences relax to the view.
Dog-owners enjoy the close-mown grass and paths
as disabled buggies pass by slowly.
The beach café, signed, sits beneath,
with homely red-tiled roof;
early bathers float in perfect calm.
The sun rises steadily, as clouds shadow the ocean’s
grey to ink to sand.
Rolling, gentle waves stretch at full tide.
The breath of breaking gravel grazes peace,
chill breeze on tranquil cliffs in perfect shine.
The panorama of the bay is breached
by nothing but faint liners against pale sky;
while sticks stand sentry – far-off Scroby Sands –
as windfarms always have planed Norfolk scenes.
Industrial clutter marks the harbour mouth
of Yarmouth and downtown to Gorleston’s bay.
The beach is littered gently with bright sticks
of holidaymakers and windbreaks’ earliest stakes.
Dogs splash for balls and surf below,
leap-race the surf as wild and free
as children splashing sand to crash the waves.
The bus routes by along the road,
routine as quiet suburbia.
Beyond the furthest stretch of eyes or ears,
one wind turbine stands proud, landmarking Lowestoft.
Where lies the busy town?
The Broad? The concrete streets,
the broadest shopping scene?
Sit here, along the cliff path;
wheelchair-bound or buggy-free,
stretched straight from die to die:
from Gorleston to fair Lowestoft,
pause and stare.
Sit for a gentle sip, infusion’s scene,
then to the café for an English tea.