The cliff

The cliff, where suddenly this country ends,
is home for herring gulls and weary ghosts;
all cruel reminders of mortality.

Who jumped from here to live no more? The shore
is about death, despair and loss, but herring gulls
and weary ghosts, they understand each
other well.

Their cries are heard over the
beach, then followed by St Mary’s bells.
Here England ends, where sea begins. The cliff.

Picture by Toussaint, Whitby 2012

Comments on: "The cliff" (27)

  1. Very nice, very evocative!

  2. what a cool place to be. Nice poem Ina.

  3. Great words and awesome pic

  4. Eloquent… This is absolutely captivating and if it were a photo, the words would be the intrusive white splotches upon the eyes after the flash reveals bulb subsides. Your words remained as such, only a more pleasant and lingering experience. Thank you for sharing. ~RDS

    • Hi RDS, what a wonderful comment, thank you very much!

      • A comment full of typos. One sentence makes absolutely no sense. This is what happens when I try typing without my reading glasses. πŸ™‚ Glad you liked the comment nonetheless. Have a great day.

  5. I don’t know whether you saw the ravens when you were up at St. Mary’s church – they can bring to mind those ‘weary ghosts’.

    Terrific poem


    • Hi David

      I saw them, I think, indeed they have this ghostly thing about them!

      On Sunday we heard the church bells ring and it struck me as something old and ancient, it made me think of people on ships who could hear them in a storm…

      Thank you very much! πŸ™‚

      Arohanui πŸ™‚

  6. I love the picture! Your words paint a picture too: very evocative of a particular place with its particular sounds and associations. Wonderful first line, ‘where suddenly this country ends’. I like that very much.

  7. hi ina,
    i think the cliff where the ocean remaindes us how much we need to learn more and more…
    its all alike the vastness of the sea…

  8. Beautiful verses – and I love the echo of the first line in your closing lines.

    • Hi John
      thank you very much for dropping by πŸ™‚ and your comment. I am glad you like!

  9. Another wonderful poem, Ina! I especially love:

    herring gulls
    and weary ghosts, they understand each
    other well.

    Thank you for sharing – it sounds like your visit there truly stirred your Muse!

    • πŸ™‚ Hi Betty, the place is just so packed with inspiring impressions to choose from! Thank you very much!

  10. Very powerful in a few words, provocative phrases like ‘The cliff, where suddenly this country ends…’

    Stunning photograph too!

    • Hi Diane, thank you very much. I always find it impressive to see cliffs, love them. My country doesn’t have any, we only have sand dunes.

  11. very nicely done

  12. I love it! The poem and the photo. I live on Whidbey Island off the Pacific Northwest coast of US; used to live in Devon and Somerset, England. Both places have wonderful coasts – always evocative of poetry and sad thoughts, memories, dreams, serenity and eternity. Lovely work, Ina.

    • Hi , thank you very much πŸ™‚ Whidbey, I wonder if that island was named after the Whitby in Yorkshire. I live on an island too (Terschelling) and although it is famous for its nature, I am always more impressed by the views abroad. Cliffs…

      • Whidbey was a man, one of the founding immigrants to this island of Salish and coastal Indians. There’s a good chance he or his name came from Yorkshire – no one agreed on spelling in those days. We have great coasts, rocky and pebbles, muddy sharp sands made of finely crushed ice-age dust, but oh, we have nothing like your beautiful pale soft sands and dunes peppered with graceful, strong grasses – a place where you can walk and leave footprints and a norse-wind wipes them away. Your island looks like one vertabrae of a dog’s tail, gently curved against the coast – hugging it’s master. Where you live in the ghosts of vikings and gods, I live upon land usurped and stolen from native people, and their occasional presence is filled with acceptance and forgiveness, despite the scars that still bleed. Eagle reigns here.

        • It sounds like a great place to be. You describe all of it so poetically! Eagles… They must be so impressive in real life!
          Live in the ghosts of Vikings and gods, that is a nice thought πŸ™‚ Sometimes I wonder about all of the people that lived here and disappeared in time. Nothing of their emotions, fears, hopes seems to have survived, but if you try hard enough, I think you can see what they saw, hear what they heard and somhow feel one with them. On a good day πŸ™‚

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