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peter in Canvey May '19 2.jpeg

Peter Radley

(photo credit: Teresa Ann Lee)


Beach Compassion 

lifted a shell from the

beach today   sun bright

hardly a wave   fish dive

crying gulls held up by 

a whisper that air gave

stones glass shells meld

sun rays   hard not

reaching for another

to place on a dust touched shelf 

to die with a sister

better still a polished box

empty of sand that defines

a coffin as good as any

glass once pretty will shatter

shells decay  stones flounder

gather the dead  make

procession with flag  song

roll from city street  across

an ocean onto their shore

open box reveal dull remnants  

swoop gulls fly  waves lap

glass shells stones

returning so long away 

i sit on the empty box

pondering the error of my ways

woven loosely together

quietly living following

internal images settling

upon wall shelf abstractions

come readily into my


a company of sounds 

emanate from passing

others visiting from time

to time not always


my sound of turning

pages keep others away

sound hard to understand

theirs rejected not so a different


we weft and warp

separate but essential

ever to survive this

changing life its


yet still we tarry

afraid to let go of what

things we were told

but never in this life


does anyone really believe

we can be free from 

the comfort of lies

arms open ready to


a tentative moment

tension eases eyes open

the blue sky hangs

on what side do we both


perhaps a time will come

when we can turn away

from the lies so simple

to drop   well easy to


peter radley

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