Tide Clock by Hugh Greasley

Hugh Greasley is a poet and a painter. His work has appeared in the anthologies Coming Clean(2009), Guided by Surprise (2011), The Inner Sea(2013), The Tide Clock (2015), The Chalk Path(2015), Embodied Vistas (2016), Lunar Walk (2016) and Æsc (2017)

Hugh uses landscapes as a means of exploring landscape, people and memory.  Explorations can be about such things as sunlight falling into a shed or the experience of visiting a wreck on a Cornish beach at night in the teeth of a gale.

Hugh also works as a visual artist, painting in oils and has had a scientific education, culminating in a degree in Chemical Engineering.



Tide Clock



A tide clock sits

on my kitchen wall

set to the flows of a distant place.


I stir porridge when the harbour is full

folding in a brown wash of cinnamon

while maybe a path of sunlight bisects a bay

and fishing boats are setting to sea

dots hauling themselves to a horizon


I break cool salad leaves

for an early lunch

when the sea is falling

may be leaving the scripture of seaweed

across a storm beach


I mark the time of low tide

with a cup of coffee

when the steamship boilers

by the island rocks

may be dancing in heavy surf.


When the sea is returning

I cook Courgettes

turning the slight golden disks

while maybe thin lips of surf are trickling from

one sand ripple to another

re-ordering thin black lines of wreck coal

across a beach

I take only a rhythm

no stone is picked from a beach

or sea gull’s feather found

in the sand of a road corner

or battered oyster shell

eased from a tide pool.


I also have a tideclock

in my head and it is set to you

the rhythms of your walk along a quay

stepping over the frayed mooring ropes

of the heavy brush of a bag of fish

against your thighs

as you walk up cemetery hill

surf boiling on a beach below you

of the lungfuls of spring air

taken through your lips

of your heart slowly beating faster

as you rise up a road

between granite cottages

only to fall as you spin

and look over a sunlit bay

and gannets turning in a wind.


Hugh Greasley