Tide Clock by Hugh Greasley



Hugh Greasley is a poet and painter who uses landscapes as a means of exploring landscapes, 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. He has published seven collections of poetry.





















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