Who said anything about comfort?
Those syllables do not rhyme
with zinc slakes or ice-bright sky.
The sea is grinding her spears.
Up creeks and gullies, over groynes
the black tide surges
and the hag wind rides her.
In the bleak forest on the staithe
rigging clacks and chitters.
Little but memory for company,
wild geese, swans whooping,
but no urbanity no
gossip prejudice bitterness sham.
In London I dream of these harsh folds,
the sea’s slam, the light’s eagle eye,
And here again I draw
this place – hair shirt, dear cloak –
around such infirmities.
Kevin Crossley-Holland from Waterslain