The Late Mr Arscott completes the current section on ‘people’. I’ll be returning to one person in particular – John Keats – later with a collection of poems about him and his life.
In the mean time ….. this is the 100th post. I can’t believe that I have reached that magical number, a century of poetic postings associated with one town, Teignmouth, and its surroundings. I wonder if any other town in the country could boast such an anthology …. and still they come.
I’m returning to the estuary for the next section and also moving across to Shaldon at the head of the river on the other side. Shaldon Ness mirrors the Parson and Clerk as the two iconic headlands on this stretch of coast and has already featured in a couple of poems.
You may be glad to know that I’ve left the 19th century behind for these next few postings! This first poem is from ‘Wild Flower‘, a book of love poems by Michael William Worley.
Teignmouth and Shaldon
Shyly the big boats float silently into Teignmouth harbour under
cover of darkness to unload their wares sent from foreign shores.
Surprising children the following day by how stealthily they arrive
and depart all of course governed by the tides.
This idyllic spot discovered in childhood and remembered forever.
Shaldon and Teignmouth are like two siblings, brother and sister.
Teignmouth, the noisy brother, flambouyant, worldly, ever changing,
cosmopolitan and outrageous.
Shaldon by contrast, the quieter sister, modest but attractive,
peaceful and strong in character.
Complementing each other but keeping a thoughtful distance.
Their maritime history is unique, spanning millennia.
Sitting comfortably either side of the estuary.
Happy childhood memories of these two places remain vivid in my mind’s eye.
As a lad this annual pilgrimage to Devon with my parents easily
outweighed favourites such as Christmas or birthdays.
Tasting the salt on my lips as we approached the coast, the first
view of the ocean, oh what joy!
The sun shone endlessly or so it seemed.
Each day was an adventure, fishing, rowing and
the delight of my trips back and forth on the ferry between
my two favourite places on god’s earth.