If I stare at the clouds they seem unmoving, only changing shape and shifting space while I’m not looking. Gaze at them, play the childhood game, find the shapes, a rabbit, a duck, an old man shouting, close your eyes for a few moments and look back to find a heart, swans with necks entwined, a dragon.
The sea, on the other hand, makes no pretence at staying still, it ripples and flickers, shadows race across its surface, the wind beats a rhythm in blue towards the shore.
I’ve still been free writing – a few times from overheard comments rather than lines of poetry, and sometimes from phrases that seem to rise from the view. I always spend a lot of time looking out to sea anyway, but here and now, sitting staring at it for hours at a time I’ve become fascinated by its surface, how changeable it is, how it reflects the sky above – this seems to recur in my scribbling at the moment.
My work has a tendency to shift towards water or the sea on a pretty regular basis, probably because I’ve always lived close by. Strange as it may seem, I did wonder if it would happen again – I did consider that maybe I’d heard all the beach had to say, that even actually sitting and writing so close, I might not write directly about it. But predictably that’s not the case – the sea and sky, the wind and the clouds are all clamouring to be heard, creeping into everything else I try to write. At first I tried to stop it happening, determined to try a new direction, then realised that was pointless and I’ll write what needs to be written.