Rock Pools on the Tide Line

Congratulations to David Thompson for his prize-winning Wales shoreline-inspired poem “Rock Pools on the Tide Line“.

Rock Pools on the Tide Line

Nothing's constant except change, the same old
rhythm of wave and furrow, tide and moon.
Between tides, rock pools transform, starting cold,
warming in the sun, water less salt when

it rains. Caught by the ebb, countless small fry
jink and dart to dodge their subaquatic
hunters. Above, on bared rocks as they dry,
birds swoop on molluscs. marooned, stuck, static -

winkles, whelks and limpets trapped in their shells
air-lifted, dropped and smashed by canny crows,
mussels impaled on oyster-catchers' bills - 
while crabs scurry to pick the residues.

The tide swings back, flooding rocks, pools, the small
lethal dramas of predator and prey.
Life ends, life restarts as waves rise and fall,
constant in their careless inconstancy.

In August and September we invited writers to submit poems and short stories of 250 words or under that were inspired by the Wales Coast Path.

It is the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Wales Coast Path and we were very grateful to the Gower Walking Festival and local bookshop Cover to Cover who not only commissioned a Writing Words of Wonder Shorelines Stories workshop led by El Rhodes but also put up a prize for the best poem or story submitted before the 30th of September.

David commented, “I was delighted to get your email with the good news about the Shorelines prize. Many thanks to the judge, Sarah Samuel, for her choice, and to the Gower Walking Festival and walk · listen · create for organising the competition. I particularly enjoyed writing this poem, which brought back wonderful memories.

David was a participant in the most recent Writing Words of Wonder Shoreline Stories workshop, as well a being a shortlisted author in our Walking Home chapbook anthology with his poem “An Afternoon Walk in the Jura“.

Shorelines is kept open for submissions, so whether you are inspired by a coast, lake, or river shoreline, do make a submission to the growing archive.

Image credit: Jason-Thomas-ki4ZEA98OLQ-unsplash: Rhossili Bay , Swansea, United Kingdom

Andrew Stuck

Andrew Stuck

Founder Online Jury 2022 Online Jury 2023

Andrew is the founder of the Museum of Walking, created to bring people together and to make and showcase walking pieces and performances. Andrew also is a podcaster, interviewing creative people who use walking as a catalyst for their practice. Talking Wa...

David Thompson

David Thompson

After military service and studies at Oxford and the Sorbonne, I worked in Ibiza and back in Oxford before moving to New York as a translator at United Nations headquarters, followed by five years with the UN in Bangkok as translator, editor and interprete...

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