Rock Pools on the Tide Line

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Llandudno, UK

The poem is inspired by wonderful childhood memories of the rocks and beaches of Llandudno’s West Shore.

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.
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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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