Treasure Island

David Shoestring


King Of The Western Sea

King of the Western Sea;
He’s King of the Western Sea.
Neptune’s fall
Means nothing at all
To the King of the Western Sea.
There he stands
On sun kissed sands.
Tiny fingers:
The memory lingers
Long after
The flasks of tea
And the ribald laughter.
Long past
The end of a salt caked day
Spent on breezy sands
Amidst the spray,
And seagulls call,
And the songs we sang
Unheard, beside
The noisy, effervescent sea.
Children screaming; tumbling
And holding hands
To the sound
And the trump of distant bands.
As music from a whirling Fair
Sends memories spinning into the air.
And above the hurdy-gurdy noise
A shout is heard,
“Come on, you boys”
As a Laughing Clown
Throws a challenge down:
“Five goes for a penny”
“Three down to win”.
Will we go on the Ghost Train?
Dare we go in?
Playing on the beach
It’s so easy to recall
The hawk and the screech
Of a Punch and Judy stall.
And the days when castles
Built in the sands
Were important defenders of seaside lands.
The candy floss kiosk; the ice cream chimes
Whipping up memories of slippery climbs
Over limpet covered shoreline rocks,
As we slithered into barnacled, starfish pools;
Stepping on seaweed, which squeaked and popped.
Scattering tiny pebbles which plipped and plopped.
Till the end of days:
When the sun went down
And the playful Monarch renounced his Crown.
Softly, we hummed and chuckled
As eyelids closed and tired limbs buckled.
The King of the Western Sea went home,
Away from the beach and the Pleasure Dome.
Back to a painted, tainted, red brick land
Of castles built more of cement than sand.
Far out of sight and out of bounds
To the distant, fading, seaside sounds
That tumble still in the winds that sing
Old tunes that cling to the bay.
And all this long, and silent passing while
The grey, sea horse crested sea
Heaves; and swells.
Surfing; swiftly rushing up to me:
Swirling softly, as the shifting shale
Slips back to the sea.
And as a blustery gale attacks the land.
The next wave crashes,
Thumping down on the sand,
Bringing the blue-grey boiling sea
Ever closer to the shore;
Ever closer to me;
Ever closer to the King of the Western Sea.

© David Shoestring

(see Poem Notes below)

The idea for this verse came from the fact that many years ago we lived in a waterside village on the River Yealm, an estuary village very close to the southern coastal town of Plymouth in the UK. Every now and then, an exceptionally low tide would reveal a ‘sand-bar’ in the middle of the estuary, and which was normally completely submerged and just navigational nuisance to the local sailing fraternity.
But on one or two days in the year, this new land would magically appear for an hour or two, and it was something of a tradition for village locals to sail or row out to the Bar which offered the romance of being a newly discovered ‘island’ as far as our children were concerned, and for some of the parents too I suspect. Here I try to recapture the feeling of that day.
As I thought more about this day, the memories broadened to encompass other days spent beside the sea and indeed of my own childhood summers spent on the Welsh coast where my parents had a caravan. Rhyl in particular I remember, for its broad beach; its Fun Fair and a seemingly endless number of souvenir shops, novelty rock emporiums and cheap cafes along its seafront. Aberystwyth, more sedate; more learned with its stone-built University buildings fronting the shoreline, but with a more turbulent, more rewarding sea.
As one gets older, there is a natural tendency towards nostalgia. In some ways, this verse is obviously a very personal look backwards, perhaps to a time and a pace of life that we remember as being slower; simpler and certainly less technologically complex. Some of these memories too are incorporated here.
Will we go on the Ghost train? Dare we go in?

Submitted: Thursday, April 03, 2014
Edited: Friday, April 04, 2014

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Topic(s): childhood

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (King Of The Western Sea by David Shoestring )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley Updates

New Poems

  1. Opposite People, Tony Adah
  2. The Exception Perception Has, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  3. You Know, Whats-his-name, Lawrence Beck
  4. Isis: Syria and Iraq, do something!, Rachel Nichols
  6. I PROMISE, Poet Akinwemimo Idris
  7. The Spyders, David Lewis Paget
  8. Monsoon., David Lessard
  9. Unprepared, Disrespectful 'and' Undiscip.., Lawrence S. Pertillar
  10. Summer Nights, Maya Hanson (mye3 poet)

Poem of the Day

poet Henry David Thoreau

My books I'd fain cast off, I cannot read,
'Twixt every page my thoughts go stray at large
Down in the meadow, where is richer feed,
And will not mind to hit their proper targe.
...... Read complete »

[Hata Bildir]