Langstone by Brian Shipman

© Deryn Hawkins

A poem about Brent Geese leaving Langstone Harbour

Langstone

by Brian Shipman

One day I roamed to Langstone's harbour shore.
Where winter’s winds scud waves across the chill March sea.
The winds this day are from the south with just a hint of springtime warmth.
Much sweeter than the winter blast that howls down from the north.
A mildness feeling in the air will promise Spring ahead.
I hear the voices soulful call across the salty meres.
"Go north" some seem to say "True north" some others calling back.
Among the brackish waters there, a multitude of calling geese
mill round upon the coarse cold grass.
Ready now to navigate to Arctic tundra wilds.
Their true and destined breeding place, more safe for summer broods.
For soon will come the season of the North’s long summer days.
This may be the day to start the flight to follow nature's ways.
With winds that favour passage they'll travel north the most.
Go north, true north, to catch the thaw but follow close the coast.
With tension building in the flock, hoarse voices louder call
till all are now agreed; and then as one they lift themselves
into the evening sky.
Broad strong wings now beating, as round above they swirl.
Then finding what their way will be, form flights,
like arrows in the sky,
to fly the night along their destined course.
To leave the marshes far behind to silence and to me.