During the high tides and winter storms Watchet harbour wall was damaged just before Christmas. Overnight the Victorian Sea defenses were breached leaving a hole which was rapidly filled with 3 ton boulders as an emergency repair. The subsequent battering from storm Ciara in February and then storm Dennis only a week later, removed tons of concrete , stone work and the emergency placed boulders creating such a large hole that work is still ongoing today.
The following is a poem written by one of our Watchet Poets, inspired by the hole in the wall.
Perhaps we don’t know the truth at all?
WHAT THE OCEAN SAW.
Statutesquely, it lay, plotting its escape from behind the old sea wall,
Calculating its imminent hatch between rhythmic tides and seagull’s call,
Sustaining solely on saltwater and a few errant sea creatures,
Discreetly tucked amongst the breakwater-defence’s still features.
For about a hundred years it sat, its patience growing incredibly small,
Until one dark night, in utter despair, it broke through the harbour wall,
The wall shook and roared and the tide paused a minute,
Curiously teasing at the harbour wall and what it had hid in it.
And then without a warning and with a triumphant shout,
The beast behind the harbour wall shot, canonically, out,
In the pale moonlight, it remained, blinking, startlingly blue-eyed,
Drinking in the salty-spray, under the stars, It’s deep-longing; satisfied.
It ducked under the swell and stretched out a hundred years of wrinkles,
Breathing in its ocean home, toothily smiling at rock-bound winkles.
Returning to the height it once had, its skin glowing with the dew of the tide and contented bliss,
It stared, disdainfully back at the stone cage, that it knew, it would not miss.
Its Clam-shell heart soaring to its luna love, it caught a wild wave in haste,
And rode it fast and far away, jaw dripping with freedoms fresh taste.
The ocean caressed the empty pit, her hands soft with morning
With a sigh, she wished the beast, ‘bon voyage’ and felt a new day dawning,
As the sun tickled the ocean’s curves, She recounted the night to her frothing history,
A harsh whistling wind, a grand escape and a Conan Doyle-esk, unravelled mystery.
The people came the next day and postured the consequences of a crumbling sea wall,
Many of us had theories, but only she knows of that night’s events, for the ocean saw it all.
Deanna Payne ‘Twitch’
(Photograph courtesy of Terry Walker)