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Norfolk Sonnets


This is the place where the sea eats the land
Where the friable cliffs crumble and slide
Where pill-boxes topple onto the sand
And the relentless North Sea waves collide.

This is the place where the church creeps closer
Where all the cliff-top caravans retreat
Where the village pub is facing closure
And the wind and the sea constantly beat.

So, walk along the cliff path while you can
For everything is impermanent here;
Appreciate the changing light and scan
The summer martins as they tilt and veer

For soon - upon some night of storm and squall
The deep sea will be coming for us all.


On a low hill above the River Bure
They built their grand mansion of many wings -
A symbol of their power and greatness there:
Opulent, ornate and fit for kings.

But like all dynasties, the Pastons fell
And, in time, their great hall crumbled too:
So only cold busts in the church now tell
How this old family ruled and how through

The centuries they flexed their might - and thanks
To writs, contested wills and artistry
They rose up quickly through the Norfolk ranks -
But might have vanished into history

But for a chest of letters that were found
Among the debris on the Bure-side ground.




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