This is a a new (first draft) poem:
For forty years the sea defences have protected
the front. At Borth and Ynyslas.
The old familiar way was shoring up
with strong timber upright breastworks
and jutting joists and great beamed groynes.
Bleached now by summer’s gold.
Old oak silvered and smoothed to salty sinews
Gravel and grit erosion pebble dashing
the frontages. Wrack draped and clasped
in rust. Scarred and scarified
by four decades force. Bearing up
against lifelong accretion. Pileup
of crashing drift and tide.
Perpendicular props. Familial forces
trying vainly to combine their strength
against dying under life’s attack.
Cold stone proposed along this ancient front
now sinking against an unquiet sea.
Forces of opposition with steely knives
and cranes and engineering.
Of a concrete will. Defying the tide like Canute.
Tempting Fate. Or perhaps too late