My first ever book was a volume of poetry entitled 'The Drawing out of Days.'
It was published when I was just 16 and it was reviewed very favourably by the wonderful Joan Bakewell.
So it's been very healing to rediscover this gift and especially healing to write about my last five days on the Suffolk coast.
It's always rush hour here beside the sea
As waves, like trucks and cabs, break noisily
Outside my cottage window.
'There's a different kind of traffic here', I muse,
As briny, white-roofed, cars and coaches
Come and go unwaveringly.
Each day an unseen postman comes
- like a furtive oceanic messenger -
To my dilapidated door.
'Look what the tide's brought in!' I shout
To the motionless seagulls surfing the wind,
As they speed off effortlessly.
I sit on a bench composed of rotting timber
- a simple, decomposing offering -
Brought in on generous tides.
There I contemplate the latest letters
Sent from the Maker of the Sea
Who writes to me so tenderly.
I settle my mind and brood on his messages,
My arms stretched out like a seabird's,
My broken soul surrendered.
'His words have the constancy of waves' I cry,
'They drown me in their raging love
As they break upon me endlessly.'
As I watch a murmuration of busy starlings
Darting over a brown and broken heath,
An inner vow begins to surge.
'This is where unhurried hearts can swell with song,
This is where my beaten ears belong,
Where the surf sounds mystically.'