Tyne Poetry

Poetry and Pictures from Tyneside by Alan Hartley



When first I breathed the blown salt spray,
My boyhood sailed across the bay
To where ships in the offing lay.
I fell in love.

I felt the shingle neath my feet,
Ran in the surf's white-foaming sheet
And thrilled to hear her hiss retreat.
I met my love.

I longed to be in timeless space
Where clouds merge with her tranquil face,
And heard her call me to embrace
My one true love.

When I was old enough to sail,
I took ship on an endless trail
To find my dream, to win the grail,
A hope to love.

But when I'd sailed my seventh sea
And found she still eluded me,
I knew that she would always be
A dream to love.

I've seen her drifting grey, green, blue;
Watched dawn's streaked scarlet breaking through
And gentle rose of evening hue:
The lights I love.


I've heard the mewing seagulls' cries,
The warm southeaster's gentle sighs,
The flap of sail when fresh winds rise:
The sounds I love.

I've felt spray flying from wave crests
When oars dip deep and our bow breasts
The rising swell, then falls to rest:
The thrills I love.

I've found true peace on windless days,
Beneath the blanket calm she lays
To lure me with her siren ways:
The peace I love.

I've known the terror of her storm,
The pride of sailing out alone,
The wanderer's joy returning home:
The home I love.

But I'll not linger long ashore,
I'll sail in search of dreams once more
And find the life I've found before:
The life I love.


© 2012-2018 Alan Hartley. All rights reserved. You may print poems for personal use only.

No other reproduction without written permission.


Page banner photograph of the Tyne Bridge and the Sage Gateshead ©2012 Carol Haynes.