Springtime in Whitstable

By Bea Lehmann

In the hopeful time after the
railway blackthorn blossomed,
as the hawthorn waited to flower,
the virus bloomed,
smuggled in bodies of trojan travellers;
seaside tourists and committed commuters
now captured in their ivory towers
that look out over the sparkling sea.

The wind blows fresh and chilly
as if to cleanse the town
and keep us tucked indoors.
The tree mallows grow tall
amongst unclipped brambles
behind the padlocked beach huts.
No early spring picnics on the
shingle this year.

The sea-kale takes hold
where people do not walk
and the turnstones forage
closer to the beach at low tide.

No where is immune
but the beach awaits us
as the wind carries those
blackthorn petals out to sea.
It’ll take the hawthorn too,
before it’s safe again.

But next year…next year we’ll
take time to stop and smell their
jasmine scent as we carry our
blankets and flasks over
the railway and on to the pebbles.

28.3.20

Bea Lehmann is a Faversham (Kent, UK) based creative, and druid. She uses poetry, song and art to explore ways of helping herself and others to rediscover our lost connection with nature. 

Instagram: @beathag_ecobard

Facebook: BeaLehmannArt

website: rebeccajane.co.uk

Whitstable is a picturesque seaside town near to where I live, and one of the joys of springtime is that first visit to walk along the beach as the weather warms. I wrote this four days after lockdown was announced. Unable to visit the beach, I imagined how it might be different empty of walkers; how nature might respond. It seemed desolate, but necessarily so – being cleansed of us (and our disease) for a while, perhaps? 

Once it became clear that we could enjoy walks in nature, as the lockdown wore on, I took advantage. I very much enjoyed the sense of peace, as the planes stopped and there were few cars roaring up and down our road. I’m very sensitive to urban noise and although I live in a town, long to live in the country. The pandemic helped me to truly enjoy my garden in its new found shroud of peace and I was free to paint and write more poetry than ever before.

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