Twenty years in Ilfracombe and the harbour never ceased to fascinate. I took countless photos and did a series of paintings. More difficult to capture and less picturesque were the columns that emerged when the tide was out and all the boats were beached.
Temple dark and Doric the quay’s columns
Stand stark, foreboding, concrete –
Their dogfish galleries revealed
By the low Spring Tide.
The Old Pier’s stones glower squatly,
Barnacled, weed-green beneath the wheeling gulls
Who cry and swoop, paddle or strut
Across the grey, glistening mud.
Within the harbour beached boats lie lurched,
Umbilicals attached to aging anchors.
Owners bang, paint and scrape
Rushing to be ready for summer’s show.