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Puffins at Coquet Island

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Partygoers reluctant to depart.

Last stragglers of the colony line

the turf below the lighthouse.

The engine’s cut; August

wind chills faces. Some still

clump in, puttering outboard

motors frantically clattering

over us and terns on the rocks.


Wintering on the ocean,

returning with sand eel cargos.

The chicks spend years at sea.

What makes us think of them

as doleful, painted clowns,

our island trip an end-of-pier show?

You’re lucky to see them, the boatman says.

By rights they should be gone.



◄ The ferry waits

Moving like Jagger ►


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Greg Freeman

Sun 21st Apr 2024 16:15

Thanks for the comments, Graham, and Leon, and for the Likes, Steve, Stephen, Tom, Hugh, Manish, and Holden. It means something special to me, to be part of a community arts project in Northumberland!

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leon stolgard

Sun 21st Apr 2024 10:26

Reminds me
of my visits to Penmon point Anglesey ( boat trips to Puffin Island )

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Graham Sherwood

Sun 21st Apr 2024 10:17

Interesting to note that ten years they've called you back Greg.
Looking forward to many more coastal poems perhaps?

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Greg Freeman

Sun 21st Apr 2024 07:53

Many thanks to Allan Sutherland of Amble Writers for including this poem in his imaginative and collaborative arts project 36 Views of Coquet Island. I wrote it more than 10 years ago, after a family holiday in Northumberland, when I never dreamed that I would eventually live up here

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