TRANQUILITY ON THE MARSH         

BY COLIN BURCHETT

 

Bright Summer afternoon, bench in the garden, slight breeze.

 

Take a seat, close your eyes, listen!

 

The faint breeze rustles through the poppy leaves and petals.

 

There is a skylark singing high above the scrub and pebbles.

 

Bees are buzzing through the flower heads collecting pollen and nectar.

 

A tinkle from wind chimes in the distance and the low boom of bamboo chimes joins in the chorus.

 

Screeching sounds above from the seagulls rising on the thermals from the front of the houses and bungalows as they prepare to fly over the parked cars for a bombing run.

 

Drone of a light aircraft heading towards the airfield.

 

Raucous cry of a rook in the distance.

 

Chirping of the grasshoppers in the undergrowth.

 

The whoosh of a car as it passes each house and the sound echoes between the buildings.

 

Yapping of a dog about to be taken out for a walk.

 

Voices of children at play.

 

Purring of a motorbike far away.

 

In the distance the sound of the waves breaking on the shingle and rushing back over the sand.

 

High above and a long way off the constant drone of an airliner.

 

Suddenly the peace is shattered by a whistle from the steam train as it approaches the road returning from Dungeness and when it passes by there is the clickety clack as the wheels run over the track and the smell of the smoke from the engine.

 

Church clock chiming the hour, far, far away.

Still with your eyes closed, the shadows of the leaves cross your eyelids obliterating the sun and causing flashes of light.

 

Another train, frantic, staccato puffing pulling hard round the loop to get up momentum for the journey back to New Romney.

 

Open your eyes.  Now you see several butterflies round the honeysuckle and on the flower heads.  The poppy heads bowing in the breeze.  The seagulls floating above without moving their wings.  The airliner leaving a long vapour trail in the sky.

 

Silence!  But still something is happening  - the lighthouse flashes its regular message to those that need it.

 

Still tranquil, and all of the sounds return as before.

 

Close your eyes, sit back and listen!


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