If you were to find a secluded rocky cove on the White Strand of the Monks
and settle on a rock with the afternoon sun and wind at your back
and you were to stop thinking for a moment
    about the paper you’d been asked to write
    or emailing the New Scientist to ask how the seventh wave is greatest?
    or how you could measure it using decibels or marks on the sand
    and then what statistical analysis you would use to check the periodicity…

If you were to stop…

You might notice the friendly advance of the pied wagtail
and the studied aloofness of the black-backed gull
or that the tide is now coming in
and the waves are churning from both north and south

You might notice where the spot of rain has pocked a pattern in the wettened sand
and where the sea has sanded it smooth
or the furious boiling of air pockets released by that seventh ebbing wave
and clusters of tiny, perfectly circular, sunken wells


If you were to crouch low to the sea
and risk wetting your feet
and watch and wait for the sun’s return…
You might glimpse the rainbow at the crest of a wave

Clare Bryden. Presence. Inspired by Creation competition (commended), Earthing Faith, Diocese of Oxford, October 2010.