Andy Thwaite

Cliffs sifting down, stiff grassblades bent,
Subdued, and shouldering off thick sand,
Boulders - compacted grout and flint -
Jut from a stranded beach, a land
Adhering lightly to the sea.
Tide-drenched, withdrawn, and drowned again,
Capsized, these buttresses still strain
Towards perpendicularity.

The place-name mimes the fallen church,
Abbreviated, shrunk to this
Truncated word, echo of speech,
A Latin ghost's thin obsequies
Carried by wind, answered by sea -
Ecclesia: the syllables
Curtailed, half heard, like tongueless bells
From empty steeples endlessly.