A single skylark fighting the wind
And calling into a shuddering sky
Signals the turning of the year.
The tide rushes in with a new purpose
Chasing the last few visitors
Across the drifting sand.
The Oyster catchers reclaim their right
To strut the beach in uniformed ranks
Pecking out their ownership among the driftwood.
The rooks stalk the last remains of sandwich crusts
And patrol the empty car parks,
Looking for trouble.
The trees have thrown their ashen leaves out
Across the ashen sea
In a last gesture of defiance.
The bay is itself again.