The mist swirls in at Holkham, gulls cry up.
A curlew calls, a plover turns up stones.
Among the dunes I find a set of bones,
a piece of glass, a shell shaped like a cup.
A row of beach huts painted pink and green
leads to a shoreline dense with razor shells.
A flock of twite and shorelark swoops and swells,
I shake sand from a starfish bright and clean.
We climb to the gazebo stair by stair,
look down on woods where snowdrops pool and splash.
With snap of wings and bright vermilion flash,
the redshank’s warning pipe disturbs the air.
At dusk a topaz barn owl hunts for prey,
its face a ghostly mask of Pierrot white.
Across the salt marsh, as it soars in flight,
we give our silent thanks for such a day.