>The Pier: A Poem by Pete Marshall


The Pier
I walked along these wooden planks
as wind would lash and tear my face
the seas would crash beneath my feet
and rain would strike my inner faith

my eyes stared down as feet trod forth
my coat was buttoned, drenched but warm
the gulls would screech and ride the storm
as depths were dredged and hope reborn

upon these planks that Satan swiped
who’s bombs would fall in darkened nights
but seas would swirl and hold its strength
as planks were walked and centuries spent

A tram would pass and catch my eye
as lovers kissed a mile goodbye
A child waved through misty glass
the planks were heavy, wooden paths

and blackened skies and cloudy greys
that hid the shores of Kent’s parade
would mark a time when boats would rise
and clouds would clear from weeping eyes

In the Thames Estuary stands the longest Pier in the world, Southend Pier, reaching out to 1.34 miles. There are times in my life when my mind needs cleansing and there is nothing more refreshing, whatever the weather, of a walk along this Grade II listed landmark. 

The Pier has a history dating back to 1830. It has been spoken of by Sir John Betjeman, mentioned in the Hitch Hikers Guide to The Galaxy, and thwarted Hitler’s plans as a major landing stage during World War II, serving over 80,000 ships. To me however, the Pier is and has always been part of my life. As a child my parents would often taken me on weekly walks along this landmark and today I still enjoy and celebrate its beauty.

This is my poem for One Shot Wednesday, run by One Stop Poetry, a fast growing site dedicated to poets & writers of all genres.

image courtesy creative commons flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimdelaney/

60 Responses to “>The Pier: A Poem by Pete Marshall”

  1. >You captured the atmosphere perfectly.

  2. >I almost felt as if I was walking on it, great imagery pete, you are a prolific writer, no doubt about that 🙂

  3. >I enjoyed the flow of the poem…could hardly notice the stanza…and you brought the imagery to life with your words. The rhymes put it all to bed. Nice work, Mate…Cheers!

  4. >enjoyed poem, note and photo.thanks in sharing.

  5. >such a great description, I now feel like I've been there myself. Loved the photo as well. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. >This is really great. I had no idea Southend Pier was the longest in the world, nice that you put some history into the poem.

  7. >Reader encompassing, intense description, utilizing a structured-rhyme style (that I usually don't care for, unless the writer is excellent, as you clearly are. . . I'm basing this on all the poems I've read from you thus far.)Exemplary work, my friend. 🙂

  8. >thanks for taking us on that walk with you pete…hope those clouds roll away soon…smiles. nice one shot!

  9. >a beautiful read and the flow of pulling the ebb and tide of the pier's history into it….make it come alive…..thank you …bkm

  10. >What talent that you can take a piece of history and make it flow with such eloquence. Brilliant!

  11. >I can feel the solace sought through the ages.What a great piece of poetry – giving life to this pier that has seen so muchA One Shot masterpieceMoon smiles

  12. >"as depths were dredged and hope reborn" so many great lines in this one, Pete. thanks for sharing the significance of the spot too, both personal and historical. Stellar flow

  13. >Pete this is a beautiful poem…i love the flow and rhyme…there is something about being on a peir…

  14. >I enjoyed this, and the wonderful backstory. I especially like the concluding line "boats would rise and clouds would clear from weeping eyes"; it's a lovely image.

  15. >love reading your poem):)(:(

  16. >If all you did was give us the vivid image, your work would be brilliant; but it's not all you do. You tie each observance to something real, and something emotionally observed. Truly gifted work, here. Thank you.Gay @beachanny

  17. >Amazing imagery, not to mention the emotions…I loved the flow, the subtle and off rhymes. Honestly, great piece!

  18. >You gift-wrap the past and the present, Pete. Beautiful.

  19. >another work o an artist pete….good poem!!!!!Great one shot la!!!!

  20. >Loved the lines and the photo is great. Amazing imagery and next time you will have to come hunt me down Pete haha won't come till you do :)I love the new background..

  21. >Powerful piece. Thanks for this.All the best, Boonie

  22. >Great write, Pete – took me all the way…

  23. >I enjoyed this poem a lot. It flowed, tapped into emotion, and good imagery. 🙂

  24. >Beautifully captured and such great flow.the middles makes it

  25. >Such a lovely share; in verse and story… I'm glad you still have this place of comforting refuge. 🙂 heartspell

  26. >Southend Pier sounds like an awesome place to take a walk. And, since it's the world's longest pier, nobody will tell you to take a long walk off a short pier.Nice One Shot, Pete!

  27. >I sort of find inspiration in the rain, rather than it striking my faith, but I like that imagery too, Pete! lovely poem and One Shot!My One Shot!

  28. >Your poem is so much inspiring Pete! you are a natural..impressive imagery and amazing flow, it worked perfectly for me..:) the photo is MIND BLOWING..:))

  29. >with the first stanza you managed to draw me into this poem and made me feel standing myself on that pier…liked the flow and the historical reference

  30. >Sounds like a magical place

  31. >I join the chorus singing that youbrought this place to life!

  32. >You made it sound like a place full of ghosts.

  33. >Great poem. Sounds like a very special place.

  34. >I was so caught up in the imagery that i actually sighed in relief when I learned the coat was warm despite being drenched! Powerful…You really took me there, the balance of the light and dark is present in so many ways!Awesome One Shot!

  35. >Lovely imagery! I could see it.

  36. >Very atmospheric….and reminds me of some of Wordsworth. You are in excellent company then…LOL!Good cadence, good rhythm….and great imagery….flows very well.Good job!Best,Lady Nyo (also known as Asobime…a very ancient Japanese word for whore..I think)

  37. >Such rich history and your words recaptured this. I've never heard of this pier, but now I'm curious. Off to Google it…thanks for the history lesson!

  38. >The poem evokes history in a pace and flow that move along, as I'd imagine, the water in the Thames.I visited London last fall for the 2nd time in my life, and was loathe to leave it. It stands, to date, as one of the cities I've fallen in love with. I envy you this Pier.

  39. >Very vividly picturised and I could almost walk the mile with the "Kiss" and wave the kid good bye… I loved the way you have captured the scene…ॐ नमः शिवायOm Namah ShivayaI will great if you connect with me at Twitter @VerseEveryDay to read daily #FreeHaiku on love, life and longing

  40. >Nicely written. I have a similar affinity for piers. – bill

  41. >Real emotional pain below the surface of the words at what lost and what remembered. And binding with briars our joys and desires. Hope your week goes well.

  42. >thanks anthony…knowing you, you have probably walked the damn thingCheers William…and thanks for that i appreciate itcheers lordy..your comments are always a pleasurecheers N.Davies..great picture..really worked wellhi caty…thanks for that..they did link well cheers

  43. >cheers tuberider…yep its massive…and just keeps going..makes sundays walking so refreshing…a mile out to sea..the wind is amazing…really does blow away the cobwebshi steve…thanks i appreciate that wonderful comment..cheers pete

  44. >cheers bri….i appreciate your kind wordshi bkm…many thanks..yes it is so alive!cheers suzicate..that was a wonderful comment

  45. >cheers moonie…masterpiece..like that my friendcheers dustus…it was a good write for me…ta matethanks carrie…am glad you enjoyed it

  46. >hi maureen..to know the area would make the line "boats would rise" more significant…southend pier is on an estuary and when the tide is out it is just mud flats that the boats sit on!!!!!cheers alex

  47. >cheers beachanny…your comments really lift me..thanks my friendthanks nick…i appreciate that..thanks talon….thats a great comment about gift wrapping itcheers haisley

  48. >hi wildrose..chase me off the pier..lolcheers boonie…hi alec…always a pleasure to see you around..like that "took me all the way"…thanks river….

  49. >cheers tripathy…thanks for commentingthanks heartspell..yes it is a great place to be at timescheers murk…i like the word motivatedcheers eric….mind you you can easily walk off the end..re the lack of barriers…..

  50. >thanks leo…the rain striking your face can be refreshing, awakening and painful…cheers desert rose…great photo that captures it so wellthanks claudia..glad you liked itcheers steven..yes it is an amazing place

  51. >thanks firefly…then a job done good..cheerscheers nessa…i suppose it could be viewed that way..with the history associated…and in the past there was an amazing ghost train that used to run at the end..until the ship ploughed through it one night…

  52. >cheers belinda…yes it isthanks mama…cheers asobime…thats a complimenthi cm…hope you enjoyed the studycheers teressa…the pier stand just before the mouth of the thames as it enters the north sea..glad you liked london

  53. >cheers shashi…i like the lines you pickedthanks bill..they are a wonderful, walk..theres a sense of freedom whilst still being intouch..thanks john..very perceptive

  54. >venturing back into the world of words…must say i was pleased to be able to read your work, pete. history is a fascinating subject and to breathe even more life into its ancient bones, is more thrilling…i am sure you have heard bravo, but i have to add one more!

  55. >Amazing description…felt as if I was there…you are such a wonderfulpoet my friend x

  56. >That was nice!! I felt like I was there!!

  57. >I feel so at home with this poem as I spend many an hour on the pier here in Eastbourne. The way you describe the wooden planks which have been walked on by so many is really vivid. Brilliant work as always.Christine

  58. >have been reading your poems from wordpress.its an outstanding poem pete. very beautiful.trisha

  59. >Oo I almost said I've been there! Really enjoyed it, you took me there and told me a great vibrant story 😉 Thinking I must be doing something wrong now, where do you get time to do everything lol xxxx

  60. >as lovers kissed a mile goodbye… WOWzers. Nice write Pete. Nice One Shot. Love and Light, Sender

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