Raven – the largest of the species ‘Corvus’
Ravenscar was dubbed ‘The Town that Never Was’, a project devised when the Victorian railways of Britain were opening up access to the countryside, giving people an opportunity to spread their wings, to take holidays further afield. These poems were inspired by what happened to the project and how it affected those who fell for the idea.
Plenty of ravens and other ‘corvus’ can be seen here, black birds who have much mysticism surrounding them, some referring to black magic. However, they are intelligent creatures with many positive characteristics.
Raven on rock-scar way above stormy Sea,
surveying foam-decked Air, Fret moving in, stealthy.
Watching Raven, seeped hair clamped on brow,
sits Rose, black-cloaked, claw-fingers clasping rounded
head of cane, ebony eyes searching mist now,
for what? – memories of unreachable sounds.
Voices promising a place to live, play, rest; home at last.
But Voices faded, broken promises like Frets
passing out to sea on the tide. Rose’s death came fast.
Black Raven on rock, Black Rose on Fret, both rose to meet the mist,
drifted out as One above stormy Sea and Surf,
away from earthly Scar.
Ravenscar, the Town that Never Was
The Town that Never Was, that’s what they say today.
Great idea, eh? – resort above the cliff-tops, miles away!
Sharp descent, steep steps, slip-slap o’er even sharper rocks,
to reach the beach – at last soft sand? – oh no, what a shock!
Rocks, rock-pools ‘twixt the slime of algae left by tide and time.
Whose bright idea was this to build resort sublime?
Great panoramas of sky and mist, a grid of houses paid for,
conveyance proof with bills of sale – the land just sits, no doors
waiting to welcome, roads to guide them, just drains to take the rain
from grass-topped paths, some gateways, all prepared in vain.
Flawed vision, lack of money, no chance of having fun.
Instead a let down clientèle, bosses on the run.
The likes of Rose had no redress, no sun and fun and lollies,
just bare land, views of grass and scrub, a legacy of folly.
•scar: a high rock
•fret: a sea mist, coming and going swiftly
•folly: i) a building constructed for fun, on a whim; ii) silliness
•’twixt’ – or betwixt, used to mean involving two things (between two); ‘twice’ has the same derivative; also a general archaic word for ‘between’
Ravenscar is a town on the east coast of Yorkshire. The site sits atop a sheer cliff, providing a wonderful panorama of the surroundings and the North Sea. It is wind-swept, the only access to the ‘beach’ being a steep path down to an area of shale and rocks, difficult to negotiate and accessing no sand nor amenities. Despite a new railway designed specifically for travelling to the site and a splendid advertising campaign with incentives to buy plots of land for houses, the enterprise failed, the entrepreneurs concentrating more on their idea than the reality. Those who were drawn in to the idea were disappointed, out of pocket and never saw any recompense. Plots and old roads can still be seen and there is a hotel and a National Trust museum relating to the site.
by Fernando Losada Rodríguez, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
For more works by this author see Ann Carr on The Creative Exiles.
You can also read more works by Ann Carr on Hubpages.
‘Take a Word…’ is a self-publication of stories and poems, designed to encourage others to write creatively, to project their own voice, even create their own words. ISBN: 9798754336476