he has always farmed here,

coaxing food from the dry salt earth

walking the beach with his mule and dogs.

now his once deserted beach has sprouted sunbeds,

strangers invade his little space, he finds their leavings.

at odds with this noisy alien world

that has no time for him or what he knows,

he finds life’s landmarks fading, his mind’s moorings vanish

swept away by a new tide he rails against.

“i used to harvest respect and honour, now contempt.

once coaxing fruit from the dry soil was prized.

now you sneer at me because my hands are earthy,

stained with the source of life.

don’t write my epitaph too soon, citydweller.

there may come a time when you come begging to us,

you who know nothing, who produce no food.

when that day comes, will i be there to give

as i have always done? bury me here by the sea!

i’ll never give in, except to death.”