Kiteboarders / by Alex Williamson


East Beach, Nairn, 27 May 2018


You came out to find a poem,

To rekindle something in yourself

Among the dunes

Of Nairn’s East Beach,


That vast expanse of pale sand

Where they trained for D-Day

Before low bluffs

Fringed with gorse


In bloodless manoeuvres

Which left them

No more prepared

For the killing fields

Of Normandy

Than sitting in their barracks

Sipping tea.


The tides still disinter

Unexploded ordnance

From those rehearsals,

Rusted relics

Of recent history.


Nothing untoward here today,

The usual flotsam and jetsam,

And the obliterated remains

Of a billion molluscs,

Dismembered crustaceans,

Strewn about the beach.


A landscape arranged

In abstracted coastal hues:

Coffee, magnolia, aquamarine.

A sky of impeccable blue.


A view positively Carribbean

But for a brute easterly wind

Blasting across the sand,

Cutting to the bone.


You walk towards its source,

Fierce roar rushing

Into your ears.


A few families toughing it out,

Huddling under canvas,

Wading in the frigid shallows.

Whitsun sun-worshippers

Oblivious to the wind.

Lone walkers crossing your path,

The odd stray dog,

And two kiteboarders.


One already in the water,

Curving a white wake

Through a large channel

Bisecting the beach.



Kite unfurled,

Struggling against

The punishing wind

To bring her board

To the water’s edge,


The apparent wind

Having other ideas:

To draw her to the dunes,

Tear the lines

From her knotted fist,

Send her sailing

Over the town centre.


Tilting at 45 degrees

She has her toes in

As you walk by,

Making for the island,

The point where sand

Mutates into mud

And you know

You’ve gone far enough.


Answering the call of your bladder

You piss in the wind,

Watch it stream from you,

Bead on the sand.


When you turn

She has made it:


Both boarders are cresting

The little inlet's surface,

Kites hovering like a question mark,

A thought, a possibility.


An aura. A soul.


Shuttling and twisting

On the dazzling water,

They could be dancing

To Strauss, or Ravel.


They could be dancing.



Passing them again

You find your footprints,

Retrace your steps

Press on for home.