A constant presenceSummers in Ballyholme The beach, the lough Tightly tucked between North Down and the not so distant shore The tower at Kilroot The dip that marked the start of Islandmagee The Lighthouse at Blackhead That marked the start of the sea.
Its light whipped out across the water Across the Copelands and Groomsport, Bangor and Helen's Bay, Across the window of my gran's house, Counting out the moments During sleepless summer nights.
Years later, I walked at night Along the start of Gobbins Path, The rocky run beneath the cliffs With the Lighthouse above, unseen. But not unheard. Cave-amplified machinery As the lamp turned overhead,
A surprising starburst. Myriad beams reaching out A half-asterisk of light. More complex than I'd ever imagined. Slow, constant rotation. A hopeful nova.
(Image: Wikimedia Commons, (c) Aubrey Dale.)