[Head of Rampart on the Rocks] Tynemouth North East of England
December, a cold clear morning, we stood upon the Crag,
Its antiquity drawing me in.
Ancient dates on weathered headstones,
Some obliterated by age.
Since 625 AD a human presence has been here.
Monks, Danes, Belgians, Dutch,
All have laid claim.
In 1539 the Monks surrendered to Henry VIII.
The Priory became a Royal Palace.
The Fortress Headland became a coastal defence
Defying all comers,
A defence against Napoleon and World Wars l and II.
I moved to stand alone, alone with my thoughts,
Pondering the facts I have learned
About this bleak but Holy Place.
Of the millions who have toiled
And fought, lived and died here.
Each one has bequeathed something of themselves,
Handing it down to us.
Making those Coastal People, we of the North East,
The people we are proud to be.