They come, pilgrims of another sort,
Croagh Patrick, a hulking monolith shrouded in mist at their backs,
Bent into the gusting wind and salty squalls driving in off the Atlantic,
To gawk at the storm ravaged beach.
The car park and road obliterated by huddles of sea-rounded rocks—
Grey, cream, purple—
Tossed merrily over the breakwaters by a tidal surge
The like not seen in a quarter century.
The dunes too, took an awful beating.
Clumps of Marram grass strewn across the beach
Like strange seabird nests woven through with blue and green fishermen’s string.
These Sunday trippers come in droves
Despite the rain and wind and devastation,
Their bellies full of roast and pudding
And maybe a pint or two,
Their dogs and children scampering wet circles into the sand,
Eager for a bit of mid-winter drama.