Beneath the surface, stretching for a mile,
the huge chalk platform’s grinded into pits
by wave-chucked boulders and the pelted gravels.
Add to this the way the platform fits
with the western end of a major step
in the North Sea, and conditions are ideal:
the forces on the water mean it’s kept
refreshed and rich in nutrients, a field
of algae thrives in wave-cut crevices,
anemones and hybrids court with fists
of sea urchins, piddock’s interstices.
It’s the southern limit of the kelp forest.
And up above, where gannets collect,
a thatch of wild flowers grows, guano-flecked.
From Fossil Sunshine, forthcoming from Worple Press.