Coast Path Game Poems

by Jonathan Whiting

  1. Walk the South West Coast Path in a single push.
  2. Take inspiration from things you pass, thoughts you have.
  3. Record games:
    • Games you played.
    • Games you wish you could play.
    • Games you could never play.
    • Games about beauty, about anger, about comedy or pain.
    • Games that are poems.
    • Poems that are games.


  1. On a rocky beach find the longest piece of driftwood.
  2. Lift it skyward, and prop it up with stones and pebbles.
  3. As you walk away turn occasionally to observe it.

You are as small as it.

You are as temporary as it.

... but right now, you are here.

Tick Tick Tick

  1. Run naked through fields, long grass, or woodland.
  2. Check for ticks, for each bite score one point.
  3. Wait a month.
  4. If you have Lyme's disease your score is doubled.

Shock and Awe

Be startled by a deer.

Vaseline Chicken

  1. Walk until your inner thigh is really sore.
  2. Do something about it, but don't get caught!
    • Apply vaseline: 1 point
    • Jerry-rigged toilet paper first aid: 3 points
    • Carefully clean area and apply Compeed: 10 points
    • Avoid playing game entirely: 100 points
  3. Never discuss this game

Sea Steps

  1. Walk along a flat sandy beach.
  2. Keep as close to the waves as possible.
  3. Don't let a wave wash your feet!
  4. Look behind you, watch your footprints obliterated by the waves.

Anarchist Golf

Players gather at a golf course, wielding a club of some (any) kind.

The first player to knock a ball into each hole of the course wins.

  1. Players may not bring or carry balls.
  2. All play is simultaneous.
  3. Disrupting existing games of golf is strongly encouraged.

Wouldn't it be Clovelly?

One player describes a coastal place solely through imitations of the sea.

The other players guess the place, the describing player may only answer in sea noises.


  1. Carefully curate a playlist that must last you for months.
  2. Lose your mp3 player.
  3. Spend that time solely listening to the sea instead.


  1. Walk down a narrow path with high vegetation. It should be sunny.
  2. Listen to music, something that makes you want to dance, but nothing fast.
  3. Weave a hand through the foliage at your side, get as close as possible, but try not to touch.
  4. Strive for rhythmical jazz like improvisation between plants, hand and music.

Line Dead

Spend a week offline deciding how important a week of unread internet correspondence is.

My Dream Game 2

  1. Dream of a game that is a world. A world neither all fiction or all real.
  2. Change the cast, the scene, the objectives at will, but confine them to existing tides.
  3. Become aware how strange your role is in the proceedings, but remain unaware of the real world you are returning to.
  4. Now awake, where did the world, the people go?

Raine Point

Go on a journey.

Use the name of each place you travel through, each landmark you pass, to build a narrative of your journey.

example: I put on my waterproofs at Jacket Point. The heavens opened at Raine Point etc.

Don't be too concerned about accuracy. The story is more important than the facts.

The Cows Are Lying Down

In private, practice a short phrase out loud until your pronunciation lends it an infinite profundity.

Never test it on another soul, in case the impact is too strong.

Special Relativity

Everything you own is damp. What is the standard scientific measure of dampness? Rank each item on a carefully calibrated scale. Everything you own is still damp.

Everything you own smells. What is the standard scientific measure of smelliness? Rank each item on a carefully calibrated scale. Everything you own still smells.

Every part of you aches. What is the standard scientific measure of ache? Rank each item on a carefully calibrated scale. Everything part of you still aches.

Hot Fudge Jukebox

  1. Put money in a pub jukebox.
  2. Pick tracks that:
    • Appeal to you.
    • Won't offend other drinkers.
    • The jukebox actually has.
  3. Hurry up though, your dessert has arrived and it's getting cold!

Sites for Sore Legs

Make a decision on which of several nearby campsites to stay the night in. Make the correct decision, but do as little walking as possible making your mind up.

Good Morning

  1. Go for a countryside walk.
  2. As you approach people, before they reach you decide if they will greet you or not.
  3. If you are right, gain a point.
  4. If you are wrong, lose all your points.

Hard Mode: You must guess their specific greeting.

Friends Mode: Try to get everyone to greet you.

Spring Break

Go to somewhere really wild, remote, alone.

Scream something ridiculous into the wind. Try your best to maximise volume on your first attempt, don't 'warm up' into it.

Birthday Magic

Wish a seal good night.

Entropy Garden

  1. Find a cairn, a dry stone wall, a precarious balance of wood and stone.
  2. Add to or improve it in some small way.
  3. Walk away quickly without admiring your work.
  4. Don't look back.

The Beauty of Force

Find something beautiful in a spot where others will miss it.

Leave a note, hidden or public, permanent or temporary, that will bring that beauty to somebody else.

Silk Road

Collect 100 cobwebs with your face. Do not flinch or brush them away until you are done.

The Belle

Distinguish from the sounds around you the waves on a pebble beach, the nearby songbirds, gulls crying in the distance, the rustle of the grass and your clothing, slick footsteps in dewy grass, and the arrhythmic even tone of the sea buoy.

Self Timer

  1. Take a photo of yourself in distant silhouette.
  2. Take a photo of yourself spitting toothpaste into the sea.
  3. Take a photo of yourself rock climbing.
  4. Take a photo of yourself up a mast.
  5. Take a photo of yourself descending a rope.
  6. Take a photo of yourself jumping from a cliff.
  7. Take a photo of yourself.

Sea Fever

Spend weeks gradually piecing together the words for a poem or song you once knew by heart.


  1. Catch a butterfly with your mouth.
  2. How do its papery wings taste you murderer?!

Memory Dance

  1. Compose a game poem.
  2. Forget it completely.
  3. Recall it clearly.
  4. Record it.

Lark Arcade

Make a video game using for sounds only snippets from a field recording of a skylark.

Wet T-Shirt Competition

  1. Each player puts on a very wet t-shirt.
  2. The first player whose t-shirt is dry wins.

Fire Fighting

  1. Two players with long handled fire beaters stand opposite each other. They may wear whatever protective clothing they like.
  2. Both players set themselves on fire.
  3. The last player still on fire wins.
  4. A player unable to quench their own fire after a win forfeits the match.

Strange Seeds

Without consciously realising what you are doing, create a ritual or superstition about a plant you don't know the name of.

Leaf Study

  1. Find a beautiful dead leaf.
  2. Attach it like jewellery to a living branch.
  3. As you walk away contemplate the fate of these new companions.

Dinner Voyeur

  1. Dine alone in a busy restaurant.
  2. Before ordering pick an occupied table to listen to.
  3. Stay discreet, but spend your entire dinner listening to that tables conversation.
  4. As you pay, decide on a single question you would dearly like to ask them.
  5. Leave it unanswered.