High and dry upon the beach

where sleepy summer tides don`t reach

a tangled fringe of orange nets,

washed-white wood, slung cigarettes,

rest with caved-in Cola cans.

Black seaweed stretches out clawed hands

as though to beckon to the sea,

to plead - from rubbish wash me free.


No longer blue this old sea grows

grey and grumpy, bites at toes

that only yesterday it licked,

that only yesterday had kicked

at bubbling waves, at flame-flashed balls,

sandcastle tops with hand-carved walls

and now, on footpaths through the wood

make flip-flop footprints in the mud . . .

where trees like queens in quivering crowns

of reds and golds and sun-burnt browns

sigh at their fussy lodgers plans

to fly off soon to warmer lands,

clap branches at their airborne stunts

- this circled, circled audience

that yawns as dogs and children weave

upon the banks, along the stream


where water brews round saucered rocks

and flabby fungus gropes and flops

and voices slip down with the sun

- smaller, smaller, almost none

until the stile's stormed battlements

stand silent. Gone the tournaments,

for summer knights of fearsome rule

are beaten by black nights

and school.