synapse

he thought about the little bay
where they had taken the children on holiday
and where he hadn’t been as happy
as he should have been

and he remembered holidays
with his own father
that brought him up with a jolt
like an electric current

connections occur across a tiny space
a synapse

or the passage of many years

now like a couple in separate rooms
he was out of kilter with himself

sleep couldn’t come too soon

no picnic

that cloud

on the edge of the cliff

from the coastal path
like the head of the patriarch

only a flimsy thing
that soon blows over

leaving clear day
and little else of meaning

on the headland
where we leave eggshells
for the birds

and scatter

sorry
I meant to show you something special

theft at Lyme Regis

four glass coasters
bought at Lyme Regis
when the children were young
and life was easy

life was never easy

photographing them now in sunlight
they seem fabulous beyond compare
blue from another ocean
I never knew existed 
where sea urchins devour whales
amid bubbles of aquamarine
and half-formed monsters
guard a pirate treasure hardly seen
at the time

joy passes too quickly for us to grasp
life is a bauble
a theft
don’t expect miracles
when the miracle has already passed 

lost in a sea
preserved in glass

what we did on our holidays

oh take me
by the rolling southern downs
onwards
to a little seaside town

park me
in a guest house with no view
and listen
to me moan about the food

hear me
moaning with the homeless sea
complaining
all night long incessantly

harken
to me moaning as we leave
now you get
your turn to moan at me

typical

oh God I’m so depressed

I feel just like a wet cigarette
a bottle with the cork stuck in the neck

a sandwich with no filling and no bread
a pencil with perpetually breaking lead

just when things were to starting to go well
another public holiday from hell

typical – always the bloody same
rain rain rain rain

[note. for those who don’t live in the UK – August Bank Holiday means one thing … ]

Longing for the Sea

Oh, I too am longing for the sea,
to break free forever from
certainties and cups of tea
by firesides that we
are too familiar with.

But all those holidays we shared
by restless oceans,
didn’t we agree
that the best part
was always coming home
to mediocrity and letters
on the welcome mat
strewn like windfall apples.

I too am longing for the sea,
this evening at my table,
in verse, in memory. Inversely.

dreamstimefree_28240
Longing for the sea | image c. Stendec | Dreamstime