Friday, 8 January 2010

Sea Birds

Beneath the flat blue sky and smudgy clouds,
amidst the waves of chatter
and rush of the sea,
people gather and scatter like seabirds.

Perched on concrete walls,
guzzling glossy cones,
creamy as the bellies of gulls,
listening to the lazy rasp and smack of skateboards.

Boys in hot black metal fly
up and down, up and down,
preening to the teenage girls
with large gold hoops and tiny bags.

Hooded kids flock around the clocktower
bobbing about on their bikes like flotsam.
A rising swell of barking dogs and tinkling trikes
serenades the crowds
busy with their burger boxes, vinegary chips and texts.

A woman with leather like skin shuts her eyes
to the warming flush of the sun,
and the clatter of scooters.

On past the bubble gum pods,
the bright blue telescopes
and buckets of baby red spades,
people hold hands
and amble with their overloaded strollers.

An old man in a flat cap, his stripy carrier
flapping like a flag, in an ocean of pansies,
is head down against the wind,
sailing past the upturned boats
with their bleached and battered bottoms.

Cavernous arcades with dark mouths
spill dull thudding music,
loud as the yellow bird bin
and plastic slides in the play park.

Shiny wrappers scud across the beach
in the crisp spring current,
floundering in the purple circles
planted by the council.

Children walk on walls,
parents ponder on the railings,
or rake the stones for pebbles to skim.
They pause for thought,
watching the arc of stones tossed out to sea,
where the wind farm spins
beyond the wreck of the pier,

Spirits lift from their anchors
and thoughts fly up to limitless skies
where seabirds soar in the thermals.
Universal forces pull waves up the beach,
push winds onto shore,
turn the turbines, turn the clocks.

The planet rolls round on its axis
and the sun is swallowed by the sea
Birds fly home, their backs to the darkening waters,
past the mini golf, the boarded up window of the bingo club
and the tubs of rubber shoes.

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