the deckchair man

I wish I could remember now
what the deckchair man had said

in the evening
before the sun went down

I had been his only customer
all of that long day

on the quiet shore
where no one else had come

something about attachment
something about the senses

chains by which we’re bound
that much I know

something about forgiveness
something about acceptance

something about surrender
letting go

something about love
all-redeeming love

and there being no turning back
once we are called

he spoke so very softly
it might have been the sea

when I looked
there was no one there at all

failure to thrive

I found a flat grey stone on the beach
with scratch marks
scored deeply on one side

it reminded me of something I couldn’t account for
so I placed it in the yard
with other things I don’t care about
and thought no more of it

when I saw it again
the lines seemed more pronounced
(it may have been the light)
but it no longer reminded me of anything
other than how a young child starved of love
will fail to thrive

next day
I returned it to the beach

a three-legged dog followed me home
but I don’t want him

beach hut

I rented a beach hut for the week
and kept it shuttered
it was golden inside
with walls of shimmering azure
beach huts in the rain
any colour you can think of
isn’t it a shame
no one’s going bathing

*

when we finally shed our bodies
and change
will we cower behind towels
on the shore
or will there be beach huts
I do hope there’ll be beach huts
any colour you can’t think of
beach hut

starfish

take me to the village store
they may have found a cure by now
for love
and other things

and if they don’t have what I need
I’ll wander down some lonely street
and when I feel quite out of reach
sit upon the shore
and look for starfish

somewhere on the ocean bed
a sea star makes its own repair
silently regenerates
the starfish

headland 2

I often walk
this stony beach
uncomfortable upon the feet
but conducive to the mind
though I would rather not make rhymes
but wander to a place I know
around the headland
a mile or more
a little bay
a sheltered cove
where I arrange the stones
just so
bereft of any rhyme
or reason
hard to find
in any season
not on maps
nor in guide books
I only find
when I don’t look