what was it
that I was chasing
way back when
I rode my dreams
by sea and Downs
and river paths
and later
holding onto
aquamarine railings
a hungover sun
squinting on the horizon
gulls prospecting
the promenade
for breakfast
before the tramps
rose from their slumbers
like preserved timbers
exposed at low tides
I wanted
what they wanted
a dream of something
out of reach
soaked in sun
and Special Brew
the shingle on the beach
made us stagger
drunk on love
and laughter
but love is a lie
you said
but I wouldn’t believe that
I kept on chasing
chasing . . .
chasing . . .

the only ones

on bright winter mornings
we drove hungover along the seafront
last night’s disco ball now a low hung sun
a billion twinkling dance moves glinting
on every tiny ripple of a wave
and through it all the beat of our lives
ebbed and flowed with every tide
racing – pulsing – floating onward
not that we had anywhere to go
except perhaps to the end of the pier
where the fishermen cast their hopes
and the drunks dreamed in gathered shoals
like driftwood drawn from the north
they too had nowhere left to go

we used to park at the end of Madeira Drive
and make out in the car when the clubs had closed
we weren’t the only ones

orange beetle

Mendicant in Minor Key

I was nothing – I believed nothing
I wonder, do you remember me, as I remember you?
Is it enough that we thought we were doing enough?
You begged with me beside the sea
Beside the waves that sung in minor keys
You knew the things that terrified me
The preparation, the waiting, the diving
The neon lights and drug-fuelled nights
Coming down felt like an end to a new beginning
The colour of  the water reminding me of . .
Litvinenko’s hospital gown as he lay dying
Yellow faced on the TV screen
The owl in the park screeching
The cracks in the pavement widening
I would hold on to the aquamarine railings
As if to a floundering ship. And you?
You would be no different yourself
For we were both lost in that moment
Both cadging smokes like tramps on the pier
We dyed our hair black like dark clouds
Circling above our heads and believed
There was nothing to believe
And there was nothing
There was nothing . . . .