December Promenade


It’s only a few days since Christmas,
but after the joy comes a niggling sort of ache,

here by the sea, with this lonely reveller
of festive darkness, shedding needles of rain

and a glitter of shivers along the promenade;
with this foul-mouthed wind staggering

off the tide at closing-time, fetching home
a surly catch of staleness from the sea.

Stale too, all along the front, the wind’s accumulation –
gusts of greasy smells, clattering gangs of rusty cans

and whispering cronies of crumpled wrappers
that lour and loll or lobby locked arcades.

And staler still, scumming off the stranded year,
and all the years beneath, the skins, the smells

of other selves, the damaged, discarded selves –
like canisters of waste discharging at sea –

corrosive stuff, irradiating, blanching
the blood of this resort all hunched up

and left to play alone in winter rooms –
it gives off a fug of malaise, a baffled buzz

of wings on the glass, a whiff of death
behind the curtain.

Look!  All the lights are wistful spies,
for a glimpse of meaning in our lives.
See, now they peer around the bay,
nudge-nudging from window to window
for the secrets up her skirts,
as holly-spangled Hesper tinsels down the sky,
and sidles over here, for warmth, to you and me.






© Nemo 2023
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You told it like it is… January in all its seaside glory. Enjoyed the read.


You have some truly wonderful lines here. An absolute joy to read. I am sure I have read this before, am I right or as I fear, just going quietly mad?
Sue 🙂

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