Booking this house had spooked me with its crass
happenstance: Coleman and Tennant parked once
by the drive to fathom who’d done what, or
how, dissecting this drain-straight, dead end climb
into slices of fiction.
Up Beach RoadI pause and imagine summer – Dorsets
of infinite shingle and hand-stitched fields.
But we’re trapped by those half-fledged gulls, over-
night anglers and un-cleared paths through National
Trust barricades. Whatever next? ‘Keep Out’.
Four of us slid past March store sales and plate
glass lies, bought pints of fear and remembered
him, lost at home. We knocked that Sunday back
from sleazy chairs then crossed the soaking street
and met you where that plastered ceiling rose.
They’d packed off the seats and you took the hall
by warmth, played a set of loss and comfort
and left its list by a foldback. You paused
at the death then stepped through a secret door
to sign the songs: an evening played for him.
Forgive or take forty years: the landmarks
have moved up that concrete strand and these new
palms and parasols throw little shade. My
photo shows hotels that smothered the last
but aged twelve I encountered
Guardia up every calle, and Franco’s
army of flats down unmade paths. Many
had smelt the slaughter four decades before.
They hid behind shutters like dry silent
hills and watched English lads working out Spain.
Will Daunt recently edited Eddie Wainwright’s selected poems: Pleading At The Bar of Truth, and his sixth collection of poetry Landed was published by Lapwing in 2013. Gerard Manley Hopkins: the Lydiate Connections was published in 2019, and he’s reviewed for Envoi, Pulsar, New Hope International and Tears in the Fence.
The sequence ENGLAND EDGING features 100 poems of 100 syllables.