The house was one of those that survived.
Years past, most of the village had gone
Washed away, lost, swept up
A besom broom of water and energy and grit
Cast off into the salt-pan of jetsam
And untethered cargo
Right at the street end.
Now the nor’easterly pounded in
The walls shook up from the foundations
Jurassic Park writ real
Our water and wine turned choppy
No salvation it seemed
From the insistent rumble
Incapable of being unheard;
The windows spattered with brine
The walls peppered with shingle
The unending wind
Wailed and whistled ghoulishly
Through seaweed-smeared chimney pots
Kelp flung like phoney confetti –
Dogs wore a sideways parting
Owners sported brackish bangs
As they pushed through the car wash
And brushed with the drink;
Seagulls surfed breaker tops
Before banking to vertical
And shrieking desperately as sodden chips
Mushy pea pots and batter crumbs
Went howling down the road – lost
The upended bin nudged by the sea wall
That gyrated, then giggled, then cried
In ecstasy and agony
At such unwanted attention

Lost Mini

Sprinting across the shingle;
That’s what we did; sprinting
And flirting up a wake of pebbles
Grit too, like a rally car
Power sliding through an unpaved bend
In deepest Wales or Kielder or Galloway
Barely in control
The shingle gave way below our feet
Until we threw ourselves down
Next to the towels, spades and wind-breaks
The beach was the racetrack,
Banked bends, long straights
A Mulsanne and Eau Rouge in one,
With my Mini; unblinking eyes on the front
Throwing out death rays of light
Twin exhausts out back
Two fingers to the Planet
Spewing out the bile of internal combustion;
But it didn’t count on the assault course
Of being thrown from paw to paw
Or accelerated through the sound barrier
Or worse, being buried one foot down
By infants.
That’s where it ended.
I buried the car, like I buried the Scirocco
in later years; buried it deep
Not into the side of a truck
But in a pit; a grave of beach shingle.
I went to dig it up – but the car had vanished
Clawing, I dug a hole four foot wide
Roped my Dad in too; no avail.
Where is it now? That’s the recurring thought
I have whenever I walk on a shingle beach –
From Chesil to Slapton Ley
Where is my Mini?
In flights of fancy and whimsical thought
I imagine it now, somewhere near
The Mid Atlantic Ridge By-pass
Or whizzing through the Grand Banks
Pursued by Whales and Cod
More likely, it’s like that tank they found.
Fell off a boat it did
When practicing for Omaha and Juno
Came up years later; pock marked
Armoured by limpets
And camouflaged by kelp