The raucous early ferry
carries swarms of sun-seekers
all planning to be ingénues again
acting out their dramas
on a pocket handkerchief patch of sand.
Battered and paint denied, a line of
beach huts stands like lone sentinels
surrendering to the invading horde,
as a rude harshness of sound swirls
above the body-spattered beach.
In the dry, wind-swept dunes
erotic thrusting of bare limbs
and tongues snake through the dusty grass
while old nets, torn and rejected,
embrace an anchor trimmed with verdigris
half buried in the mud.
Discarded plastic wrappers bloat and gasp,
abandoned by the receding tide.
Tired eyelids flutter and close
counting the hours until the last act.
Wild geese sweep overhead,
their honking rivalling the yawns
of hundreds of salt—stretched, spent voices.
The sun collapses with a brilliant emerald flash
and the hillside glows with molten gorse.
As the weary ferry idles across the strait
trailing a string of sluggish spume,
the gathering dusk—a backdrop for
a ribbon of indigo low on the horizon—
unfolds little lights like tiny jewels.
Tonight the island is a dark dragon,
solitary in a star-beamed sea,
waiting for the magician's touch
to illuminate a blank stage.
The beach huts rouge their tired faces
as they relive their honeyed days of
red tipped nails, dry martinis and
gold-banded cigarettes while melodies
from some forgotten pierrot troupe
haunt the dreaming shore.
Reflections on pale water, polished
like a calm boulevard,
beckon through watered taffeta spray.
I listen for the siren songs
to shape me into a première danseuse
performing to silken applause.
Yet I am star-crossed—sharing the silence
as the curtain falls beneath
a midnight moon stamped in a sable sky.