Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2011

july river 24

Sunday morning:
a queue at the bakery
then sandcastles
and tiny silver fish
darting in the shallows.

Some days open to us

july river 17

the wind picks up
beneath dark clouds
the sea takes on
the colour of petrol

and now the rain

each day this week
summer has turned
against itself, as if it has
forgotten its own name

july river 16

the sea as clear as light this morning

a little girl stands under the beach shower
and opens her mouth

a rose tattoo
above a woman's right buttock

I step around the pebbles on the sea-bed

july river 13

a young girl turns
cartwheels in the shallows

the waves break short
like a splash of applause

july river 11

these gorgeous girls
in their Italian sunglasses
and sparkly flip-flops
who move like water

I want to press a fingertip
to their golden skin
just to watch it spring
back into place

july river 8

all day now
the chitter of cicadas
all night
the whirr of the ceiling fan

last night I dreamed
of a dark restaurant
an unpaid bill
I walked away from

july river 7

My father once gave my mother a driving lesson on the beach carpark while the three of us were in the back of the car. She remembers us shouting, 'No Daddy, please don't let Mammy drive.' She never learned.

45 years later my niece sends me a photo of her on a mobility scooter for the first time, negotiating Debenhams and M&S, her handbag in the front basket, her walking stick slotted behind the seat.

'Go, Mam,' I am shouting from 1,000 miles away.

july river 6

Almost nine in the evening and the beach is full of picnics: two kids and their parents eating sandwiches wrapped in tinfoil, an extended family on deckchairs around a line wobbly tables pushed together and leaning into the sand from the weight of tupperware dishes and bottles of wine, some volleyballers on towels with cigarettes and bread.

Sand, sunset, the voices of people who know you. The day's end like a pillow.

july river 3

there can never be too much light

july river 2

Much less than a nest, these few snatches of twig and grass, yet the pigeon settles and resettles herself on the high ledge under the arcade, a ledge so narrow she has to sit with her tail feathers flattened to the wall behind her. And when her mate arrives and perches on the tiniest lip of stone before resting his head across the back of her neck, so for a moment I can't see where his grey feathers end and hers begin, I am reminded of love, love that shows itself in kindness, and I am pleased to be, even if it is an invention of my own making.