He was spark out, but at noon, on the beach,
entertained the thought that a fly might land
on a tingle of nerves, just beyond reach.
Save him plugging his brain into his hand.

Donkeys down on the shore were refugees
or latter-day saints, and along Pine Walk
pines grew obliquely, charmed by the salt breeze.
Wax-coated needles wouldn’t sink. Loose talk.

On the prom, retired expatriates swarmed
around shrink-wrapped heaps of the Daily Mail.
Waves were never the tide but ripples, spawned
by moon-coloured ships of war. The sun’s nail

by dusk—rusty, blunt—useless against ice.
For supper he ate the sleep from his eyes.