I went for a walk to look for the sea …

… and all I saw were wide, empty boulevards,
gaunt Victorian buildings, red brick in their grandeur,
Lug Hall — an elegant Georgian house: To Let.
Blind people beware, guard dog on patrol,
blue Sefton bollards edge the empty car parks,
wind-swept ocean lakes, isolated drops of rain
flung into startled faces of the unprepared.
Sail dinghies, still in winter-dress: blue tarpaulins,
piled haphazardly amongst the dunes.
The Ramada bravely faces Irish winds
its curved lines form the bridge of some land-locked ship,
even the gulls fly by in awed silence.

A grand balustrade building announces itself as
Queen’s Hotel Court, but its arched windows are blind,
neglected, dead ends of ivy, fingers stretched tight
ready to crush, bring down to rubble, crumble to dust.
Italy, Greece, Portugal, awnings yawn
in their emptiness, yearn for the sounds
of sizzling food, the clink of glass, laughter.

To be silenced like slaughtered animals,
a loss of cunning, of cheap ecstasies,
a mouldering genius in the shape of a calamity.
I close my eyes and listen for the sea,
a green insect lands on me momentarily —
the wind tugs at its delicate wings, it is gone
— I am alone again, almost unnoticed.

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