Poems and Poetry

Headland | A Poem by Thomas Martin

The headland juts out like a cocked thumb
At the end of the skyline, punctuating the landscape
Like a command, and that command is ascend, which many do
Those who make it to the top will be rewarded
With a spectacular view of the bay
And there is always the fun
Of getting lost on the way down
Joggers pound the pavement
Passing arm-in-arm strollers, the lovers,
Oblivious to all but each other
The tinkle tinkle of children’s carousels mingles
With the slam shut mechanism of the slot machines
While shrieks of feigned terror follow
The dull thud of colliding dodgems
The music of the day blasts from jukeboxes and crackling speakers:
Buddy Holly keeps telling us it doesn’t matter anymore
While Cliff Richard extols the merits of his Living Doll
Duane Eddy twangs out his Shazam! like a call to action
And, as always, Elvis, with his Big Hunk o’ Love
Telling his lady friend ‘I Need Your Love Tonight’
Carefully cultured lawns invite the passerby to rest awhile
While people picnic with a pot of tea
And home made sandwiches from Tupperware containers
The council has provided rows of deckchairs
For those who wish to listen in comfort
To the brass band blasting from the bandstand
Hardly rock’n’roll, but many like it
Out on the water the elite are sailing their boats
More Popeye than Ahab, perhaps, but to each his own
On the beach many are lazily loafing
Living the life of leisure, if only for a day
At the harbour end, the tang of the sea gives way
To the stench of slaughtered fish
Emanating from the fishermen’s boats
Mainly mackerel, they serve to remind us
Of the mundane life
To which we must soon return
When the holiday has run its course
And the summer is filed in memory.
But isn’t there always next year?


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