Out of Season


I’ve walked these hibernating streets through winter’s gloom before.
These are the badlands, best approached with collar turned against the roar
Of soulless winter. All the painted shop fronts selling tat are hidden
Under nailed boards and shutters – cheerful façades now forbidden.
There is no place of refuge here. The cafes look like empty gaols.
The sand will strip your exposed skin with pointed teeth in snarling gales.
The drunken fat girls in their ‘fuck me’ skirts have left the roll-mop dance
To mother bastards back in Blackburn, borne of summer’s brief romance.
The kiss-me-quick hats and the candyfloss are under lock and key.
The sexist postcards and the sticks of rock re-housed. There’s just the sea,
Forever rumbling, clouds stacked high in tiers of grey on darker grey,
As metal turds of sluggish trams roll through the wraiths of ocean spray
That clap the cliff tops like old bed sheets. All the tourists having gone,
The town puts on its blast-proof coat to face the winter months head on.

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