December Promenade

December Promenade

A Poem by Gerald Parker

It’s only a few days since Christmas,

but after the joy comes a niggling sort of ache,

here by the sea, with this lonely reveller

of festive darkness, shedding needles of rain

and a glitter of shivers along the promenade;

with this foul-mouthed wind staggering

off the tide at closing-time, fetching home

a surly catch of staleness from the sea.

Stale too, all along the front, the wind’s accumulation:

gusts of greasy smells, clattering gangs of rusty cans

and whispering cronies of crumpled wrappers

that lour and loll or lobby locked arcades.

And staler still, scumming off the stranded year,

and all the years beneath, the skins, the smells

of other selves, the damaged, discarded selves -

like canisters of waste discharging at sea -

corrosive stuff, irradiating, blanching

the blood of this resort all hunched up

and left to play alone in winter rooms

in a fug of malaise, with a baffled buzz

of wings on the glass, a whiff of death

behind the curtain.

Look! All the lights are wistful spies,


for a glimpse of meaning in our lives.

See, now they peer around the bay,

nudge-nudging from window to window

for the secrets up her skirts,

as holly-spangled Hesper tinsels down the sky,

and sidles over here, for warmth, to you and me.


© 2019 Gerald Parker

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Added on December 30, 2019
Last Updated on December 30, 2019


Gerald Parker
Gerald Parker

London, United Kingdom

There's not much to tell. I read a lot of poetry and I read my own poetry regularly. I hope other people read it and derive as much pleasure out of it as I do. My output is small, about 110 poems as I.. more..