Clean Sand – New Poem (First draft)

Clean Sand


My boots are polished by a wave curling into itself.

Salt and sand sneak into holes where the lace goes.

Redcar, ancient fishing place by the red marsh,

once occupied by Anglo Saxons, Robert de Brus,

elk, deer and wild boar.


I haven’t been on this sea front

since I was old enough

to get ice cream bought for me.

We used to sit on an old blanket,

eat quavers and cold sausage rolls,

before looking for nice stones and driftwood

to take home and leave in the porch

with football boots, grass and Argos catalogues.


I see the head of a grey seal,

a tangerine windsurfer not quick enough.

Husky puppies looks as out of place

as Scott did in the Antarctic.

Barnacle Geese overhead,

flying from breeding grounds in Svalbard

to the Solway and Scotland.


The shop that sells lemon tops is closed

but an ice cream cone on a wall

grows soggy.


Sand is more sand than glass now,

more sand than condoms,

socks, shoes, bin bags,

fag ends, coke bottles, broken tennis balls

and dog shit.


If I picked up a handful,

I could let it fall through small slits in my fingers

and it would leave nothing in my palm,

just an itch, as if I’d touched the sun for too long.