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Coastal Bluff

 bud
Frozen laughter
Slices through salt edged air; 
Squeals of delight echo incongruously,
Weaving amongst deserted chalets.
An ageless orange skyline
Remains subdued as disfigured
Sunshine splinters along
Promenades carpeted with silvery hoar.
Stained faces
Stare seawards, breathing with the tide
And isolated shores confront a
Grey, foaming aggressor:
Seemingly unannounced.
Local with a walking stick:
Standing, sideways,
Huddled beside an arcade,
With a lady who smokes
And a dog that shivers.
The rock emporium is up for sale.
Daylight suffers as a blanket of
Gloom shrouds each stranded folly;
Deep, mournful, marble shadows
Accumulate:
A lone tug-boat exhales.
Songs of summer evaporate
Into a clear, star speckled night.
Pier: Victorian, railing, paint peeling,
Lists just a little more,
Groaning amid the waves.
The Punch and Judy man
Stands alone on the beach:
In silhouette;
With wet feet;
Waiting.
Stephen Holloway
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