Bricks • Mortar • Imagination • Words

The Texts

Tea Dance at the De La Warr Pavilion

And in the fading afternoon

among frayed chairs, the teacups and the palms

as evening draws in across wet shingle

like a gathering in of grief, he glides

in nifty patent pumps to Nobby Clarke's


Moon River, forgets as they twirl across

the polished floor her knitted cardie

and thickened thighs, the Oxfam silver shoes,

remembering only, how once, in a trick

of shifting light, halted midway on the curve

of foyer stairs, he imagined his tongue

licking salt from her bare shoulder, lifting

the scalloped edge of her blouse behind

the empty bandstand as a June wind

blew in from a zinc-white sea.


Outside the dimming window beyond

the balcony, balustrade and strand louche boys

in shades lounge on blue deck chairs

like passengers going down on the Titanic,

pink tulips, petals tattered as ball gowns,

tilt party faces towards the mewing gulls

their necks snapping in the harsh west wind.


And still she feels beautiful as she leans

her heavy body into his three-beat steps

holding close that night when the moon

snuggled down over the breakwater as they sheltered

in the lee of the Pavilion's curved window,

passengers on a liner to a Newfoundland,


for these days time hangs

heavy as nostalgia in this life of bedding plants,

tea on the white veranda.


So is this... my Huckleberry friend...,

as he guides her ... 1 2 3 ... across the darkening

floor what love is, this enduring, this

taking another step? For still she feels danger flutter

like the red bathing flag he once raised for her

on the flagpole of his heart.

< Previous:: 1::2::
Arts Council England
Site by Surface Impression