Beside the Seaside

This is meant to be a light-hearted, poetic commentary on the run-down English seaside and its visitors’ habits by someone who went to grammar school in a coastal resort in the early sixties. As with all humour, or satire maybe, there has to be a serious side. But this is a poem that is supposed to sound better than it reads, and is quite complex in its own small way.

Beside the Seaside
Beach-bound bodies bathed in sun
Seascaped bath towels draped on torsos burning
Buckets, spades and trowels; all childish fun
Watching whitened wave–foam churning
Amidst the man-made watery waste
The smells of deep-fried chips and fish
Mingled with once-called foreign taste
Of the now ubiquitous tandoori dish
O, these joyride, coast wide, seaside sights
Day tripping and hamburger flipping
Human sipping of lager, causing animal fights
Whilst church attendance ever slipping
O, fear ye not, as men go fishing
Those onlookers are at the harbour drinking
The fishers of men are, as ever, wishing
Salvation for the otherwise stinking
Glory be to the dispossessed
The great unwashed as they were once called
Though they may complain of being stressed
They seem unafraid of acts so bold
As near-naked paddling in sea so shallow
These souls that burn their soles of feet
And walk bare-foot on chewed marshmallow
Fending off lager louts descending from the street
They who abuse or accuse of elitism
Should consider this poet’s story of life
To submit to the prevailing defeatism
Might be a route to infinite strife
Help these simple souls for advancement to strive
As they may do for their son or daughter
That their minds, as their bodies, might from now on thrive
And avoid the risk of brain-cell slaughter

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