On Mundesley beach

Weather worn and gnarled,
Ancient fingers
Grasp restless waves
Through sand and stone and sea.
Thick nails bleed iron,
Red browns and rusty,
Salt scores wooden skin
And the quiet grey horizon watches,
Grinding down the lifeline
Time and time again,
Over and over against the shore.

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Where are the words?

Stuck, wedged in facts
Squeezed deep in newspaper.
Dancing in well-thumbed books,
Fat and happy.
Louche on glossy paper,
Aching to be loved.
Basking, lit by a hazy glow,
Warmed by technology.
Shouting,
Self important
On train cards, bus shelters.
Capital actions, stamping sans serif feet.
Tattooed into the self,
A hard, black reminder.

Words.
They’re everywhere,
Apart my brain.
They’re misbehaving.
Wriggling through the fingers
Of my poetry again.

Greasepaint

You arrived
with your script prepared
and not once
did you forget your lines.
You stayed in character
right until the
curtain fell.
No applause for us,
you rehearsed that
final act
over and over and over.

You exit stage left.

I start to happily
wipe off old greasepaint,
becoming my own
lead role again.