'At Santa Monica'

‘At Santa Monica

for Robin

‘We’ll go,’ you said,
and walk along
the beach
at Santa Monica.

We’d be, we swore,
English in an
Aliens Land,
and walk barefoot,
with hairy shins,
and trousers rolled
in grey
Pacific sand.

‘It’s dank!’ you said,
‘and Dull to boot!’
the Pier
at Santa Monica.

November gulls
swung hard against
an opal sea.
Beer cans bobbed
with plastic cups
and rotting weed.
‘No Honey here!’ you said,
‘for tea.’

But ‘Fun!’ you said
to be alive and
laugh so much
at Santa Monica.

Hands trailed
London shoes
past musseled rocks
wild blown hair.
Faces winter spumed:
and in my pocket,
(Why just mine?)
all our socks.

‘Let’s drive!’ you said
‘barefoot and wet
in Cadillacs’
from Santa Monica.

Left running
Dab-Chicks
fearful of the tide:
polluted molluscs
cups and cans:
and unsuspecting
Benjamins on Carmelina
could not hide!

‘Hullo!’ you said
‘We’ve come to tea,
quite soaking wet’
from Santa Monica.

Gone now:
Your raven’s eye,
the dancing grin,
head held high
and soldier’s
unastonished stride.
To write of you
how could I begin?

‘We’ll go,’ you said,
‘And walk along the
Beach.
At Santa Monica.’

Published in Slightly Foxed by Angela Fox (Collins, 1986)