The Empty Benches.

The dogs, marking

sand with brief print,

ancient scratch-language,

lengthen and, boundless, plunge

at the cones of surf,

smashing them, barking.


A lone figure travails the blown beach. He drags a suitcase. He looks up from his feet and seems surprised to find another living here and, as we pass, I see that the suitcase is a lobster pot; a smashed collection of wire and wood. I trail the draglines of the broken box, toward the headland; unravelling history.


Reaching the steps, I leave the beach and

follow the slow curve of concrete and iron

that leads, solemn, to St. Mary’s, and is lined

with the empty benches.


The past days gather at this moment,

so I read their names, their anniversaries;

the hyphenated space between.

15 thoughts on “The Empty Benches.

  1. “Time present and time past/ Are both perhaps present in time future/ And time future contained in time past./ If all time is eternally present/ All time is unredeemable.”

    Yule magic to you, Nick, and wishes for an interesting New Year

    Liked by 1 person

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