On Cullercoats Beach

Pauline Plummer

The sky is a glass of pink champagne
and the milky sea sips at the edge.

You're playing your tenor sax laughter
at dusk and our voices are singing
acapella in the wind.

The warm dough of your arm's around
my shoulders and gritty sand rubs between my toes.

I've got egg shells in my pockets.
You're not yet un-shackled, not yet banished,
not yet gone, not yet lost, not yet sectioned.

I've bought a cashmere coat before
I've earned my wages.

Pauline Plummer

Pauline is an Irish/Welsh mix from Liverpool who has lived in the North East since 1982. She has had three full collections of poetry published, the last being Bint (Red Squirrel Press, 2011) and a verse novella From Here to Timbuktu (Smokestack Press, 2012) - a tale of a bunch of tourists crossing the Sahel, using the structure of Canterbury Tales as the underlying form. She also writes short stories and a collection of them, Dancing with a stranger, will be published by Red Squirrel Press in December 2014. She teaches creative writing at the Open University.

Pauline says: "On Cullercoats Beach began in a Carte Blanche workshop. It has taken me ages to get used to living in this area since I moved here from Teesside 10 years ago and it feels good to have a poem rooted in my neighbourhood. It is a beautiful beach and the poem captures a memory of walking with someone I loved but the relationship broke down because of his unstable behaviour; the poem tries to capture the optimism felt on the beach prior to this. Unusually for me, it is in a free form and uses imagery rather than pattern for its effects. I hope it has a poignant tone."

Pauline's previous Poems of the Month are Poppy and A Necklace of Acorns; she also contributed a poem, Cleopatra in Waterloo, Liverpool to our Women's Day special in March 2011.

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On Cullercoats Beach © 2014, Pauline Plummer: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.