It's 7 am opening the stall again, feels like he's never been away,
Cleans the floor opens the freezer door, just like every other day,
The sun shines bright on the quiet prom, the wreckage of the night before now gone,
He sits himself on a patio chair, newspaper, tea and the fresh sea air,
He rests awhile, he's ahead of time .... and his eyes.. slowly..... close...
.....Next thing he knows,
He's wandering down dingy narrow streets the muttering retreats of massage parlours indiscreet, boarding houses rammed with benefit cheats, down litter-strewn backstreets, where old men in shirtsleeves sit on window seats, who smoke but never speak, in their forgotten seaside rest homes, watching lost old ladies come and go talking of Michelangelo, fragmented memories of long ago, just how much ‘rest’ have they left to go ..!
Come then me and you, past boarded up joke shops, tattoo's, the penny slots, the cockle sellers, ragged gypsy fortune tellers, sawdust restaurants with oyster shells, past yesterday's grand hotels, until we reach the sandy beach and waves that crash down on the sea, and at the roaring water’s edge, the icy salt spray stinging, they ride the waves of white & grey, you can hear the mermaids singing ...
... ..Joe awakes with sharp surprise he'd only meant to rest his eyes,
I'm running late he thinks out loud, and spies the early morning breakfast crowd,
Restless for their first smoke and a pint of boiling tea,
He makes a joke and becomes the host of fake conviviality,
But his half remembered dream lingers through the day,
What did it mean, what was it trying to say,
But egg on toast, Blackpool rock, candy floss and ices,
Occupy his waking day at exorbitant prices,
Until at last he walks away, forcing the moment to its crisis,
And again stares out to sea, implores the mermaids ‘come back for me’,
But hearing nothing but the crashing tide, seagull cries, and trams that ride,
Noisily upon the prom, Joe thinks where's all my time gone,
I have known these early mornings, these busy afternoons,
Yes I have measured out my life with polystyrene cups and plastic spoons,
But what about those mermaids riding on the raging sea,
Sweetly singing each to each ...why can’t they sing to me ....