from a beach strewn with driftwood.
A chap with a tripod
fixed his camera and
prayed that no-one would
walk into his shot. It was
that kind of sunset.
People began to appear from
walkways and sidestreets,
like folk assembling for a
firework do, or New Year’s Eve
in Liverpool as the clock
counts down; forty or fifty waiting
for the sun to go down.
But the sun doesn’t go down,
it never does, it simply
moves on. Moves on from here,
New Zealand’s western shore, first place
each day to show its hand,
moves on to check what gives
around the corner.
I followed the dip of the disc
and as darkness lapped the edge
of the beach and the man with the
camera packed up his kit, I felt
the sun steel itself for its
American shift: difficult task,
but someone has to do it.
And I wondered what the sun
would light on this time around,
and how the coming day would be
recorded in the log:
stars aligned, stripes formed up?
Dawn lighting early?
Banner yet waving?
Or must we pluck up courage
to inspect this poll to say
who’ll lead the human tribe? Like
turning up for the specialist’s verdict:
malignant, or not? Either way
self-inflicted, too late to
live again now.
Darkness on the beach. No golden postscript
tonight, and the waves
hammer grimly on the unlit shingle.
Driftwood sculptures stand stark and grotesque,
fear infiltrates the senses, and
cold winds whisper through the sands:
Prognosis uncertain, it’s out of our hands.
© Charlie Lambert
Charlie Lambert is a former sports journalist who began writing poetry in 2016. He is among a group of poets who have contributed to the anthology in support of human rights, 'Write to be Counted', published in October by the Book Mill. He lives in Liverpool, England.