you stopped me
on the promenade
politely asked me
for a picture
of you both
in front of
the observation tower
back to back!
umbrellas like weapons!
comedy hero pose!
there! great! done!
thanks so much!
excitedly taking back
your spongebob iphone
and waving it
in the air
marking the change
perhaps, from digital
truth to fiction,
happy tourists to
last couple standing
sword and spear
at the ready
behind you, the
red rippled sea
above, a vast
murmuration of dragons
wheeling on the
tower’s ruined spindle
calling and falling
in co-operative patterns
no-one could possibly
fake. Could they?

blown away

‘What d’you think of that picture?’
‘Which one? This one?’ (standing in front of a large, colour print of the sea during a storm).
‘Yeah. What d’you think?’
I take a step back and take it in. The sky, low, intensely dark, a few shreds of ghastly white cloud riding ahead like the tormented souls of drowned sailors making it home at last; the sea, ragged, wild, one giant wave in the foreground folding over in a gigantic stack of water to crash onto the beach, only just falling short of a tiny figure – man? woman? it’s impossible to tell – who is leaning into the wind with one hand on their hat and one arm outstretched, their raincoat flaring behind them.
‘Pretty dramatic!’ I say. ‘Who took it? You?’
‘I tied myself to the railings so’s not to get blown away.’
I turn back to the picture.
‘So who’s that on the beach? A wizard?’
‘I dunno. Some nutcase. But I think it’s the best picture I ever took. Yep. I’m pretty proud of that one.’
‘I wonder what happened to him?’
‘‘I think he lost ‘is ‘at.’