O Do Not Ask If I Am Beach Body Ready

O do not ask
if I am beach body ready.

Observe how the folds
of my stomach ripple
like the wind-pulled waves.

Feel these pale buttocks,
smoothed by the sand-grains
of time.

Note these milk-white limbs,
useless and stranded,
washed up whalebones.

Consider the tufts of hair
which sprout on my shoulders
like sea-grass.

And listen to the lapping
of my socks
at the shores of my sandals.

And you ask me
if I am beach body ready?

Lines Written Upon Arriving At A Holiday Cottage And Discovering The Lack Of Reliable Wi-Fi

slow burning days drag by
as the smouldering fag ends of hours
turn themselves to ash

second-hand jigsaws
sleep smugly on dusty shelves,
uncontrite at their incompleteness,

next to a well-thumbed
Robert Harris and the fortnight
stretches like old laddered tights

evenings drab with scrabble
and the death rattle of yahtzee dice
provide no substitute

for videos of piano-playing cats
instagram selfies, status updates
and Lionel Richie memes

instead this, the buffering
and the suffering and the shutters
which rattle in the wind

Holiday Reading

Leila lying at the lido,
Lapping up some Don DeLillo.

Bob basking on the bietzsche,
With his daily dose of Nietzsche.

Paul poised by the pool,
Pouring over VS Naipaul.

Tania wrapped in beach towels,
Explores the works of John Fowles.

Cilla instilled inside her villa,
Still engrossed in Friedrich Schiller.

Deborah delays before she dips in,
Immersed entirely in Solzhenitsyn.

But I’m hiding under my duvet,
Reading a biography of Michael Bublé.