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Zettel Film Reviews » Poem: LOWESTOFT Full version.

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Poem: LOWESTOFT Full version.

 

Lowestoft - Now

 

LOWESTOFT  – (Full Version) 

 

From The Darkness
and the first bright rays
of every English day
Lowestoft has emerged
from its quiet anonymity
into a strange celebrity

Gone its history of herring girls and gulls
and stubbled stubborn weather-hardened men
snatching from the unforgiving sea
its sheening shimmering silver lode
sometimes paying nature’s tithe of death
the market price of fish the sea demands

Deckie learners clad in suits of every hue
pink and lime and postbox red
yellow tartans peacock blue
would swagger proud the wind-chilled streets
drinking brawling back to the calling sea
don’t mess with us – for this is what we do.

Fifty-thousand cran each year once streamed
in floodlit silver falls of light
boxed and iced throughout the night
defying nature’s rotting hands of time
by road and rail the salty spoils dispersed
racing each to reach the fickle market first

As the ghosts of silent sepia pictured fleets
still berth disgorge and set sail again
a man remembers childhood’s Sunday market trawl
to scavenge without let or cost his free bait
of wasteless herring to set a fish to catch a fish
from the beach with trace and lead to hook a private haul

Lowestoft also sold the friendly sea
sometime sunshine buckets spades and ice cream cones
Wakes weeks wanderers like northern swallows called
every year every week every digs the same
mum and dad the kids and even granny came
for beer and bingo cockles whelks and a pick-up football game

Now like a fortress the chain-linked steel clad market stands
Strictly ticketed tourists take the formal guided tours
the perfect white-sand beach deserted in the easting wind
remembers better crowded child-filled times
Professor Jingles’ Punch, the new show on the pier
Rolled up trousered men and skirt-clasped knickered Grans

These steady strong withstanding folk
No trace of sentimentality or voiced complaint
Seek new ways to share the simple beauty of their place
And from a proud hard-working honest yesterday
Carve a future from market forces granite face
For when The Darkness melts away.

 

 

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