At the Pleasure Beach
I needed that day, it was a break in the rain –
we rode the Big Dipper, shared a plume of candyfloss,
laughed about nothing and lingered on South Pier
until the sky turned orange, then dark.
Sometimes thoughts go round in the wash,
come out while we sleep, tangled up
and coloured strange. Nights by the coast,
I dream I’m a cloud moving over the beach.
You’re lazed on the sand, finishing the crossword.
I pour a few happy-sad raindrops on you,
you speak at the sky but your message is hushed
by a fracas of waves, the clatter of a rollercoaster
creeping to its peak. And the carriage feels
the pull of the drop but for a moment it holds,
towering over the Irish Sea
which seethes and settles, seethes and seethes.
After Jiro Dreams of Sushi
This place we live has no rooms
to speak of it’s one great hall of darkness
the name of a man is muttered on the docks
drawn under by the waves and carried
on the current Jiro we feel it swell
in the sea with the tenor of a dream Jiro
curse or promise we don’t know which
it works beneath our gills we must
swim through it brothers and sisters
left and right our eyes and mouths
fixed open Jiro foams
on the tongues of the waves as they lap
at the boats Jiro Jiro
Jiro calling for the nets to be cast
This Picture of You in Trujillo
Seven capfuls of rum
in your eyes, yeah you’re backing
into the ocean, up to your hips,
completely at ease.
Sometimes, we’d have nothing for breakfast
and Fruit Loops for dinner.
Sundays drifted into Mondays,
seamlessly as one sea
to the next. We flagged down trucks
and weaved round warnings
of furious rock. Lakes of heat
pooled on the concrete,
we sped straight through them.
You climbed into a Jeep with a man
cradling a machete, and Cassie
he clasped your hand.
Lauren Garland is based in Manchester, where she works for a mental health charity and
follows the lives of neighbourhood cats. Her collaboration with composer Aaron Breeze won
the 2019 Rosamond Prize. Her pamphlet, Darling, is forthcoming in 2020 with Broken Sleep