Winter rain pelts in from the north
the hum of the incoming ferry barely heard
above the cold grey waves
swollen with suspense
passengers cloaked in raincoats
like wet pelicans at the rails.
It is writing weather
and nothing worthwhile happens.
A few children’s voices on the beach, high,
as if on stilts, defy the miserable day.
Parents stay inside to knit or read, and paint
the tropical island a picture of English season
arrested by a theme of decay.
I set out to work on a crime novel
and fall into the top ten pitfalls
every novelist falls into — I sip a bottle
of red, read Fatherland
, get proactive
and go up to the Pizzeria for an early lunch
I sleep off the red, run different plots
by my wife; she tells me to sleep off the red.
By nightfall the wind howls around
the corners, plays concertina with the doors
someone sings Hallelujah in the shower
the radio still full of yesterday’s news.