Sonnet Saturday (6)

2014-07-04 23.13.59

The Textiliste is easy to spot – boy does she do colour – but where am I?

I’m travelling today – we are off to our friends’ twenty-fifth wedding anniversary party in Edinburgh and  so posting is a bit of a tricky proposition. I’ve also been running a little over the last couple of days so my researches have been on the back burner.

Anyway, this week, until today, has been warm with a promise of summer and holidays. This puts me in mind of the beach, that haven for fun and frolicking. To arrive at the beach I have to travel (being a city boy) so first up it’s dear old Willy of South Birmingham


How heavy do I journey on the way,
When what I seek, my weary travel’s end,
Doth teach that ease and that repose to say
‘Thus far the miles are measured from thy friend!’
The beast that bears me, tired with my woe,
Plods dully on, to bear that weight in me,
As if by some instinct the wretch did know
His rider lov’d not speed, being made from thee:
The bloody spur cannot provoke him on
That sometimes anger thrusts into his hide,
Which heavily he answers with a groan,
More sharp to me than spurring to his side;
For that same groan doth put this in my mind,
My grief lies onward, and my joy behind.

There is a neat symmetry here, because Charli Mills, over at the Carrot Ranch, has posed us a challenge on futurism and my post (just shown to an adoring public!) looks closely at the same issue that concerned Shakespeare in his last line. Here Shakespeare’s views contrast sharply with my views – we should look for the joy in going forward and not dwell, for good or bad, in the past. Easy to say and when focusing on lost love not so easy to do.

And then we arrive. In my case, it was to a white strip of sand in the Caribbean. We holidayed for a week with other pale-skinned escapees from Europe and North America. A lot of money was spent to bring us here so as I lay in the shade with my good book I looked about and people-watched. The desperation in those others guests, to soak up as much as they could to ensure a return on their investment: the food, warmth, sun, cocktails, FUN. Never before had I seen such aggressive sunbathing – the energy expended to burn on a tan in those seven days was extraordinary. Hence this little sonnet of my own.

Sonnet of Sand 


The Disco Junk thrums past, a rainbow

On the puckered sea. Rock-like skulls,

Guano iced, are parliament to trilling gulls

Eyeing the coral fish, flashing their tarty show.

Cinnamon frosted babies, paint the beach

With plastic spades; eyeless parents, basted

For spit roasting; happy to have wasted

Their nurtured cash on dark staining their peach

White flesh. Seven days of frantic relaxation,

Spent anxiously checking for zebra stripes,

Are reward for a year’s dead-eyed toil. Gripes

Are banned; they have their compensation

In the form of cheap booze-induced comas

And the first stirrings of a melanoma.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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9 Responses to Sonnet Saturday (6)

  1. willowdot21 says:

    I love a good Sonnet between the toes!


  2. Charli Mills says:

    Yes, the Textiliste manages colors perfectly…and you are, where? Behind the camera? Third to her right? Anyhow, I’m loving these sonnets and happy you took time for posting during traveling. Will’s #50 has two lines that reminds me of modern American drivers:

    “The bloody spur cannot provoke him on
    That sometimes anger thrusts into his hide,”

    There’s such impatience on the freeways that it’s called “road rage.” Will seems to suffer from it, or at least his poor beast does. Which is why so many mass-migrate to white sand beaches to collect the stains of melanoma. Sounds a tad like “vacation rage”–impatient to feast and frolic and have FUN. We used to experience “camping rage” where we joined all the road-ragers now towing campers and canoes up north to the Boundary Waters and Lake Superior, but at least it subsided once we heaved all the gear in a pile, set up camp and fixed first-night fajitas. It was all relaxing but the drive north! Great sonnet! Happy travels–keep looking forward to joy despite what Will proclaimed.


  3. Norah says:

    You commented on Shakespeare’s final two lines, I’ll comment on yours: that dreaded melanoma – so fierce and indiscriminate warrior – don’t fall into his cruel hands! Charli’s prompt about the future also got me thinking about a journey. I started a poem, but never made it to the end. Tried something else instead.


  4. Lisa Reiter says:

    I love your sonnet – brilliantly brings to mind those aggressive sunbathers busy leathering up their skin beyond anything beautiful. Thought it might be more Canaries than Carribbean though!


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