Atop coastal cliffs one sees them;
well-wrapped passengers, in pairs,
weathering the winter
sitting in parked cars,
gazing through windscreens
fogged by tea-steam.
They are, ‘admiring the view,’
that vast expanse of grey,
one topped by another.
‘Isn’t it nice,’ they say.
You can see them in the summer too,
but then the windows are wound down
and clothing’s shed,
save for shorts and tee-shirts.
In summer, if they’re lucky,
they may see a lot of blue,
but likely it’ll still be grey
although, perhaps, a paler shade.
What, exactly, is it that has caught the eye?
The slightly denser patch betraying
the presence of a frigate in the mist,
or the masted slivers of white fibreglass
that flail tricorn sails at the sky?
Perhaps it is the curved inversion of a smile,
that fuzzy boundary of the rounded earth
which demarcates the limits of all sight.
There is no drama here, no view.
Nothing to engage or occupy the mind.
It is the emptiness they so admire,
a blank screen for projections
in a moment of stillness,
somewhere for childhood memories
to flicker briefly in a mind
more usually preoccupied
with dealing with sciatica
or an irritable bowel.