Cloudy Ocean

Beach supper

by Mark Blayney

I went back to get more wine. In the meantime

the lid of sky clouded then darkened.

When I returned you’d added sticks

to the cheap Asda barbecue and the shore

transformed to a Viking funeral.

I padded towards you, the trashed trainers

you lent causing stumbles. We lay back

not quite touching, that moment when things may

or may not be about to happen. On the canvas above,

dirtyish with mackerel footprints, it’s not quite day,

not quite night, and any route seems possible.


The Plough emerges vertically, a cosmic question mark.

Sticks crackle, wanting to join in

with whatever is slowly alchemising;

the fire flares green from a copper nail.

It hypnotises long enough for us to walk

round a continent, discover vines in America,

return gold for our king, marry on a grassy Iceland hill,

bring up bonny children.

It’s a film I see flickering in your reflecting eyes.

Technicolor red, then jade. A boat

is hauled up the beach. Horses ride.

Mark won the Somerset Maugham Award for Two kinds of silence. His third story collection Doppelgangers and poetry Loud music makes you drive faster are available from Parthian.


He was an inaugural Hay Festival Writer at Work, won a Wales Media Award for his journalism and has been longlisted for the National Poetry Competition. He lives in Cardiff.