Portland Court

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Portland Court stands timelessly astride the cliff,
Surveying the Irish Sea from a vantage point on the rocks,
Once proud, it used to stand alone, but has now 
Been dwarfed, in the shadow of younger, taller blocks.

This place has the aura of an ageing ocean-going liner
That ran aground; and left behind an elegant wreck -
Port-holes in rich wood doors, many shining bronze
Plaques that grace walls on the upper and lower decks.

And some of the residents here seem suspended
In time; for, dutifully, resisting change, they have seen
To it that this vessel still sails, full steam ahead
Down under, to the Med, Azores or Caribbean.

But other passengers on board appear a motley crew,
Types who absent-mindedly find rougher waters,
Folk lacking the class of the bygone age; too coarse,
Inexperienced; some as brash as rich men's daughters.

Yet Portland Court still remains, clinging on defiantly
To its glorious past; it witnesses each new generation
Of modern types who board to take the place of
Older residents, anchored at their final destination.

Once again, the great vessel prepares to set sail,
With stalwarts who will steer their beloved ship,
Defending the spirit of yesteryear, and hopes held high
Of mooring safely home from another imagined trip.


All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.


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Paul Waring

Thu 5th Jan 2017 10:44

Thanks too John, for your comment about the atmosphere of this piece. Cheers, Paul

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Paul Waring

Thu 5th Jan 2017 10:43

Thanks Colin, I have just Googled Onslow Court and looked at the pictures of it, it looks a really interesting place, I'd love to live there! Portland Court is in New Brighton on the other side of the River Mersey at the point where it meets the Irish Sea, and has views across to Liverpool. Thanks for your comment, it's great to hear this sort of stuff, what a community we are part of on here! Paul

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John Coopey

Thu 5th Jan 2017 10:21

Very atmospheric, Paul. I too initially thought it was a hotel which had seen better days. They all seem like that in Weston super Mare. Well captured.

<Deleted User> (13762)

Thu 5th Jan 2017 08:29

I got that this was a residential block straight away but maybe because it reminded me of a similar place near Worthing in Sussex, Onslow Court. It's worth Googling it to see it's art deco architecture. It sits overlooking the main coast road and the shingle lined English Channel opposite. When I was a lad I picked up extra cash in hand working for my uncle on his removal vans. It helped supplement my dole money! We moved many people in and out of this type of property although I don't recall doing any in Onslow Court. And later I became a delivery driver for a wine merchant / off licence in Brighton and Hove. Similar blocks, similar people, but the change was even then taking place as the older more gentrified occupants were gradually replaced with a younger set. The mark of a good poem is whether it sparks memories in the reader. Thanks for posting Paul.

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Paul Waring

Wed 4th Jan 2017 17:50

Thanks Ray, much appreciated. Isn't it funny, only after reading your comment did I realise that Portland Court could be interpreted as being a hotel! It is, in fact, a residential block where I lived for 14 years and I felt very much part of the community you picked up on. Thanks again, Paul

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Wed 4th Jan 2017 17:33

I'm glad I read this right through Paul, as it is captures a great sense of community and variety within confines; it is almost as if the hotel has a personality of its own. I have had a lot of experience of the temporary nature of staying in them and moving on as a musician. One in Eastbourne called the Grand seems to fit your perception ; faded glory when I knew it in the 80s, never cheap though! Lots of places like this had cabaret acts (why I was there).

Well thought out and expressed with multi layers !


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