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On Scarborough Beach

This beach experience has nothing to do with Yorkshire, except its name!  And yes, it does get that hot.


On Scarborough Beach


flash dry fades

        in the turn of the world,

a shield of furnace flame

    as callous sears

        your flickering city

where dance of sea-glint,

        fixed near

and cannily coast-wise

   primates gather, cower,

crouch in hunch together,

         spring-loaded for instant balm

in ocean absolution;


  an aqua shout,

       a yell of sky light




     shouting      leering   blazing overhead

like a Dantean Hell on the ceiling until,

     with lowered eyes

                         and modest smiles

(denying her sinful ways)

       she slides down the day

  as church glass slips

on cooling silica,

with slipping fingers

     in molten filigree:


we are

    relieved, and breathing

         the night feel:

  put on Bach and fall to earth.


Chris Hubbard

Perth, 1994

beachseaglintbalmblazingDanteansilicanightbach flower remedies

◄ Chariots of the Sun

Lincoln Triptych ►


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Chris Hubbard

Tue 7th Mar 2017 11:45

Hi Frances,

The short answer is "no" - I cannot recall any images of a comparable experience (or even the possibility of one) in the UK when I wrote this poem way back in 1994. I spent many weekends at Scarborough Beach in my early, dissipated adult years, which evidently had their long-term effects on me.

Strangely enough, last year - in the early UK summer - I visited the seaside town of Newquay on the north Cornwall coast, which possessed all four of the qualities you list. I can add that it also has a strong surfing culture, with numbers of Australians in evidence, judging by the Aussie flags around the place. It certainly failed in the temperature department though!

As for beach culture in the Scarborough, UK, version, that is definitely a non-starter as far as I can tell.



Frances Macaulay Forde

Tue 7th Mar 2017 02:53

As a fellow Perthite, I automatically went to our Scarborough Beach - sun, sea, surfers and wide blue sky & ocean. I'm wondering if this can also be applied to a beach in the UK version? I've never been there, so can't compare but would like to know if this is a comparison poem?

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