hello goodbye

hello goodbye


I saw her from the window

of my signal-stalled train

stranded beside the bay


she wore

a soft green hat

a bright red scarf



again and again


she threw a stick

for a dog to fetch

from the waves


and in between


a hovering half-dance

collecting pebbles

she put in a satchel

worn around her neck


I opened the window


I waved

I shouted hello


she waved

she helloed


the carriage jolted

the train moved on


I waved goodbye

she waved goodbye

we waved goodbye


seconds later

I pulled the cord

jumped onto the track


clambering seaweed groynes

my sandals snapped


razor sea-shells

jagged stones

tore my feet


icy crab-pools

clouded blood-red red


an empty beach

but for the dog

black-headed gulls

and a sandy stick


the dog

pawed the stick

stepped away

stepped back  

pawed the stick

looked quizzically

at me - at the stick - at me


‘get my drift’


I got his drift


I over-armed the stick

far into the swell

‘go fetch boy fetch’


the dog

plunged in

swam out


swam back

mouthing home

a bright red scarf

◄ Hugging Lauren - WOMAD 1990 (remix)

poring away ►


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