haibun: Last Resort


the cries of gulls

echo in lonely streets

monochrome sea

A stone town. It owes its existence to the quarries where limestone blocks are still blasted from the living hills by hard-bitten quarry-men. On the pocked coast nearby, the caves are man-made. The cliff-line is flattened by stone-yards. An unlovely town, the stone buildings are functional, without embellishment. Here the landscape’s dream has long-since yielded to banality. You can taste the stone-dust which seems to trickle from the walls of the houses. The nostrils are dry with it; the eyes blink it away; hands and face feel crimped and desiccated. Near the old quay where barges once loaded stone, an amusement arcade attempts cheeriness for the trippers who still frequent this place by the sea. Flashing coloured lights and cheap jingles rebound from he squat grey frontages of shops (in other places, far away, the masons have tooled and crafted this same stone into fine facades and pinnacles).  Here, at its origin, the stone weighs heavy. Here, we seem behind-hand: no way forward, no issue… .

car park

busily foraging

a wagtail









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