Our summer holidays were always at Easter –
that time of year it was ‘so much cheaper’:
Even after a pay rise (for men-with-truncheons),
still that week, but then the joy of Butlin’s:

We went self-catering at Bognor Regis,
where Dad smuggled in my eldest brother
(through the holiday camp’s padlocked gates –
Chris was concealed under oil-soaked sheets).

Before we did Easter at Selsey Bill,
in a caravan hard-rocked by gales:
I drew seagulls, the only visible detail,
in that landscape of endless shingle.

Forty years later and another vacation,
off to Devon, a last-minute stay-cation,
on a holiday to engender family joy,
gulls now photoshopped by the youngest boy.


From above a radio drones
whilst the clippers whine
across the reddened neck
of the gentleman’s haircut.
Lined cars rumble outside
as gusts cross the threshold
and push the trimmings,
snips, hairy tumble weed,
from beneath the two-step
of the rug-cutting barber,
who never seems to struggle
with small talk on the floor.
Done, he attends to, brushes,
the now-vacated chair,
and gentlemen look sideways,
who is next on the dance card?