Headland written by Gavin Haycock at Spillwords.com



written by: Gavin Haycock



roaring noon days when all we do is slow feast
supplicant and supine
Atlantic breeze breathing
from the nearby mouthing coast of Africa
languid and godless under a gas-blue sky
merciless sun presiding over altars of sand
shores with bikini bay burn lines, inverted
emerald green shafts off darkness rise up
to where high water marks touch
air and beyond
searing into yellow, millennia-old rock

time defined by tides
and story lines foretold in oak leaves discarded by Cumaean Sibyl
slightly dishevelled from the night before
as she ran barefoot and starry-eyed
scattering her rubies and pearls of wisdom
outside the entrances to caves and rocky inlets

in from the beach near white-washed walls, a solitary café
a young man begins to think of leaning in and over to the woman
taking shape in clouds above his head
Mojo Risin’ and falling as waves of words break and spread cataracts of foam
opening a gulf of silence between them
scented whispers murmur among pine trees

in further still, as air sweats and turns
in the glistening bosom of the bay
cats sleep on cobbled paths
washing lines hang limp along narrow alleys between two-room cottages
once home to fishermen, fruit sellers, seamstresses and artisans
their gates held fast with rope bound by driftwood
grandparents sit quietly in shadows
no desire to live in cities of light beyond these sacred places

there is a house on a hill
olive-green shutters bolted
alone at the end of a scrub-lined path
littered with waste from days before yesterday
Camel cigarette packets, crumpled tissues, spent shotgun shells
plastic bottles, air inside bloated and stale
it begins with an iron gate
padlocked, rusting, ‘For Sale’

on the sun-baked back of a gun-grey road sign
as you approach the headland
someone has graffitied ‘fuck turism’
smearing it black in the grabbed heat of a distracted moment

you can walk away from here any time you want
but once landed, never really leave

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