The beaches were awash and reeling
with sunburnt flesh, already peeling,
and tempers flared up in the sun
at polite requests to please move on,
oblivious to the growing shadow
of the Covid reaper. Do they not know
the way to measure social distance?
After several months of abstinence,
entitlement had taken the place
of sense and kindness, and they raced,
with unmasked, bare-faced cheek,
like lemmings for a break mid-week.
Come sundown, the multitude disbanded,
leaving beaches empty-handed,
their fast-food wrappings and plastic bags
bobbing among the waves like sea-hags,
while seagulls litter-picked half-eaten snacks
between natural piles of shells and sea wrack.

Kim M. Russell, 28th June 2020

100 Seagull Plastic Photos and Premium High Res Pictures

A poem for earthweal open link weekend #26

18 thoughts on “Aghast

  1. This is brilliant Kim, and should be saved for posterity as a testimony to what it was like. I love your use of words and just the general way in which it is written.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 12 tons of rubbish, I heard. With COVID such a silent traveller and humans collectively so wired for pleasure, your England in 14 days or so will start to smell like Florida. Sigh. O for those “sea-hags” working the “wrack”! – Brendan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So far, our little village has not been invaded. The masses generally head for beaches. The Norfolk Broads is safe at the moment. But I fear for the worst.


  3. A poem – and photo – with great impact. Sigh. The plastic and litter we scatter carelessly and what it does to wildlife bothers me greatly.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, I’m afraid we have learned nothing. They interviewed people on the radio here whose one wish in life after 3 months inside was to go to the mall… that was what would make them feel alive again. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your poem. I saw the images of the people on British beaches andfound them perlexing. It’s winter here but sunny. It’s also school holidays. Today the roads are choked with people driving to the beaches even though it’s only 13 degrees celsius. It is my private conclusion large numbers of people have gone completely insane during lockdown.

    Liked by 1 person

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