The Devil’s Tongue


United Kingdom
55° 22' 40.9836" N, 3° 26' 9.5028" W

The Palace pier heaves

with souls

licking at the dark cloud

squall laden sky,

a house whose haunted cries

beckon the inner child


Whipped with vertigo

chained in sudden sculpting wind

testing flesh and iron girder

she peers between the rain chafed

boards beneath her sandaled feet

into the depths of the pier


In oily shadow

turgid green waves lick

rust tanned legs

Salt spray spins in the boiling air

Like demon seagulls spying

chips in a child’s hand

preparing for a raid


Her parents pull her to safety -

ears assailed

with boom box voices she’s

enslaved to the yammer

of slot machines

the sighs of penny falls -  

‘til sugar starved lips

drive her in search of skull candy

and ice cream


© John Gilbert, 2014

Palace Pier, Brighton


This poem is about: 
My community


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