Busking on Broadstairs Beach by Lesley Quayle

The night was liquid,
a sultry, heady brew
when we unlocked the music,
cool plains of sax
and smoky coils
of rhythm from an old guitar,
no rush when the song,
smooth as a dark river,
smooched the air.

Out across gold water
cruised by moon
and the whisky glow
of the promenade lights,
it streamed like sparks,
grazing sea now and then,
laidback, sighing.

From somewhere
the hurdy gurdy gabble
of a fairground organ
waddled into the night,
bumped into our busking,
made us turn up the volume
until an irate romeo chased us –
coitus interruptus –

sax and sex one summer night
on Broadstairs beach.

Lesley Quayle is a widely published poet and a folk/blues singer currently living in deepest, darkest rural Dorset.


Beach by Peter Yates

The sun revives,
sea refreshes;
and the sand eventually realises
I’m on holiday.

Old energy saps away
replaced by new
with its unguarded optimism.

I take two cigarettes from an imaginary pack.
I light them both together
and offer one to you 3000 miles away.
You take it
and glance quizzically in my direction.

I didn’t know you smoked you seem to say,
sitting at your office desk.

Peter Yates is a playwright who has his own Theatre Company Random Cactus. He works with various charities and is a Theatre Critic at London Theatre 1.