small lights shine across the bay
   from the direction of Wrangle or Old Leake –
in the absence of a New York bridge
   I used to practise trumpet
in the phone box by the lighthouse
   but it's harder on trombone:
now the glass has gone
   the sound insulation isn't what it was
but in recent bouts of fog
   I've prevented several shipwrecks
& prompted two new local legends
   regarding the transmigration of lighthouse-keepers'
incessant moaning
   the sand & salt get everywhere
under your flaps & scouring in your slide

   I've seen the barn owl solo down the Stiffkey road at dawn
you have to stop & tongue the light
   wherever you can find it
1½ ounces of Selmer Tuning Slide & Cork Grease
   sort out most problems
just drip some in your sugo   smear it round your rims
   but watch out if you rub it on your chest
like Vick's & then make love:
   I rocketed for the headboard
with the pace of a Ducati
   & no goggles or helmet to hand
unwilling to answer civil questions for a week
   I just wore dark glasses & slid the Voodoo
Trombone Quartet in the Walkperson
   why do you think the Spartans camped
wherever their Mascot Goat sat down?
   & after Otho was dethroned in 1862 can we really believe
that his successor   William George   Prince of Denmark
   was picked by Olivia Newton-John who then forgot to tell him –
so he only found out he was King of Greece
   from a scrap of newspaper that wrapped his fish sandwich?
I'm having astakomakaronáda
   as it rains tables & chairs on the terrace
putting cubic kilometres of sea mist in my ouzo
   DVDs of elsewhere can occupy decades
& only last week the rain stopped for hours:
   these dunes dried in a southerly breeze
& my mind briefly lightened like the sand
   tipped whispering off the edge of itself

Norfolk          February 2007