Look We have Coming to Dover!

by Daljit Nagra

Look We have Coming to Dover!

So various, so beautiful, so new…

Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach


Stowed in the sea to invade

the alfresco lash of a diesel-breeze

ratcheting speed into the tide, brunt with

gobfuls of surf phlegmed by cushy come-and-go

tourists prow’d on the cruisers, lording the ministered waves.


Seagull and shoal life

vexing their blarnies upon our huddled

camouflage past the vast crumble of scummed

cliffs, scramming on mulch as thunder unbladders

yobbish rain and wind on our escape hutched in a Bedford van.


Seasons or years we reap

inland, unclocked by the national eye

or stabs in the back, teemed for breathing

sweeps of grass through the whistling asthma of parks,

burdened, ennobled – poling sparks across pylon and pylon.


Swarms of us, grafting in

the black within shot of the moon’s

spotlight, banking on the miracle of sun:

span its rainbow, passport us to life. Only then

can it be human to hoick ourselves, bare-faced for the clear.


Imagine my love and I,

our sundry others, Blair’d in the cash

of our beeswax’d cars, our crash clothes, free,

we raise our charged glasses over unparasol’d tables

East, babbling our lingoes, flecked by the chalk of Britannia!