Runcible Spoon

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All the Beach is a Stage


The stuck-in-the-silent-era Moon

(which, tonight, full-faced,

is able again to play the part of the shining star –

though never actually gets to be one)

is, with its hemispherical floodlight,

ensuring that all the beach is a stage…


…which makes it unfortunate then that, way down here,

on this theatrically-moonstruck well-lit night,

the vast stage of sand remains a desert in terms of drama.


But even so –

and despite there being no audience to speak of –

the show must go on, as ever, for the one and only act:

a hi-vis yellow-jacketed middle-aged man

and his long-suffering assistant,

a low-vis multi-faceted metal detector

which, despite being just the sidekick –

and one that’s constantly carried –

is the only hope this duo have of ever getting rich.


Not that that’s actually saying much, however,

when the metal detector’s head –

as flat as the Earth once was

and programmed simply to dream of Martial’s money –  

is almost certainly never going to make

its one and only dream come true,

as neither the Moon nor Neptune

will ever give up their sunken Roman fortune

but, instead, just offer up, each time,

a fool’s flotsam of faded junk and seagulls’ bones.


The dupondius-dreaming duo, though, refuse to give up hope –

or, at least, the one hungriest for fame and riches

is trying his best to stay upbeat.

While gripping a lit cigar-sized torch between his teeth –

in lieu of the finest Cuban he’ll one day buy –

this paltry-paid performer remains convinced

it’s only time before he stumbles upon his fortune here.

It surely cannot be that life’s a beach and then you die –

even if his two-bit two-part act is decidedly end-of-pier.


First up, in the torch’s unforgiving spotlight,

the dull black disk appears,

doing, as ever, its best impression of a dolphin.

Not bad, and vaguely amusing,

but still a one-trick pony (or, even worse, a no-trick dolphin).


So, the disappointing disk disappears,

only for an equally dull black boot

to swiftly take its place in the spotlight,

doing, as it always does, a quick and pointless dance,

a five second shuffle, shifting sand,

just to find, yet again – and as it will be ever thus –

that no-one’s getting paid.