Low water now and the motley of crabbers
is crammed towards the end of the pier,
leaving space for a merry metaphor
of our times, Uncle Tacko’s Flea Circus,
with its innuendo and innocence,
its knowingness and charm, its vaudeville
of outrageous unnuanced half-truths,
its charivari of anachronisms.
The Bulkeley Hotel on the front (once
a private mansion of many rooms)
and the stone terrace of late Georgian
town houses in this holiday resort
speak of its erstwhile strategic value.