Christopher Stocks


Scott of the Riviera

The tide came in to the tops of the café tables
Until the plates began to float
A millimetre above the blue plastic tablecloths.
Customers called for the waiter, a lumbering fatso
Who ran through the water, waist-deep, with their orders.

We were talking to some people
Who had forgotten how many houses they owned.
In some of them, year after year,
The sheets were changed daily,
The gardens pruned and watered,
But nobody ever came.

Sometimes they would check in to hotels
Only to remember the villa on the coast
Or up in the hills nearby:
Perhaps it would cross their minds for a second;
They might even smile; but then

A new acquaintance – the girl with blue gloves,
The Spaniard whose ancestors burned St Etienne –
Or a more than usually rewarding sunset
(Though considering the outlay it was the least they could expect)
Distracted their attention. Oranges

Lit the terrace from the dark green recesses
Of their glossy leaves; the teenage heiress
Had lost her shoe and was being carried
By the Argentinean molasses millionaire.