A pimped mobility scooter;
its hood trimmed with bagged pink candy floss
camp as Liberace’s cape.
As the sun falls into the sea, cue to flick on
LEDs that transform into burlesque carriage.
No decrepit drag queen conveyance though,
but granddad in beige slacks and short sleeve shirt.
Boy on a bike belts along the promenade,
towing an old dining chair roped to a railway porter trolley,
his mates in Who can stay on longest challenge
their laughter tossed into the air like mortar boards.
Retired gent in safari suit and jaunty cap,
stalks the high street baring bathroom scales and portable
blood pressure monitor, offering peripatetic health checks
to old boys who have over indulged on Raki and Baklava.
It’s not just the sea and sun we come here for,
but this nostalgia for life enriched by eccentricity
once an accepted part of our childhoods; bred out years ago.
He considered developers’ plans to dig up the gardens
philistine as shredding a Monet.
So wielded fame to see them off.
Now a sense he is still custodian beyond the grave,
as Majorelle becomes a Marrakesh must see.
We crane up at giant bamboo; stems thick as drain pipes,
pause to take in cacti arranged like installation art,
admire preening birds of paradise plants,
become figures in a living willow pattern as we rest on a pagoda bridge
observing red dragon flies hovering over lily encrusted koi ponds.
At each new feature, we must pause and wait though,
as the view is hogged by women with glad rags on,
who use the garden like the backdrop to a vogue fashion shoot.
We shake our heads as they deploy repertoire of poses
before cameras trained by doting partners.
The gallery of his couture is like entering another section
of the garden; a sartorial flower bed of vibrant colours.
I fizz over like a shaken coke at sight of legendary trouser suits,
gorgeous gowns, playful hats; shed a few tears as prototype bottle
of ‘Opium’ ambushes; my mother’s signature perfume.
Other visitors to the gallery skim outfits in silence,
not reverential more bored or piqued at photo ban.
My response is no faked orgasm, but daresay,
I am making a middle-aged spectacle of myself,
as eyebrows are raised and elbows are nudged.
Later, I ponder if this caffeine high response
is peculiar to me; then remember the middle-aged man
who on entering Manchester Science Museum,
pirouetted on concourse at choice of exhibits,
Oh marvellous! Where to start!
*The former home of Yves Saint Laurent
Fiona Sinclair is the editor of the fledgling on line poetry magazine from the edge. Her seventh collection Time Travellers Picnic will be published by Dempsey and Windle press in March 2019.