Howard Firkin
Bonbeach, 1993
I spare a thought tonight for all the rich
and hungry still who stand in evening dress
in doorways, too detached to busk, too careless;
who beg without a cup and make no pitch
for charity they aren’t aware exists.
Too smooth to walk upon a grubby shore,
they drink no wine from cardboard boxes, throw
no fish and chips scraps to the stars; don’t know
the cry of thirty silver gulls for more;
don’t know the night sea’s many alchemists.

One day they find there’s nothing more to buy;
their final horror: loss of appetite.
Not ever having lived, they cannot die:
they end. For these, I spare a thought tonight.