Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Bordeaux Bay by Guernsey-based artist Tony Taylor

Monday, 15 August 2016


Back in the days when corporal punishment was deemed the correct way to discipline wayward children, the threat of a father's anger was enough to make the most recalcitrant lad shiver.


Black as a conger eel,
it hung from a hook on the bathroom door,
slid through my dreams like hunger,

lay beneath bridges of sleep, leathery, malign,
purposeful in dark water.

Awareness was always there.
                          If you don’t stop that and behave
you’ll get strapped when your father comes home.

And the threat worked, most of the time.

But when wildness outran caution,
we waited, heads bowed,
eyes on the latch;

the strap laid out
on a bare table;

hands of the clock
hardly moving at all.


  1. Hi Richard, wasn't the strap such a deterrent, ooH I can remember hearing similar when I was a boy, now it maks me smile, not back then though.

  2. How things have changed, eh! Thanks for the comment, Julian.