Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Watercolour by Tony Taylor

Wednesday, 7 September 2016


A familiar sight when I was young, seaside donkeys were as much a part of summer holidays as candy floss, buckets, spades and ice cream cones.
Those forlorn beasts, usually under the supervision of a team of sullen youths, would plod back and forth all day with their cargo of excited children, while beyond their well-trodden path, we boys played bat and ball and built colossal sandcastles. 
Viewed from a modern, adult perspective, such donkey-work seems essentially cruel and unutterably sad. 


Tired seaside donkeys: watch them plod,
on khaki sand, from A to B
without enthusiasm, eyes
downcast, heads hung dejectedly,
like defrocked priests without a God,
tormented now by buzzing flies.

We can but pray for beasts like these,
required to labour in the sun
for some man’s profit whilst alive
then later by a knacker’s gun,
dispatched, or perished from disease,
that in safe pasture, they might thrive.


  1. As you say purely for profit, 'cause who could see pleasure in watching them suffer.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Julian. The thought of them always makes me sad.