The centurions stand facing out to sea,
One hundred Gormleys clad in iron,
Set in concrete to fix uncertain sands.
Naked but confident not vulnerable.
Threatened by tides they wade, then drown
But each moon emerge as strong as before.
Immovable they march into the tidal race,
Backs to the shore, searching for another place.
Container ships throb, ferry tannoys annoy,
Screeching oyster catchers whirl and settle.
Tourists take photos, hang bags on genitalia
No indiscretion will make this Gormley’s failure.
A danger to shipping the council say
Health and safety so they cannot stay.
If they’re not welcome through the sea they’ll walk
Like so many before from Liverpool to New York.
By David Ryder