A few verses in honour of the brave folk who live and work at sea, and to those who risk life and limb to pull them from it.
Wild, flooded forest, home to the largest of beasts
that feast in the froth and spray
now the grave to at least a million men like me,
who entrust their bodies unto the sea
and the melee of beings that dwell beneath.
Encased, wide-eyed child in the aft
of a battle scarred craft, the tiniest shaft
of light to fend off the night, the infant’s fright
and duplicitous urges of fight or flight.
A mighty haul provokes the captain’s call
to surge over the wall and ‘once more into the breach’
while on a faraway beach stands the lass
who fought the urge to beseech her lad,
‘Just heed this one last forecast’.
no sound but the wind, racing like a wild horse
to force our brave lads from their bunks
to batten down hatches when the galloping wind catches
one of their number, still slow from slumber,
now falling down and under Poseidon’s icy realm.
Crimson smoke-filled sky catches
the watcher’s careful eye who shouts
above the seagull’s cry “To the ocean we go lest the young lad die”,
thus filling the boat with brave souls who float
on the raging sea and spray for a reward greater than wages pay.
A fellow is lost and we must at all cost
find him before the frost and sea
fills his lungs and he slowly
becomes a thing of the past,
‘in loving memory’, at peace, at last…
The souls in the craft risk all this
for the lads of the oar and their lasses ashore
who give praise to the courage and charity of any