Saturday, 23 November 2013

Let fishing villages lie

I came down into the town along wrinkled streets, 
past slumped houses. Outside old men, 
salt-blue hats stealing past crisp, white hairs,
sat on stools, whittled driftwood into memory.

The deserted dockyards dominated the heavy coastline, 
ribbed bones. Once Schooners and Brigantines
were the mainstay of the village until the evening 
when fishermen dragged themselves up to the shore.

Silence casts about the town now, dust settles 
old scores, the world turns a straight back 
to a finished existence. Fish swim in distant waters 
as ripples bring sadness into tarred hearts.

I came down into the town in search 
of an easy boat to brave the sea – possessed 
by a dream that my father the wood carver 
was trapped inside the sea’s moaning darkness.

I sought the prodigal path across waves 
and storms to bring my father, the candle, home – 
I was haunted by a mad belief  that skin 
and bone would not serve as well as wood.

I was already a cast out boy and wanted 
at this late date to be a tree again. A tree
can  sail oceans; each leaf can hear prayers 
whispered in darkness. I was made flesh.

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