Friday, 11 September 2009


She lies bow high as cargo has been discharged
From forward holds and, stern lurched, curls
Cold dock water around her. Gangways
Cast overboard struggle to service
Stevedores trying to tie down
Several shades of steel ashore.
I’ve been inside this ship's skin; I’ve seen its storage
Spaces and thin walkways where seamen
Scrape their boots; the cramped low
Rooms they root and warren in;
Others locked and empty as the
Times have strained the crew.

But still she spoons her bulk across the stew of
Seas between European plates, spilling
Trimly what’s been left to fill her
With in this economic drought;
Her draught reflecting these
More fordable waters.
And back again with empty metal boxes sent
In hope of loading, when everybody
Knows none is forthcoming and
Will probably remain that
Way until we’ve plumbed
The depths of recession.

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