This poem first appeared in Appletree Writers’ In On The Tide
All profits go to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution
It can be bought here: http://appletreewriters.co.uk/shop/books/in-on-the-tide/
In the night North Sea
we catch treats for beauties asleep
under flash Orion’s Belt
and Mars fuming red.
In the great mother’s paddle-pool
we net her fish, as we’re tugged and torn
between anchoring homes
and breath-pinching horizons.
Some of our tales are even true.
Here at the end of the world
there are mergirls drunk on rocks
and ship-hungry beasts.
Then there are the dry-land lovelies
snoozing in upper rooms, their tousled hair
tumbling over eiderdowns,
warm limbs and parted lips.
But we mustn’t look homewards
all the time, it’s pure backspeirin.
All we’ll catch is spray in our eyes.
Whether we’re wrapped
in soft-shawled arms or rocked
in this vast bobbing cradle,
the great mother soothing us
with the hushabye of her waves,
we mustn’t look homewards.
All we’ll catch is salt-crusted lashes
and glances black with omens.