A grizzled old man
Each wrinkle on his aged face
Told volumes of his boat excursions
Where weather and cold days at sea
Shrunk his skin into, scared creases.
Waves, at times, higher than his old white hair
Crashed thunderous over the bow of his boat
Turquoise, lightning often rent the sky
As if to enforce the locked in loneliness
Aboard, alone without anyone’s help.
The sailor’s long and arduous life
His leathery hands now crippled,
With gnarled distorted fingers
So painful, the bait bucket – difficult to lift
His meagre catch hardly worth the red-diesel.
At reaching harbour, his thought was!
Time to retire the nets, sell up –
Scrap the anchor, no more –no more;
In retirement, snowy weather
Gave him a wry smile.
Thirty, forty years ago
Peeped into his dreams
His Father’s tales of whales
Swallowing fisher-folk and kin.
How would his Dad’s stories of slack rowlocks
Gunwales no longer used, oars limp in the boats belly
Failed fishing excursions, blamed on bad karma
Luck, when the fish eluded them
No longer bothered the old fisherman sailor.