Saturday, 17 August 2013

Where women wait

This poem has been inspired by two things. One was the launch in August 2013 of the first single by The Fishwives Choir, many of whom have lost husbands, sons, fathers or brothers at sea. I am proud to call some of them my friends.  The other inspiration is a beautiful painting, 'Flotsam', by Judith Hickling, which at the time of writing was hanging in the Pendre Art Gallery in Cardigan. There are links to information about both of these below. And there is more to come from me on the 'Flotsam' theme.
For now, this is for the Fishwives Choir.
Where women wait

Cottage windows look out
on the calming sea
as the slow tide settles;
and tiny lights shine misty
through the glass, all the long night.

Figures are hardened,
like standing stones,
and rocks unmoving by the shore.
Weary eyes search this scene,
where women wait.

Three boats cast off last night
on the full moon tide.
Fishermen fought for footholds
on heaving, slipping decks
as the sudden storm thundered.

Two boats return in the grey dawn.
All day alarms sound,
radios hiss. But the only reply
is the loud beating of hearts
where women wait.

Frail threads of faith
lie buried as deep
as the coldest fathoms.
The Fishwives Choir
Salt licks hair and stings eyes
as they watch from the wall.

As moonrise brings a higher tide
three men are lost tonight.
As hopes rise and fall
waves swell in dull yellow light,
minds reach out to lost souls
where women wait.



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