A Trawler’s Resting Place

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Photograph at the Stade, Hastings, by WHB – October 2017   ©

 

THE STADE  (Hastings)

A Trawler’s Resting Place

 

desolate and deconstructed
now at rest
my remnant life
so inexorably sea-linked 
still confronted
and yet consoled
by those waves
forever beating
on the shingle
of my shore

here on the stade
in the first throes of death
it is my destined fate
to pass on my faith
to those who succeed me

for hope exists
rebirth is on offer
amidst the rigours
of a relentless sea
on my pebbled bed
above the tides
prow still proudly fronting
those endless tides
white waves
bursting at my bows

resting at last
only my memories
trawling my sea-going past
recapturing the rapture
of my vibrant youth
the courageous tenor
of my old life
now entombed
beside my brethren
brothers in desuetude
companions of my death in life
the mystery of my history
encapsulated in this
maritime minster
my tomb inscribed
with my exploits
embedded
within the planking of my hull
and the bulkheads of my carcass

but … no shipshape shrine
rather sea-scavengers paradise
Davy Jones the organ donor
salty entrails examined
my sea-going body parts
prized and picked over
human gulls
ancient sea-dog mariners
making claim again
to my once upon a time worth
my parts in death available
transplanting hope
bringing new life to old

what the sea has not already claimed
remains
to tempt a new generation
regeneration offered
my hull disembowelled
stripped to its frame
rust freed
reclaimed
renamed
fading sea-life re-empowered
man’s eternal battle with the sea
love-hate affirmed
continued and confirmed
empowering new sea ventures

harbingers of a new generation
to be subjected once more
to the ocean’s
recondite whim
and arcane  grace

 

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The Daggers in my Words

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I didn’t see her
crying on the evening beach.
I knew she was there
and why
but I didn’t see her crying there.

I wasn’t there and yet I knew
I felt her pain
because I was the cause
L’amour fait mal
the perpetrator of the hurt

As she stood over the still rock pool
pretending to be looking for the sand crabs
I heard her tears drop into the still sea water,
the ripple that I knew they were sending out
threatening to tell the world
of my reckless disregard

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Without touching
I felt her sobbing against my chest
sharing heartbeats almost
hers racing
as though to beat the tide to the foreshore
mine following after to steady her haste

Her perfume floated to me on the salty air
a reminder, a tell-tale allusion to her presence
a  fragrant sea-balm redolent of only her
an aroma meant to draw me to that distant beach

And yet I was not there
I had no sight of her distress
only the certain knowledge
my senses heightened by the evening’s stillness
by my guilt, and by the opprobrium I deserved

I sensed all that upheaval
the ending of a dream can bring
more hurtful
when that dream had seemed so attainable

Unseeingly I connected with her on that beach
sequestered from the torrent of words
which was to come
by the murmur of the waves
breaking upon the sand
striving for that mark
which would signal the tide turning
and come to that apotheosis
which we had once hoped would be our future
but which now seemed in doubt
if not surrendered
even stabbed in its infancy
  by the daggers in my words   

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Photographs by courtesy of Canadian artist Alma Kerr

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VERITY

‘VERITY’ is the name given to a stainless steel and bronze statue created by Damien Hirst, the English artist, entrepreneur, and art collector. He is the most prominent member of the group known as the Young British Artists, who dominated the art scene in the UK during the 1990s.

The 20.25-metre tall sculpture stands on the pier at the entrance to the harbour in Ilfracombe, Devon, looking out over the Bristol Channel towards South Wales.  Hirst lives close to the town. He describes his work as a “modern allegory of truth and justice”.  The statue depicts a pregnant woman holding aloft a sword while carrying the scales of justice and standing on a pile of law books.  Half of the sculpture shows the internal anatomy of the pregnant woman, with the foetus clearly visible. (adapted from Wikipedia)

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‘Verity’ by Damien Hirst, Ilfracombe, Devon … Photograph … WHB – 2015

VERITY

Pregnant,
Opened up, exposed,
Exhibit Number One

I am birth corroborated,
Prying eyes sated,
Privacy crushed

Paraded for the populace
To ponder,
To pity

They ogle,
Excoriate,
Turn witty

Solicitudes are rare;
Their taunts I bear;
Reproofs I must abide

And yet, I am the truth
About how it is
To be free

My brandished threat
Repays the debt
My innocence holds

My stance, defiance,
Thwarts compliance,
Demands a voice

But to keep hope alive,
Live long, survive,
I must be exposed

Must confront
The brutal sea,
The relentless incoming tide

No chance repose;
What end my woes;
Torment inside

My frightened stare
Torches the tides,
Seeking solace

Whilst emblazoned in light
Against the torrid sky
The world gawps

I must bear
The stares
And cry

I am torn apart;
My pain is there
For all to see.

In a world that demands
To know,
To know everything

The truth is there
For all to see,
To verify that I
Am VERITY

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‘Verity’ by Damien Hirst, Ilfracombe, Devon … Photo WHB – 2015

 

In order to give a clearer picture of the statue and it’s position on the seafront at Ilfracombe, I have placed a few of my own photographs of ‘Verity’ in the gallery below … Click on any tile to start a slide show . . .