Discharged of duty,
the cranes are extinct sauropods,
fossilising as they stand.
Smudges of smoke
and a clattering of rain 
on corrugated iron
fill the night.

Caulkers and other men
of toil,
circumscribed by whistle
and clock,
are gone,

having filed by
the oil-black water
a final time,

the women's 
failed crane bags
and grimoires
flung into the inky depths.

The tone 
is commensurate with the hour,
drifting, reconciled,
on a cat's-paw 

as the pub empties
on the moated hill,
wistful eyes
riding the inlet down
to the padlocked gates,
before turning and blurring
against the torrent,
—hard and warm
and cauterising.

 —from my book 
            Heading North (2015)

5 thoughts on “Dockyard

  1. Pingback: Dress It Up | El Space–The Blog of L. Marie

  2. I adore the contrasts in this poem! Your poems always create such vivid imagery and setting. I also finally (and sadly) finished reading Heading North. GOLLY GOSH. It’s great. And I daren’t say any more in case my envy of your talents becomes far too obvious. Hehe. I’m so happy at how well it seems to have been received (leaving my Amazon review as promised!) and deservedly so!

    Liked by 1 person

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