The beachcomber’s wife

The silent halo of a yawning sun
dies in muddy, murky afternoon;
as orange embers paint the sea.
a moaning surge that lick the shore
can bear the burden of their boat away.

See on the foamy crest they ride
to meet a wreck upon the haggard reef.
Their backs are wet with brine and sweat,
to save the cargo for our wealth
with adze and spear they reach the wreck
and put the coxswain to his rest.

In smell of peat and food we cook
and mourn with ale at midnight feast.
Our starving children will survive,
the price was paid with seamen’s blood.

The wreck of a transport ship by William Turner

The wreck of a transport ship by William Turner

February 10, 2015

24 responses to “The beachcomber’s wife

  1. Bjorn, finally back on the net. This is a vivid piece, so much detail about the sacrifice and hardship of those who make their living at sea. The meter is wonderful; reads so smoothy that the choppy waters are almost at odds with the smooth lines! Amy

  2. I’ve read about this–and we often forget how hard and brutal the struggle for life can be. You bring out the basic urge to live at any cost here, without excuses, and it’s a sad hard truth to read, but perfectly presented.

  3. I love the sea and yours has so many vivid images~ Yes, we are have moments of being washed ashore, battling the elements~ You painted
    with a hurricane eye~! Well Done

  4. This is excellent as an ekphrasis poem but also stands alone to capture the emblematic vision of man’s battle against nature.

  5. i’m seeing this as scavengers
    picking the detritus of others mishaps

    sometimes they put up false beacon lights
    to lure unwary sailors to the rocks



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