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The Sailors' Homecoming

There is a time

channel mists behind, we sit at anchor for the tide

then in the early hours the Thames pilots board

and - slowly for the mist still lingers close to land -

we move up river reaches, take tugs and find our lock

to gently nudge our way between the barges

until we are tied up again in Albert's dock,

derricks swung and hatches open -

and I am free

 

Again,...

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1960sanchoragebargesBiscaycargodischargedocksfogLondonmerchant navypilotssailorsshipsstormstugs

The Artist [1]

In so few splashed acrylic lines

see Cornish fishing boats

take shape against the quay

the red hull and the yellow

 

See Cornish fishing boats

mirrored in the harbour sea

the red hull and the yellow

with the deep sky sunk below

 

Mirrored in the harbour sea

the jumble of masts and cranes

with the deep sky sunk below

and the distant sea above

 

The jumbl...

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artistsCornwalldocksFalmouthfishing boatsharbourpaintingPantounreflectionsseaships

Mostly Welsh

I grew up in Wales

Around the Swansea docks

I walked beneath huge cargo ships

Held up with props and blocks

 

I was made in Wales

Around the southern ports

I watched the big ships dock

My family guessed my thoughts

 

I was mined in Wales

Near valleys black with slag

And closing pits and picket lines

With many a mine lodge flag

 

I was forged in Wales

...

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docksexperienceheritagehistorylifemerchant navyportsseafaringshipsSwanseatravelWalesWelsh

Harry Stottal

 

I once met old Harry Stottal,
a bricky from down Hackney Marsh.
He didn't much care for tory politics,
so spoke of Maggie in words most harsh.

As far as his philosphy of life went,
we'd no need for any more toffs,
yet they were mostly the folk he built for,
even though their way of life made him cross.

He drove an old van with just one seat,
for the other had got in the way,
when he'd had a load of...

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