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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

On the Beach

Between the wooden breakwaters

I sit on the flinty stones

to watch the grey sea

waves rattling the beach

 

That foaming water

that was once the horizon

where I sailed

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beachesdreaminghorizonmerchant navysailingships

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

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