GLADSTONE DOCK (1950s)
It still lies doggo in an
older Mersey-sider’s mind
a sight to sadden lookers
on - an Empress vessel
trashed by fire – a dire
event for which the word
of happenstance or Act of
God unaccountably applies.
Before she belched her last
black puff of smoke - the fire
appliances, and sad faced folk
of Merseyside who’d seen her
as a prize in yester times, now
say their catechisms of lament
as dockside workers and a wider
populous appeared as gutted
as the ship itself – now resting
with its funnels spread alongside
the harbour wall – palls of smoke
still oozing through portholes
left ajar by last crewmen aboard.
An inglorious end but one to send
assessors whooping with delight.