The Sterling Castle, 1703

The sands move

brushed by moray tale

shivered in clouds

by a sole's shy shift

the currents stir

shaking silt

to mist the sea

to settle -

moving time

over an old log reel,

clearing the centuries  

discovering old timbers:

dead ribs

reaching up to past waves

offering their history

to the naked shipworms.

As the crabs scuttle to explore

as stars creep in the dark

sands of the anchorage

below the tall stern post and rudder

the tide shifted shoals

have left a long cannon

still on its carriage

fallen from the gun ports

where two of its sisters

still stand proud guard

with a lone conger eel.



As the men shivered

in the Great Storm,

manning the clanking pumps

cutting away fallen spars

soaked by crashing waves

breaking over the bows,

blasting through the hawsehole -

desperately scared by a fate

foretold by howling winds

numbed by a future

felt in every ship shaking shock

of the dragging anchor -

they could only wonder

at the longshoremen

who watched but left them

at the Admiral's ship

which left them

to the sands of

the Goodwins

HMS Sterling CastleThe Great Storm1703Goodwin Sandswrecksseastormswaveswindsandssandbanks

◄ The God in the Mountain

Dark Lullaby ►


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