Fisherman gutting his huss by the line
Of a bland mild Autumn daggers you
Paranoid, trusses you up
In the cataracts. Netted with sole,
With a million crabs, you are whittled to scrimshaw
“Filth and the wet and the doom of it: hark
To the trial of a town cut in half before birth;
Scarce half piled up to the scree, to the scrawl,
Of the sea.
In December we trawl through the gloom of it.
Gale whip’s coming down screaming
To scour the womb of it.
Tarmac the brazier tomb of the Ground King.
Batten the pigeon call coo of the dry.
Buckle the wattle round hutch, around sty.
Curtain the children, dismantle the loom.
Sit sackinged and blanketed, furled under smoke.
The winter will knock.
Etna but wet, in the skies
Will blossom and bloom and apocalypse
Onto the paint of the film of the eye.
In gales on foot go the dumb hardy brave
Stiff battened in sealskin, boots,
Kin spirits, the Christ, and the sense of a spine
Against all the vast pyroclastic and hell
Of a storm that could pick at its teeth
With a sixty yard groyne.
“Preserve me, summer that was, sweet mother that was
From the million faces of Anvil:
The winter, the brine.”
As the waxy lapel flapping slaps
At his face, backhand of a god
Surnamed Cutlass, or Windlass, or Mace.
Blood fizzes like ice and champagne
To the stubbly surface.
so call to your mates
“Wake wake, and we go
To the ends of the sea to be
Scabbarded, iced in a blow.”
Two quid for your cockles.
Walk on and along
On the prom.
He’ll never say nothing like this to you,
Landling. Swallow that, stripling.