Harbour men

Eyes that look dried up,
leathered skin faces
that are salted barriers,
hardened and silent:

Men near a harbour seem to look the same
where ever you are. Surrounded by seagulls.
Blue anchors on their arms,
and they smoke. Or they chew tobacco.

Sometimes they laugh about something
that happened a long time ago
that they tell each other every day
adding a bit to the story each time. To make it better.

One by one they don’t return in misty mornings,
one by one they are forgotten, but the story gets
better by the day, until they are whispered myths themselves
and the last harbour man walks away into damp.

Comments on: "Harbour men" (18)

  1. It’s nice to see a tribute to the men that work hard and share their growing stories to one another.

  2. Oh I love this Ina!

    When we used to go on holiday to the coast when I was a child there was a small ferry that used to take us from one side of the bay to the other and I was always fascinated by the ferrymen the way they all looked the same with their blue polo neck jumpers. Cigarettes hanging from mouths etc. they couuld all have been the same person!

    Thank you for the trip down memory lane. I think the ferrymen were actually fishemen just doing this job in between!

    L&H xx

    • Hi Christine, thank you for sharing, lovely memories!
      There are always old men hanging around ferries. Maybe they like the idea of going away?
      L&H xx

  3. wordsthatetch said:

    excellent ..I loved this poem…

  4. those that can
    mend nets
    fingers younger
    than their faces

  5. I like this very much, Ina

  6. There’s a lot in this poem Ina. I’ve enjoyed retreading it.

  7. Sorry. Re-reading it! Wretched spelling checker!!

  8. Do you know the poetry of Dorianne Laux? She recently published a collection of her poetry entitled THE BOOK OF MEN. This poem reminds me of some of hers…..

  9. I love the way this poem ‘speaks’ of immortality … that doesn’t have to be tied to individual achievement or persons. Really enjoyed this poem. XO

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