Poems by Pete Ray


Purton Collier


Daubed black,
Like military infiltrators,
Soot-encrusted bargemen hovered;
Expressionless, gawping eyes
Blinked mechanically,
As the mission slithered silently, stalling on tide.

Minds slack,
Like spectral traders,
Grime-encrusted coalmen wavered;
Hopeless, gaping eyes
Gazed abjectly,
As the launch angled inexorably to Severn’s side.

Splintering crack,
Like slaveman’s whip,
Filth-encrusted vessel gouged;
Featureless, shattering prow
Beached firmly,
As its hulk, embedded deeply, salvaged minimal pride.

Changing tack,
Like lost souls,
Smut-encrusted wraiths disembarked;
Aimless; scaling prow,
Searched vainly,
As their culture evanesced, indiscernibly: immortality cruelly denied…


* * * * *




Grasses shifted by estuary breezes
Hissed an accompaniment
To featured birdsong;
Warm sun baked inviting mire
Around rusting iron,
Yet graffiti emphasised ignorance.

Weed shifted by tidal river
Attested an encroachment
To lush vegetation;
Warmer sun hardened streaked mud
Around concrete hulks,
Yet vandalism symbolised irreverence.

Plaques, nestled by caring ‘Friends’,
Invoked a folklore
To twisted wrecks;
Warmest sun stripped bleached wood
Around absurd projections,
Yet peace exemplified significance…


* * * * *

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