For Those in Peril

for-those-in-peril

‘For those in peril out at sea’ – the hymn of choice for we who know
How cruel the pounding waves can be along this callous, battered coast.
And, yet for all of that, I saw four fishermen at Anchorsholme
In combat with the thunderous storm, in oilskins, drenched to the bone
By deafening waves, still wheeling out their eight-foot wooden fishing smack
The wall of foaming, angry surf inhaling shingle, fighting back.
Then came the wave, at thirty foot in height it grabbed the flimsy prow
And hurled the vessel with such hate it landed, broken, upside down,
With all its would-be crew beneath; provisions for the voyage ahead
Now tossed and scattered on the plaster mountains of the storm instead.
And one by one, like drowning rats emerging breathless from the swell,
The fishermen, in rictus grins, fell scrambling amongst the shells.
And as the tide let out another roar and threw the wreck aloft,
The skipper, terrified, called out: “Per’aps wi’d better call it off.”

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