By-the-wind-sailor – a poem by Martin Towers


By-the-wind-sailor on the beach I go down to
and stand beside. Happy at your name.
You have travelled far with the others and if it was spring
I would go so far as to bring Jack-by-the-hedge to you 
in particular - stuff we have along the waysides here - picked 
for you to dry in private inside your oilskin. It will bring you 
Good fortune when you sail on as you must. 

You stand side on to me and to the waves, 
dressed in dusk on the flat low-tide shore, 
Your eyes glistening as gift is given, doubting nothing,   
Pipe bowl glowing, eyes of you singing songwords -
Neap. Venus. And Star O’ the Sea.
‘I knew a bar of that name,’ my eyes sing back, wet as your own.
You see something in the sky then and turn away, back 
Towards the fateful waters and I stand seeing full beam car lights 
Weaving between B road hedges on the headland beyond the dunes.

Martin Towers recently moved from Northern Ireland to Wales where he works as a support worker. Moths are a big thing for him, his favourite being the Angle Shades.

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