About me, I swear down.
I’ll tell thee of treks – how I in radged-days
put up with fretted-time,
sought abode and still do, get bitter tit-care,
in us heart-ship, scary waves’ rolling,
where narrow neet-ogle
often kept us at heart-ship’s stem
when it scurries by cliffs.
Us feet clammed by cold,
bound by frost’s frozen cold steel,
where those frets sighed
marfin about heart;
clemmed within ripped
mind of sea-knackered.
Town lads have it soft, dunt know nowt
as how us, care-beggared, ice-scratched sea dwellers wintered in exile,
swayed from mates and kin,
rigged with rime-crystals.
Hail stones bounced off our decks.
I heard nowt there but sea’s groan,
ice-flecked seas furrow. Heard at times summat like swan’s. And made glad by gannet’s and curlew’s clamour,
for homely laughter,
gull-shriek for bitter ale.
Hail beat up stone-cliffs, where feathered
spray nattered to them; often eagles dew-feathered screamed.
No mates sheltered us,
or made us feel minded.
Town folk dunt credit it,
complacent with blessings
and few baleful journeys –
proud and wine-sozzled, how I, knackered,
often on sea-snickets had to abide.
Night-shadow snuffed us out;
snow fell from the north;
rime bound soil; hail felled earth
coldest of corns. So, now, thoughts
mither my heart, that I the deep sea,
salt-waves, should fetch myself on.
Salt yearn moves us gently.
Desire is a gust catcher.
Heart-ship bobs in its harbour,
as it pitches and yaws
to stranger islands.
Refugees homeland seek.
Though embarking, the reckless, skilful, youthful, brave,
do not know what life has in store.
Nor my hands on harp or on coin,
on lasses limbs delight,
nor on owt save wayward water.
These woodlands unwinter too much with blossom,
give too much gold to villages, overbrighten meadows. World pushes on, all this urges us,
doom minded spirits to leave on flood-ways.
Heart-ship tugs at moorings.
Summer cuckoo’s mournful call urges,
bodes sorrow, bitter in breast-hoard.
If tha blessed with comfort, how does tha know what some endure on tracks of exile?
Heart-ship tugs at its harbour.
My imagination in mere-flood,
in whale plunge, wide in its turns
eager for seas vastness. Gannet yells
as whale-wends, spirit quickens over holm’s deep, irresistible delights of life are more
than this life that flits on land.
Illness, old age and aggression
wrests life away, bests breath.
6. PRAISE OF LIFE
Praise life. Before tha death
tha must climb mast against malice,
shun dodgy devils. Days stale,
earth’s grandeur beggared,
now no bosses, gold-givers gone,
glorious deeds done,
live out their doom.
Joys stale, weak rule this world,
live here afflicted. Glory humbled,
earth grows old, withers this November.
Old age fares over thee; tha bright face pale;
gray-haired, tha grieves over tha mates
given to the sod. Homeless tha flesh, then, when life is lost to thee, tha cannot sweet swallow nor sore feel, hand stir nor mind think.
Tha gold means nowt beside graves of tha mates, that proud deed will not go with thee,
gold is no help to a self full of itself.
7. THE MEASURER
The world’s craftsman is a Measurer
that turns the earth. Founder of fields
and sky. Only the foolish mess with it
and die unexpected. Tha must be humble.
The Measurer helps them be strong
as is minded in steer of their heart-ship
wise in tha decisions, clean in tha ways.
Anchor tha fire or be burned.
Fate is stronger Measurer than any a tha thought.
Harbour is a life long in love of Earth,
hope int skies. Through all rough tides
and smooth trust in water and the sod.