The Death of The Southern Star

The death of the Southern Star

 Clinker built

Lines true and clean

My hull shone painted

Seaspray green

Sitting high

No barnacle or weed

Fouled my body all was clear


Full sixty feet bow to stern

Thirty five across

With eight good men

Southern Star is my name

I trawled these waters in the fishing game


My master had a steady hand

Worked crew hard on sea and land

Proud as I, he steered true course

In calm waters

Or a’fore full force


Voyage on voyage

Gale on gale

Decks get scuffed and paint to peel

Master with fair weather eye

Tends my scars, keeps me dry

He knows best how to keep me whole

He understands

I have a soul


But men are cruel to beast and boat

Careless hands and mindless sloth

Crews that change with every season

Tired of the life

Or feigned own reason

For most are as one who seek a wage

The easy path is all they crave


Forty years I worked

Fair and hard

Master gone now

To his reward

None are immortal

Least not I

Now I am to be scuttled

On the next high tide


Still I am proud

And owe none my keep

So have no pity

As I sink deep

Sea’s one to me

Top or bottom

My back is broke

My boards all rotten


On cold sea bed

I will lay

And dream of Kish and Irelands Eye

In sea memory

Sound and whole

They can sink me deep

But can not take my soul

 Dave Kavanagh March 1999

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