Night Harbour

He walks among the memories, shade of ghosts
and boats and lights and cacophonous noise.
The bang and bash of time. Mornings, bright
and the wriggle of dying life on the night harbour.

Salty lights that stung, once green dreaming eyes
and opened nose to deep new worlds of tides.
Of ocean floors and swarming schools running fast
before gill nets, the chased to life and death.

Colours and names blend and merge,
watercolour images drown in shapes of blues and reds,
blacks and greens. On spars, wide planks and draw.
And masts high, ghostly cry of the night harbour

Voices carry on the waves of wind and sound. Songs echo
from dry remembered throats. Arguing gulls fight for territory
on blood soaked bows. And perch proud on bollards wrapped
in chains and holding fifty tons and sixty feet.

The beat of life now gone, a ghost of shadow time, of plastic boxes,
icy graves and grey blue scale. Wet heads and hands. Shells with
pearls and flesh and black eyes on dead stalks.
The folks that came to walk and talk on the night harbour.

If they could speak what would they say, topped and tailed.
Red sailed and seasoned wood. Proven sound, pound after pound
of surging wave, forest names, teak and oak. Set alight by skilled
shipwright to form the dreams of hull and deep wide beams.

The tales they would tell of ocean swell, fishing grounds.
Concrete ridges holding feet and the rising beat of diesels thrum.
High blinding beams that light the scenes of fast hand and flying
claws. That life in light and smell and all the long dead sounds of the
night harbour.


© Dave Kavanagh 2016

4 thoughts on “Night Harbour

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