Poetry Drawer: And Now, The Shipping Forecast by Ali Hepburn

Viking: northerly seven, occasionally gale eight

at first showers, good.


Waves toss him:

jetsam frantically

discarded, shipwreck,

a boat pulled down.


Tyne, Dogger: was four, becoming cyclonic seven

to severe gale nine, sleet then showers, good occasionally poor.


We cut a line. Fierce

walls of water slop

onto the deck,

eyes fixed ahead.


Lundy, Fastnet: west gale eight to storm ten,

veering northwest five to seven, moderate.


Salt stings eyes.

In that blink

he’s gone. Mouth

drier than air.


Irish Sea, Shannon, Rockall: cyclonic

severe gale nine to violent storm eleven, poor.


‘Eyes to starboard!’

the shout goes out.

All we see is savage

churning and spray.

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