The morning starts off grey.
There is a wind off the North Sea
and you can smell the storm.
The boats stay in the harbor.
No fishing for them today.
A lost day in the name of self preservation.
But it is no day of rest.
There are nets to repair.
Equipment to strengthen.
Preparations to be made.
For the storm will come and the storm will go.
Damage will be done.
And the ones able to work again
are the ones labouring now.
The wind kicks up. You can tell
the storm will be a bitter thing,
a battering thing. and you will not know the damage
until it has used its fury,
all it destruction, with far more consequences,
unintended, blind consequences
that you and those like you,
tools at hand, familiar from use,
too familiar perhaps,
held by calloused, weary hands.
About this poem.
A poem about the changes in this country over the past four years. The anger and polarization; the rise again of racism, and the work of rebuilding care and respect for each other as part of our nation’s fabric. And too, a poem about seafarers. Nothing ever has a single meaning as much as we would like it to. At least not in my world.
The picture was taken in The Netherlands.