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  • I wrote this in 1997, on the 12th March, in tears.
    Men are lost.

    Seasalt taste.

    I've always lived beside the sea.

    And the sentiment expressed is still relevant. It will always be.

    So this is dedicated to all who go to sea.

    But particularly, it is for those who stay behind to wait.........

    The Loss of the 'Westhaven' 12/3/97

    "A fishing boat is missing........"
    The radio casts it's net of fear and hope
    Across a sea of unseen faces
    Anxious, in their homes and work

    They bade farewell the other day
    A day no different from the other days they left.
    We stay
    The land so broad around us
    Fits us snugly
    Shelter belts of trees
    To break the growl of gale and sleet

    But this is spring
    Not foul
    Nor howling
    Just an easy day of warming promise.

    Seawards, glancing back
    Their land grows small
    The sea ahead expanding
    To fill their thoughts with home
    And work
    And will this earn their pay?

    Hulls slap waves, that tease and beckon
    ..................................further out
    To where the deep fish swim
    Before the nets puff out with pride
    Their cod-ends bulging
    Straining on the ropes and shackles
    Tying men to blood and guts
    And ever-present risk of pain.

    "Where were you when you heard?"
    My friends ask....
    As if the answer made a difference.

    Men are missing
    Gone to sea
    Lovers, husbands, fathers, sons...........

    When I heard the news
    I was safe
    And sad
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