The Water’s Edge

Th’ tide hast cometh at last

and spreads into th’ harbour.

Now breech th’ tidal floor an’

Weigheth th’ anch’r stone,

Yon caravel hast been ballast’d

Maketh free below th’ wat’r line

An’  free thee from its sand‘s

Kiss th’ shores o’ thine salvation

An’ unleash th’ promise

O’ th’ sea o’ nae return.

wh’re th’ beasts o’ th’ flote

Await tae swallow thee whole.

Sooth then west until th’ winds catch th’ sails

Above th’ deadly doldrums,

Above th’ Calms of Capricorn,

Tae th’ great unknown,

To th’ Deep beyon’ th’ Great One’s reach,

Beyon’ th’ soun’ o’ God’s ain voice’

Beyon’ th’ reach o’ God’s ain loving wings

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Th’ Great Brim Waters

Tis a lo’esome soun’

Th’ weary lugs fall asleep tae

Tha’ howling whispering o’ win`

Tha’ turns th’ minutes intae hours,

Tha’ frothing of th’ silen’ wake,

Underneath th’ field o’ stars,

Frae sky tae sky, through sun an’ moonly glow,

nae sight, nae hint of lan’

Splitting th’ waves thro’ fair waither or foul,

days an’ weeks steady on the course.

Starboard lies the Constant Star,

Orion’s Belt off the port.

Trade winds pushing us beyon’ th’ horizon,

Beyon’ th’ endless flote.

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This Day Will Have Its Feast

Whe’ all is meditations above th’ foamy,

horizon tae horizon

A month o’ days since th’ sight o’ lan’ befo’ th’ mast,

an’ taken by th’ whispering wake,

beneath th’ stellar glimmerings,

o’ beneath th’ lunar orb,

an’ below th’ blist’ring rays o’ Sol’s eternal day,

th’ conundrums ne’er please,

An’ this, th’ day, will have its feast.

Home is th’ splintery planks

a’neath their weathered feet,

an their chosen place tae nest.

Th’ night win’s howl and chills their bones

an spares not one o’ rest.

They speak san sound.

They work th’ sheets.

They scrub th’ spotted deck.

They dare nah raise raise

their eyes unto th’ sky.

They speak, but are their voices heard?

Mark this well,

and remember to thy bones.

tis flesh, tis dust an’ never yourn.

Th’ soun’ yee dunnah wish tae hear:

“Thine soul will be required o’ yee.

This day, will have its feast.”

This day, will have its feast.

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The Master of Men

She’s afloat, her sails grasping      

a’ handfuls o’ th’ win’

Her bow splits th’ distant waters like

a cauld steely blade.

Deep in th’ hold she is a groanin’,

groanin’ fer th’ quiet urges of th’ inland waves.

The captain stan’s tah aboon his cabin

eyes on th’ clouds,

face tae th’ win’,

hauns touching th’ air,

feeling th’ stones upon his skin

He breathes in deeply for th’ scent o’ land

ears atoned tae th’ soun’ o’ breaks

No sign o’ fowl

No beasties tae be seen

No sight o’ th’ Constant Star,

Th’ captain waits for th’

new day tae bring favor

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May 9, 1502

Tis th’ moment, th’ sound o’ th’ anchor risin,’

Th’ smel o’ soil soon tae be but a mem’ry,

Th’ winds a fillin’ th’ sheets,

an’ th’ great meestery o’ darkness,

Nae a star tae follow,

Th’ sky indeed covers a mighty sea.

Tis th’ primal day

th’ first hour of th’ sun

th’ first seek fo’

wind to blow us south.

It is th’ quest fo’ El Dorado

th’ seven cities o’ gold an’ gem

Tis th’ quest tae find where east meets west

th’ Silk Road

th’ Great Wall

An’ th’ halls of th’ Emperor King

Tis th’ primal day o’ great portent

This will be oor tide

This will be oor fortune

This will bring us favour

Every mother’s son of us

Will rise tae meet th’ morn

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The Stores

Mak ready, coil th’ lines

Set your stores ablow.

fair th’ hulls

load th’ tuns

an’ th’ flagons

stow th’ oakum

An’  blacken th’ sides wi’ pitch

Mak ready for th’ roll o’ th’ sea . . .

Th’ sirens be a calling

Th’ sea beasties in oor wake

Shed thair tears fo’ our course

intae th’ dark unknown beyon’

th’ Great Sargasso Sea

Be it known by they wives and young’uns

They sailed unto th’ legendary deep

In search o’ destination

Raise a toast tae their fair landing

May there be a welcome home

A safe harbour to drop their anchor

A hearth tae keep them warm

Brothers in arms tae keep them safe

Meat roasting on th’ spit an’

Grog tae wash it down,

An’ a net for them to sleep

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Sanctuary on the Via de Santiago

Whe’ wrathful blows th’ foamy

An’ th’ win` cuts tae th’ marrow

An’ th’ clouds drap doon thair ire wi’ a mighty fis’ and breath,

Come seek for th’ sheltering bosom

‘yon th’ rancorus tunder.

A place called home it cannae be,

it may be a place o’ shelter all th’ same,

hidden behin’ th’ soun’s o’ surf

hidden below th’ gusts o’ win’

a place made safe by men o’ cloth,

safer still then the day o’ birth.

A place tae welcome men o’ peace

and men o’ wealthy means

a welcome station tae all in need

a place where pilgrims lay their weary head,

on th’ way tae bend their knees tae a man worthy o’ this geste

No man knows its name

Yet every man knows its situation,

A gentle path by a river stream

Beneath th’ tunnel o’ trees

Nah far beyon’ th’ olive groves,

Within th’ memories of th’ sea

No home tae sin, no home tae pain

No watch list need man tae fear.

A welcome tae believers

A welcome tae th’ pilgrim man

A welcome tae th’ peregrine

Who walks without a course

There ye rest until th’ morn,

Till need thee rest no more,

Tae seek th’ pathways o’ th’ winds

Where th’ tree line be far below,

Tae seek ye audience with th’ sun

Tae hear th’ wisdom of th’ evenin win’

Tae find yourself th’ Constant Star

Tae guide yee tae your place called home

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Palos

City o’ th’ west

Maker o’ widows

Mater o’ orphans

releaser o’ sorrows

City o’ woes

thou art nah home tah me

City o’ th’ west

Gatherer o’ th’ lost

Gateway tah th’ abyss

Tah th’ yawning jaws o’

Bleak despair

City o’ th’ west

No place fur dreams or wants

Yee have taken me further than me reason tah live

Me reason fo’ th’ morrow

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The Portage

Ye can smell th’ fresh new season;

‘Tis in th’ air and in th’ moist turned brou.

‘Tis found in th’ wattles and

In th’ lapping o’ waves

In th’ green hills ‘an’ in th’

Purple lupins that blesses th’ fiel’s with thair colours

Ye can hear th’ fresh new season befall th’ travelling bones

an’ in th’ hert wings o’ th’ puffins.

They hear the calling, th’ men o’ th’ sea

Tae be lost in countless days an’ nightfalls

Adrift in th’ endless faem.

Ye can smell th’ fresh new season;

Th’ winter’s foul coughing sends

vapors throughout th’ morning midcourse.

Ye can smell th’ filthy whores

an’ their soiled bedsheets,

Thair endless creations into

Th’ depths o’ human degradation tha’ each new morn brings,

whilst th’ ships are run agroun’

th’ call of th’ sea and th’

waters beyond th’ horizon,

they seek release

these men of th’ sea,

redemption

th’ return of innocence

th’ purity o’ th’ waves.

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The Quiet Men

Men o’ flesh ‘n’ bone

Sea faring men

Have forsaken thair mother’s arms

Fur th’ guilders an’mysteries o’ Calypso.

Men o’ flesh ‘n’ bone

Answer tae th’ call o’ th’ villain wind

She lures thaim frae th’ shores

Tae th’ sands o’ land nah jimmy haes tread upon afore

Men o’ flesh ‘n’ bone

Who follow stars unknown, stars uncharted

Fo’ the woes tha’ they may bring

Hame is th’ deck aneath their feet,

Sorrow is their ainlie faithful companion.

They gaze upon th’ purple twilight and th’ blackened waters

Throughout th’ deep dark night

They shed th’ tears in the silence o’ th’ nocturn

They sing their silent lament

“Cannah stay.”

“Cannah leave.”

“Cantnnah ever return.”

Men o’ flesh ‘n’ bone

Have left thair mother’s arms

Fur th’ mysteries o’ Calypso.

Men o’ flesh ‘n’ bone

Answer tae th’ call o’ th’ wind

She lures thaim frae th’ shores

Tae th’ sands o’ land nah jimmy haes tread upon afore

Men o’ flesh ‘n’ bone

Who follow stars unknown, stars uncharted

Hame is th’ deck aneath our feet,

Sorrow is their ainlie faithful companion.

They gaze upon th’ purple twilight and th’ blackened waters

Throughout th’ deep dark night

They shed th’ tears in the silence o’ th’ night

They sing their silent lament

“Cannah stay.”

“Cannah leave.”

“Cannah ever return.”

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