The Price of Fish

Pray hard for the men who hunt the deep sea
in their cockleshell boats out of Clyde
who scour the cold swims of Poseidon’s green head
filling iced holds with dead alive-eyes.
Where the North wind screech is God’s
angered ethereal Hand, and fear
is the shake of worn riveted plate and
Love is a church locked up on the land.

Elemental wind do not keep them from shore
They who dare open the water blue door.

Pray strong for men who haunt the cod swims
Hymned only by the white garish moon
and wind-snatched callings of seabirds scorning.
Skins scolded eyes shrunk in the Arctic blast
laughing as the pawls judder and grind
heaving the trawl, engine complaining.
Who love the deep sea with a savagery
spit, swear, and piss in the lee.

Elemental wind do not rage for their souls
their fathers have paid the fish stealing tolls.

Pray love for the sons of water and blood,
patient for the calm, eager to net
and ever ready to chase the white fish
over mountainous crests, under
the pale dark bruising wet sky.
Casting net to web Gods’ octopus head
clawing the fish from his shivering throat,
their lives threatened by the weight of the prize.

Elemental wind, do not anger the sea
Man and his mistress must ever be free.

©TonyAshenden