Comment from Turveen Gill of MasticadoresIndia
Tony’s eloquent poetry infuses life and soul into rusted shells of steel and iron, once meant to keep others afloat, now drowned in the tides of time and indifference. Mere objects to some, these ships were once the domain of the living, and carry the emotions and memories from times gone, embedded within their mighty hulls. Haunted or taunted, they rest with countless stories alive inside them.
In muddy mouthed Portsea Creek unwatched
forgotten ships lay beached
dashed and smashed
breathless, cut and bled
picked and broken
by the dockside stooping crane’s bill collecting scrap.
Their final passages over shallows
barnacle crusted bottoms
scraping over shingle
pulled and pushed
by impatient tugs
who know falling tides suckling mud claim tows.
Robbed by landsman
written out of registers
deserted bridges balefully glare
untold memories of purposed lives
men who swore repeatedly
like lovers on heat trumpeting union of engine and steel.
Now their ghosts can be heard
reliving purpose in the night
blowing base horns
turning their screws seaward
blending rusted hulls to the sea and the never-ending sky.
Portsea creek and its cutting divides the city of Portsmouth from the Hampshire mainland.