she poured forth

(on arrival of the Tall Ships at Falmouth)

She poured forth like a vessel,
though like no vessel,
ever seen

She poured forth like a vessel
buoyant air in lungs of wood and craft
she poured forth across the oceans
rivers of wine and rum streaming from her barrel holds and battening down her ballast.

She poured forth and took her stride
she woke and slept and wept with sails
the wind the breeze filling her horizons with far flung tales
she poured forth into the seas great gifts and cargos, great shame and slaves,

She poured forth treasure for the greedy
salvation for the distant shores
her anchor delving deep into the dark deep sea,
the mysteries of depth and utter depth, the mysteries of drowning sleep and undiscovered dreams,

She poured forth and from there
the distance seemed not so very far,
and off she sent her billows lapping up the gales behind her
crashing out to wave with waves that danced about her masts and soaked the rigging stiff with salt.

She poured forth her hemp ropes creaking
pulling straining against the sore chaffed hands,
the blistered fisher chipping out the living gold mined from surf and foam,
from underneath the froth from the sunken land which time has overwhelmed as much as over caught.

She pours forth, her limits made,
her tithe due her promise paid
she pours forth and distance grows
she dances at the edge of us and slinks off slow past the ridge of the world, pouring forth like a vessel, pouring steady as she goes.

mac dunlop


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