Lobster-Fishing at Dawn – Isobel Thrilling

The George Crabbe Memorial Poetry Competition
1981 Crabbe Memorial Competition – First Prize
Adjudicators: Kevin Crossley-Holland, R.N.Curry

Cobbles stretch like a street
of huge, black pearls,
children step to the boat,
smell salt and rope;
raw fish.  

The sea has drowned
some stars,
it seems the Lady of Waves
will raise
an enchanted sword
within the harbour walls.  

They are aware
of shabby paintwork,
scuffed wood,
but this is the ship that flew,
the crew are safe
in chainmail knitted in rib,
each boathook
carries the sun on its tip
like a lance.  

They see no mermaid hair
or serpent slain,
but those gigantic claws
in pots might
haunt a crack in some
sea-hall and
nightly walk its floor.

Copyright © Isobel Thrilling 1981

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