Keadby to Cromwell Lock, Every Day Poets, January 2011

Steel grates on shingle,
an engine screams in protest,
quickly snuffed,
and silence reigns.

The fickle tide that welcomed
us at Keadby
like a lover,
has slowly lost the plot.

The clock ticks on.
The world tilts slowly sideways
whilst we wait
in silence,
charts and tide-tables
strewn across the floor.

Recrimination hangs
like a curtain between us,
undrawn, unspoken.

Keening gulls wheel
and dive, and wheel again,

On the horizon
darkness yawns.
Cold and spent,
no means to sense
the repentant tide’s return,
we wait.

And then, at last, a nudge.
a jolt, a quiver,
the gentle slap of water on the hull.
Our spirits rise
in tandem with the mast.

And on we cruise
through inky darkness.
On to Cromwell Lock.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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3 Responses to Keadby to Cromwell Lock, Every Day Poets, January 2011

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Keadby to Cromwell Lock | castelsarrasin --

  2. lillian says:

    Good morning, Sandra! So nice to meet you over my first cup of coffee….many thanks for the Like on my Sunday’s Rose — how I found your wonderful site. I love this poem….special parts for me:
    “The world tilts slowly sideways
    whilst we wait
    in silence,…….
    Recrimination hangs
    like a curtain between us,
    undrawn, unspoken……
    And then, at last, a nudge.
    a jolt, a quiver,
    the gentle slap of water on the hull.
    Our spirits rise
    in tandem with the mast.”
    These are such wonderful words….the “stitching” to create the imagery, rhythm, sense is beautiful. Reading the poem aloud, the last stanza, is just the final “nudge” that insures me you sail on. Really beautiful.
    I think the “curtain” image is especially heartfelt — it does feel like that doesn’t it? When there is a “disturbance” in the air between life partners….and sometimes it’s such a heavy curtain that takes a ton of effort to push it aside….but always worth the effort.

    I read your about first, and have just started meandering your site. Will definitely follow….
    I am fairly new to this blogging space (since March) and also to writing poetry (February). I’ve found that in my rejuvenatement period (never say retirement), I am more invigorated to enjoy life…and finding my voice has just been an entirely “freeing” process. My mornings are quite a special quiet time….to read others words and to write in my journal, tidbits and then sentences and then out pops a piece that is then edited and honed on the computer. The photography is just fun — but I’ve found that since writing, I look through the lens a bit differently.
    Anyway, love this poem. Should say, we have a love of the water ourselves — having lived most of our “growing up lives” and the “growing of our childrens’ lives” inland — Illinois and Iowa….and then moving in ’97 to Boston. We enjoy walking by the Charles River (very near our place), spending time in Cape Cod’s Provincetown (the ‘end of the earth’ according to Mark Twain, and home of many artists and poets and writers – Norman Mailer, Mary Oliver), and this past February lived in Bermuda (gorgeous colored aquamarine water)….will be there Feb and March 2016. Am excited to meander over and read about your barge life — we will be on a cruise to Alaska in August — barge life sounds much more serene 🙂
    Sorry so long……but my coffee is such an elixir and I do enjoy chatting in the AM …and again, this poem is wonderful!


  3. Sandra says:

    Thank you for visiting my site and commenting in such detail Lillian. I am pleased that you have been entertained over your morning coffee, and interested to note that you write poetry. I shall pop over to your site to have a read later on. I haven’t written any poetry for quite a long time now; I decided that it wasn’t my forte. But it was strangely invigorating to read my words reiterated in your post. I hope you have a lovely cruise in August, I’m sure you’ll find it exciting – we have friends who went cruising there a couple of years ago. I’m pleased you are exporing the world of blogging through your ‘rejuvenation’. You have many happy hours in store, I’m sure. Good to hear from you.


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