Times and Tides

September 12, 2017


Times and tides

(Inspired by The Hessle Roaders photographic exhibition – by Alec Gill)


Maternal fathers strong to save

– mam and dad to lad and lass

And men who took the

harvest from the waves.


Terrace ender tell-tale talk from

women who never waved…

Nor wavered… but buried secret fears

where they also hid their tears.


Constant fight to feed the bains

Tank-like prams booled by mams

Racing for absent men’s wages –

A dock of aegis, cleft for thee.


Scruffy kids frozen in

Perpetual Play Street gaze

Waiting for Dad’s kitbag,

– Christmas every twenty-one days.


Ever-watching Gert and Lil

lean from terrace window sill

You be-have-ing you, Bill or

I tell yer mam…I will.


Three tides later – a latch-key

Lifted in click so-quietly – so

The two-up fretting wife won’t

Wave her man away.


Grey-silhouetted deckie in the

Humber haar drops his

gear in a Subway Car to

catch the company store.


And cathedral wireless crackling

mimics bacon sizzle and soundtracks

departures in morning’s half-light


‘…Dogger, Fisher, German Bight…’


Brian Lavery





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