Imagination’s made

The harbour lit and sparkling
exuberant at night
the wind farm on horizon
glinting just in sight
and nestling on the quayside
the survey ship rests true
across the road from where I stand
beneath the azure blue
This is a thing of magic
as although a port of trade
scene's like this are always
where imagination's made


Photo – Shoreham Harbour – Jempics



There's a green ship in the harbour
up the river quite a bit
much further on than usual
so I took a pic of it
Rarely dredged of course these days
the building silt means most
will rarely venture up this far
at Shoreham on the coast
A far cry from my yesterdays
when every berth was full
so good to see the odd one still
with time's incessant pull


Photo – Shoreham harbour – Jempics

Hidden Truth

Fragrance of the harbour
Familiar to me
with salt and oil and pitch and tar
and yes, of course, the sea

Memories of the harbour
treasures from my youth
Those halcyon days that carry
so much hidden truth



More than fifty years on
and the smell on the air
is the same to me now
as it was way back there
That of sea and the tar
and the pitch and the oil
and the sweat and the grime
from the long days of toil
Down there on the docks
though so much has changed
some things like the smells
are exactly the same



5 of 6 in the Jemverse ‘Shoreham’ series

Nine hundred years I’ve been here
in Shoreham’s ancient port
A Catholic church turned Anglican
the parish to support
My cruciform original has
crumbled over time
But what is left still standing
is still within its prime


Continuing the Jemverse ‘Shoreham’ series, Church is about St Mary de Haura (St Mary of the Harbour) – the parish church of New Shoreham –  founded in 1096 by William de Braose, 1st Lord of Bramber. 

Mandraki Harbour

Part 8 of 20 in ‘The Aegean Shores’ series

On Rhodes, the ancient city
build in medieval time
reflects the yellow of the sun
in every way, divine

Windmills on the harbour wall
once caught the southern breeze
Their ancient sails now still of course
beside Aegean seas

And in Mandraki harbour
where Colossus may have stood
I walked beside those windmills
because today I simply could


[This is part 8 of a 20-part series charting a seven-day cruise with Tui from 11-18 August 2017, travelling from London to Corfu, then Kalamata (Greece), Santorini, Rhodes, Crete, Piraeus (Greece), Kefalonia, Corfu and London, some 3,870 nautical miles]

In from the fog

I could tell by all the seagulls
and the chap up on the prow
getting ropes all ready
that we were nearing Porto now

But the sea fog on the water
kept the land just out of sight
until a lighthouse appeared slowly
in the early morning light

The thrusters turned the ship around
The pilot did his thing
and as the fog swirled all around us
the Spirit docked and settled in


[‘In from the fog’ is 10 of 14 in the Jemverse ‘Iberian Treasures’ series]

Departures (29/8/16)
Malaga I (30/8/16)
Gibraltar (31/8/16)
Gibraltar II (1/9/16)
All at sea (2/9/16)
Lounging (3/9/16)
Three sixty degree sea (4/9/16)
Vigo (5/9/16)
Atlantic Surge (6/9/16)
In from the fog (7/9/16)
Terracotta Rooftiles (8/9/16)
Lisbon 36 (9/9/16)
Seville (10/9/16)
Malaga II (11/9/16)

Flight of the Pelican

There’s a tall ship in the harbour
I can see its three masts pointing
Above the houses at the waterside
Like a landmark to the sea

There’s a tall ship in the harbour
I can feel its ropes and rigging
Almost like a distant voice
that echoes down to me

There’s a tall ship berthed in harbour
In dry dock with people mending
Whilst the waves out there they linger
At the passing of each hour

There’s a tall ship berthed in harbour
Hear the song the sea is singing
As it waits for keel to join again
with its majestic power

There’s a tall ship leaving harbour
Sails fill and find the wind again
And water of the waves embrace
To kiss the rising keel

There’s a tall ship leaving harbour
Setting sail for Weymouth waters
The Pelican in ‘flight’ again
with aplomb and flair and zeal


The ‘Pelican of London’ is a three-master Barquentine with a keel laid in 1948. She’s unique is being the only vessel in the world to carry a rig based on the 16th-17th century Barbary Coast ‘Xebec-Poleacre’, successfully used by pirates for over 200 years. Originally serving as an Arctic trawler and coastal trading vessel, she is now a full-time training ship. In September 2012, the Pelican attained worldwide notoriety as being the first sailing ship to carry fare-paying customers across the Atlantic from Liverpool to the West Indies in over a century.

In my own footsteps

Took a walk on Southwick Beach
On a bright blue winter’s day
Across the locks at harbour’s mouth
Where ships at anchor lay

So many times those years ago
I came here as a boy
So returning now five decades on
Is something I’ll enjoy

Time stands still for no man it’s said
But here it’s much the same
As my memory of those halcyon days
Returns me there again

So following in my footsteps
I retrace the paths I took
Always good to sometimes go
And take another look


Tall Ship

There’s a tall ship in the harbour

I can see its tall masts pointing

Above the roofs of rows of houses

Like a landmark to the sea

There’s a tall ship in the harbour

I can feel its ropes and rigging

Like a distant voice that beckons

As an echo down to me


There’s a tall ship in the harbour

Dry dock, squabs and people mending

As it waits for waves that linger

At the passing of each hour

There’s a tall ship in the harbour

Hear the sad songs seas are singing

As they wait for keel to join again

With its majestic power



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