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When the boat pulls into Lecarrow Harbour

shadows fall on smaller craft.

The skipper, high on his fly bridge,

bow-thrusts his way to the quay wall.

Firm above him rises the mast

for VHF although he’s never

out of range with his mobile phone.

The overhead arch wears a dish

for radar, and radar reflector

in case he should meet

a ship on Lough Ree.

A Garmin GPS Chart Plotter flickers

to guide him along the banks

of the Shannon. Today

he has come all the way from his berth

at the south of the lake

an hour away if he takes it easy

which he doesn’t.

He disembarks with his crew

tip top in full Musto sailing gear

for stepping ashore on rainy days.

Later, after the poop-deck barbie,

he starts up the jenny

for watching the telly.

He’s an Offshore Member of the RNLI

although he never goes to sea

and only last week spent fifty grand

having snagged a rock in Blackbrink Bay

with a starboard propeller

designed to propel in the ocean.

So he tries to go slow when leaving Lecarrow

along the shallow narrow canal

but his boat, like those of developer friends

is built for speed, for going to France,

for zipping from Cork to Dublin Bay

and bad though I am to gloat and mock

I’m glad to see these mortgaged monsters

For Sale, For Sale,

For Sale.

Nicola Griffin has had poems published in The Sunday Tribune, The Stinging Fly, Crannog and Orbis among others.

Photo of Lecarrow Harbour copyright Nicola Griffin

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