Tom Higgins (Egremont)
They launched at dawn, Jim and his mate,
both men unaware of their mutual fate.
The boat was small, the sea was calm,
and neither of them foresaw any harm.
This was something both had done,
at the rising of the sun
on many, many previous days,
they'd sailed out into the haze.
This time it seemed just the same,
the weather was mild, the wind was tame,
though neither of these good friends could know,
just how this trip was destined to go.
Before they left home they checked the weather,
the forecast was fine, and they laughed together,
because today was perfect for their trip,
so they headed down to the launching slip.
At last they were headed out to sea,
for this much anticipated fishing spree,
all bait and tackle at the ready,
their progress out at first was steady.
About six miles out from their home port,
lies a mark from which they had caught,
a lot of fish, over lots of years,
but back on shore there would soon be tears.
At three miles out, suddenly,
a thick mist rolled across the sea,
and rapidly they were so fogbound,
that they feared they would never be found.
Their boat was fine in sight of land,
but lost in fog, they'd never planned,
for such an eventuality,
blind with no compass, miles out at sea.
They slowed the boat so they could hear,
if any other craft came near,
when suddenly out of the gloom,
appeared the harbinger of their doom.
A ship so huge they could not steer,
beyond the bow so high and sheer,
as it bore down on them at a hellish rate,
and sliced their boat, and sealed their fate.
The great ship passed on as no one knew
that they'd just killed the small boat's crew,
and back on shore it was not yet known
that both of the friends would never come home.
By eight that night they began to worry,
and to the launching slip they did hurry.
They called the coastguard, and he,
called on all shipping in the vicinity.
After hours of searching from lifeboat, and sky,
and many other vessels that were passing by.
Nothing was found, out in the mist,
it seemed the men did not exist.
And this of course, was totally true
the men had sunk down into the deep blue,
they were lost at sea without a trace,
departed from the human race.
Comments about this poem (Gone Fishing by Tom Higgins )
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