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Poetry month. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
Poetry month.

Midwinter Collect


Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire;

Forties: the gales are sweeping.  Engines whine.

Screws cavitate; winter seas are mounting

Round Cromarty and Forth. Severe gale nine,

Rain, poor.  Snow showers. Violent storm eleven.

Moderate icing.  (God help sailors.) Tyne.

Storm ten. Rain, squally showers.  Poor; then fog.

In Dogger, Fisher, and in German Bight,
Humber and Thames and Dover.  Gale eight. Wight,
Portland, Plymouth, Biscay: dire midnight

Issue, grim, invokes Trafalgar’s gale.
In FitzRoy, Sole: severe gale nine, rain, hail.


Low, Lundy – atmospherics crackle.  Lost.

Recaptured signal: – Fastnet, Irish Sea.
Next, Shannon, Rockall, Malin, Hebrides,

Southwest gale nine to storm ten.  Litany

Of bitter weather and the killing wave.

God guide all shipping safely home to quay.

Northwest veering north, six – (yes) – increasing

Seven or gale eight … spindrift is torn free,

Dissolves, is whirled away in midnight blackness,

Banshee winds: Timor mortis, raging sea.

Bailey, Fair Isle, Faeroes, Southeast Iceland.

West four or five becoming – thank God! –three.


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8 comments or Leave a comment
serriadh From: serriadh Date: April 6th, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's beautiful. The snow here has stopped and melted slightly, but is now freezing fast to produce maximum chaos.

The West Pier at Brighton seafront this morning:

Edited at 2008-04-06 05:21 pm (UTC)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: April 6th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you.

Mad weather, truly.
serriadh From: serriadh Date: April 6th, 2008 06:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you.

Looks like they renamed 'global warming' as climate change just in time, eh?

(And the scenes on TV at the moment, of the scuffles in London over the Olympic Torch, seem doubly bleak thanks to the sleet.)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: April 6th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

A timely re-branding, indeed.

The less said about the thrice-damned Chinese regime and the Olympian corruption, the better.
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: April 6th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very good, and very evocative, both of the filthy weather, and of the listener's distanced yet oddly, intimately, involved experience.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: April 6th, 2008 06:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you, vy much.

I'm honoured by your kind words.

Edited at 2008-04-06 06:26 pm (UTC)
goddessriss From: goddessriss Date: April 6th, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

Traditional English springtime

We are in the midst of a snowstorm still in Durham. It makes for stunning scenery, but very little else. Was considering purchasing a sledge.

Your poem was lovely - reminded me of listening to the shipping forecast with my Grandad (everyone else used to send me back to bed, but he'd have a whisky and I'd have cocoa). There's poetry in everything, truly.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: April 7th, 2008 01:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Sodding sleet.

Thank you. There's nowt so evocative as the Shipping Forecast; I take no credit.
8 comments or Leave a comment