Thursday, 13 February 2014

Morecambe Bay Cockling Disaster

Black sea Black sand
you shall see Fujian no more.
Souls lost twenty three,
twenty one that night found,
two more cradled beyond.
All sea kissed, by shifting
sand flats lay and sleep forever.
Ice tidal none discerning came,
Cares not and takes..
And Morecambe weeps.
Farmers not Fishermen.
Snakehead smuggled you came,
to keep company with Ghosts.
Treasure of Abalone, salt
water hearts at low tide.
Twenty three moon lit silver,
rake lost in Time.
Golden net star filled sacks,
by haunting shore remain.
And Morecambe weeps.
Coasts own knowing, watches tap,
in futile communion.
Night’s veil sits and waits.
Freezing sea fingers ankles lap.
Shore lights bearing lost, twinkle unseen.
Deeper, numbing, top like.
Feet no longer sensing sand.
Swell steals seaward carried
soundless cries swept.
And Morecambe weeps.
Did pairs of eyes in panic meet?
Hands sort, held tight
till one relaxing, limp gave way.
What ancient words foreign
to that shore in Cold Black Mass.
Their solemn secrets traded
and pass.
Black Sea, Black Sand
you shall see Fujian no more.
 ©Richard Jones
Ghosts = gui lao, literally “old ghost”, used colloquially in China to describe white-skinned people
Snakehead = Chinese gangs that smuggle people to other countries
Fujian= province of China