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A poem from Cornwall

I wrote this poem in the summer of 2011 when I had a holiday in Cornwall. Since I have some really good friends there now I thought I'd share it. Enjoy.


The Two Fishermen

They stand and talk
I imagine they’d stink of smoke and whisky and fish
If you got close enough.
Their skin is rough and deep russet red in colour.
I imagine their hands holding wives and daughters hands
Both parties knowing that fish lie better there.
One smokes and gulps down some lager
From a plastic cup;
He imagines it stronger.
The smaller one is dressed in beige,
He scratches his white beard
And readjusts his fisherman’s cap;
I imagine his sister picking it out for him, a well-loved Christmas present.
The men talk fast, using slang,
I imagine for a moment that I can understand them.
I am close to home but everything’s so foreign;
These are different farmers to the ones I know, farmers of the sea.

They stand and talk
I imagine their life stories and write poems about them
They’re human, but they’re art too.
The two fishermen are strangers but I feel as if I know them;
Feel as if I have a right to analyse them.
We all judge and analyse and people-watch,
Only a few write it down, others go about their lives and read it.
The two sea-farmers stand and talk
I imagine they would smell of whisky and fish and smoke;
I can imagine, but I do not know.

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