Douglas Harbour


The black water chuckles in the night

Furtively caressing concrete piers,

Winking with yellow eyes at each lone light,

Smacking its playful hands against the hulls

Of the moored ships,

And rocking little boats whose resting sculls

Lie on the seats till eager hands

Lift them to urge the craft where business waits

Amongst the trippers ready for their morning sail.


But out beyond the harbour gates

Day by her sister night has suffered no eclipse;

For light more lurid than the morning pale

Falls from electric chandeliers

On water and deserted sands,

And like a face with mascar’d eyes and painted lips

The town stares boldly, alien to sleep,

Unwilling to surrender its proud day.


Yet weaving back within its shelt’ring walls,

Unruffled by the restlessness of greed,

The harbour sinks to slumber, to the calls

Of raucous night-birds paying no heed


Mona’s Herald     30.10.62