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  • africmcglinchey

l’enfer c’est les bateaux (with apologies to Sartre)

Updated: Aug 30



(14)

Outside my window, a trawler courses through the ocean, too unconscionably near,

electronically pursuing the depths, fraying invisible water.

Weeks now, traversing back and forth, a giant bead across an almanac

until this radius of sea is rolling over an immense emptiness, the last dregs.

Electronically pursuing the depths, fraying invisible water,

such movement thralls all nearby living energy with a glittering attraction

until this radius of sea is rolling over an immense emptiness, the last dregs

pulsing into the colossal trap with belated, flapped-back gills.

Such movement thralls all nearby living energy with a glittering attraction.

And schools flow helplessly towards this laundry bag of death,

pulsing into the colossal trap with belatedly flapped-back gills

to feed our vast and meaningless greed.

And schools flow helplessly towards this laundry bag of death

that will continue until it’s scraped the ocean clean of fish

to feed our vast and meaningless greed.

And seabirds sway on the surface, picking up the bloodied scraps.

And it will continue, until it’s scraped the ocean clean of fish

for weeks, traversing back and forth, a giant bead across an almanac,

grinding chains to haul up the catch, encased, like meat inside a sausage skin.

Outside my window, a trawler courses through the ocean, too unconscionably near.


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This is my 14th poem written as part of a project funded by the Arts Council.

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Castlefreke, Clonakilty, Co. Cork

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