'Beyond the Brunswick Lock'

They say that Dickens sailed for America through
the Brunswick Lock, lofty, moss-encrusted bulwark.
Carvel-built Packet dawdling in bubbling scum,
bloated seaweed pods, cast off timber -
destiny suspended in gawping mandibles,
as they waited, they waited for the tide.

Now at dusk on piping summer evenings
weatherly Nobbes lie with racing yachts,
mordant stench mingling with cheap coffee.
Get that down you! We're going!", they yell.
gates still gape with awe at nature's fury.
Frowsy air freshenss we move. Hot drinks
gulped down, warps stowed, fenders raised.
"Look sharp!" - "Get that main up!" - they cry.
And on stony ramparts a watching crowd imagines
Steam Packets sailing for a New World,
as we wait, we wait for tide.

By Jan Sear