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In the old stone house above the harbour,

however well sealed the windows are

against the rain and the wind, squalls invade

the chimneys and blow in the empty hearths.

The lamp at the end of the quay still shines

despite the waves spilling over the wall

and agitating the tethered lobster creels.


A surge douses the light – but wild clouds part

and a full moon shines on a sea running high.

Abruptly the turbulent clouds close –

and there is only a low roar, an

erratic buffeting of wind and rain,

and the wailing in the dark hearths. Absence

echoes in the blackness of each bare room.


In the pallid dawn there is no one now

to see the tumbled creels on the quay,

the lamp’s broken glass, the empty harbour,

the cormorants and the kittiwakes

flying out across a cloud grey sea –

or to conjure songs about the weathers made

beyond the horizon.




© Copyright David Selzer
3 Responses
  • Michael Brett
    January 29, 2018

    I like what’s there. I think it needs more dramatic tension, a narrative running through it like a storm building up, people waiting for news of a missing fishing boat. I think a story would help to order the elements and create tension, curiosity and excitement in the reader.

    You’re good at description. I like it when the lines sing. Too much modern poetry is prosaic. I think you should develop this further.

  • Clive Watkins
    February 1, 2018

    An effective poem, David. I particularly like an ‘erratic buffeting of wind and rain,/and the wailing in the dark hearths. Absence/echoes in the blackness of each bare room.’ Very evocative.

  • David Selzer
    February 2, 2018

    Thank you. Clive.

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