Tuesday, 17 March 2009


“Set your course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.” - Omar N. Bradley

Railway stations and harbours have always struck me as rather sad places where many partings find a melancholy, albeit temporary, home. Unlike, say, airports or bus stations that seem strangely more utilitarian and associated more with business or pleasure; short-term shelters for people seeking to be conveyed to their destination as quickly and as efficiently as possible. The train and ship convey an image of a time past, of sad days of old (who said the old days were all so good?).

Perhaps, this attitude of mine is highly coloured by my own past experiences of trains, planes, buses and ships, but nevertheless, that may explain the fact that I still have to accustom myself to cruises and cruise ships as being for pleasure…


Every time a ship unfurls her sails and leaves the harbour,
Each evening when a ship begins her voyage,
A little part of me, deep inside, dies.

Every lonely, twilit evening when the sea birds cry,
Each night when the lighthouse beacon flashes,
A little part of me expires.

Every time the foghorn announces warnings, mournfully,
Each night as the mist covers all like a black pall,
A little part of me inside my heart dies.

Every grey twilit dawn as old sailors drink the last of the grog,
Each lonely, wintry morning when sickly sun is reborn,
A little part of my soul perishes.

Every time a ship sails away, as her image vanishes,
Each evening when a ship is swallowed by the horizon,
A little part of me dies;
And is it not a wonder that I carry within me
So much death?

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