…occasionally Master Gallacher dabbles in poetry… NUTHIN to scare the Laureate Selection Panel, I can assure yeez… I’m a firm believer that the most avid follower of emb’dy’s poetry is usually the Poet/Poetess himself/herself… in essence, it’s a highly personalized thing… and so it is with me… however, there are times when I indulge the bardic Muse when certain trains of thought are bouncing around in my head… when I was squeezing onto the laptop the most recent Jack Calder thriller, DEADLY IMPASSE, I wrote the following as CHAPTER 2…
DEADLY IMPASSE – CHAPTER 2
‘…The intense darkness engulfed the dinghy. Wave after wave crashed heavily along the sides, the spray soaking the passengers. Four dozen people crammed into the craft as its grossly underpowered outboard engine struggled to make headway against the roiling water. The promised lifejackets had not appeared prior to setting off from the Libyan shoreline two hours earlier, but desperation to make the journey had overcome the hesitation to board. A new life beckoned at the end of the voyage. Several families and a few young, single men had clambered in and arranged themselves to balance the dinghy as they pushed off. The handlers told them the crossing would take no more than three hours. The safety of the coastline of Italy beckoned across the pitch-black night. Parents hugged the younger children tighter with words of reassurance they were almost there. With each successive pounding from the sea, many of the children began to cry.
The sweeping searchlight from the approaching coastguard vessel picked them out just before the huge, rogue wave hit the craft broadsides. The slew of bodies from one side to the other was too much to keep it stable. The inevitable capsizing turned the dinghy upside down, pitching everyone aboard into the water. The screams were inaudible against the screeching wind as the crew on the cutter reacted as swiftly as they could.
Less than fifteen passengers were pulled aboard alive. Deterioration in the weather made rescue efforts increasingly hazardous as the coastguard men retrieved seven bodies. An estimated further two dozen souls drowned. The captain decided further recovery was impossible after half an hour and headed back for the Italian shoreline.
The waiting international news cameras recorded the next day’s photographs for the world’s consumption. They could barely capture the depth of the survivors’ horror.’
…that Chapter scene was riveted in my mind for weeks after I wrote that… and here’s the ensuing piece of poetry that evolved (which is not in the novel)…
How many more migrants must we lose?
Hold on tight, don’t cry, my son,
This will not last too long.
Listen how your Mama sings
Your favourite nursing song.
This water will not harm us now
We’re nearly at the shore.
Be strong and brave, my boy
And we’ll be wet no more.
Yes, yes, that wave was huge, I know,
But hang on tight, be safe with me.
This darkness merely hides the land
We’re getting closer now, you’ll see.
The sea is wild but brings us fast.
This wind behind our back
Will blow us into land quite soon.
Watch us veer and tack.
No, please don’t cry, my lad,
I’m here to hold you tight
This angry sea won’t harm you
We’ll be safe ere blows the night
Talk to Papa, tell me things,
All the things you’d like to say.
Tell me how we’ll live our lives
On the shore we near this day.
Papa, truly, truly I am scared.
These waves are far too tall.
And this darkness blinds my eyes.
I hate this, hate this all.
Papa, Papa, the boat is tipping over,
Papa, Papa, where’s your hand?
Papa, Papa, catch me please.
Papa, Papa……….. Papa?
October 16th, 2016
…all too sadly, much of our fiction as writers is born in fact… this scene was meant as fiction, but it sticks vividly with me almost every day… thanks for reading it…
…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!
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