Shipbuilding on Clydeside


(Cradled in her eyes
I felt them lose their grip,
unfold,
and let me slip away from her.)

The champagne bottle of death
smacked her bow,
and
she trundled down the slipway.

The diagnosis-the grease
which eased the launch-
let the six-month slide begin,
and every day the heavy chains
of loss would rumble on:
the sin of illness,
the erosion of past,
the last memories of her own dead.

And when she finally cut the water
there was no majesty,
no cheering crowds,
no designer in the shipyard.

Just the silent metallic creaks
of the old ship ghosting out to sea.

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9 thoughts on “Shipbuilding on Clydeside

  1. Yes…yet another wasteful loss.
    What’s left?
    IT and entertainment, of sorts.
    Poverty at its worst, losing soul and heart. Zadkine-like.
    Poignant elegy.

  2. I feel…almost taste the rust…the sadness here of what once was. Though ships are called “she” I never realized how well they can be anthropomorphized…but you certainly do so here and one can feel the soulfulness of the ghostly ship. Interesting write!

    • This started off with me writing of my mum’s passing and although I wanted the write to be about how it felt for us to slip apart I wanted to tie it to something specifically Scottish, Glaswegian , and the feeling of loss in the community from the destruction of our shipbuilding heritage somehow tied in exactly … The feeling of having lost something huge and special. And although I seem to have pitched it too much in emphasising the ship, somehow it’s just about my Ma.

  3. i love a bit a of nautical… and those ship launches really lend themselves to metaphor…
    a very stimulating image to weigh your anchor on and cast the imagination ou to the
    deep blue

    rust 😀

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