There are snowless winter days when the sea seems
akin to mountainous regions, crouching in grey plumage,
a brief instant blue, long hours with waves like pale
lynxes, clawing in vain at the shore’s gravel.
On such a day wrecks may well leave the sea and seek
their shipowners, ensconced in the city’s noise, and drowned
crews blow landwards, thinner than pipe smoke.
(In the north the real lynxes roam, with sharpened claws
and dreaming eyes. In the north where the day
lives in a pit both day and night.
Where the sole survivor can sit by the
oven of the northern lights and listen
to the music of those frozen to death.)