Tuesday Poem – The Mariner’s Compass

by Simon Armitage
Living alone, I’m sailing the world
single-handed in a rented house.
Last week I rounded the Cape of Good Hope,
came through in one piece;

this morning, flying fish
lying dead in the porch with the post.
I peg out duvet covers and sheets
to save fuel when the wind blows,

tune the engine so it purrs all night
like a fridge, run upstairs
with the old-fashioned thought
of plotting a course by the stars.

Friends wave from the cliffs,
talk nervously about the coast-guard station.
Under the rules, close contact
with another soul means disqualification.

© Simon Armitage 1997, from The Whole of the Sky

Tuesday Poem

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