Paul Steffan Jones 1st


 

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Inundations: Battle of The Atlantic

2017-10-19
By: Paul Steffan Jones AKA
Posted in: Poetry
Inundations:  Battle of The Atlantic

(For Captain Jenkin Evan Jones 1904-1986, Thomas Jones 1898-1986, Captain David John Jones  OBE 1896-1973, Daniel Owen Jones 1904-1936, Henry Lloyd Jones 1911-1985, Charles Ellis Jones 1914-2005 and James Jones 1901-1969)


Closer to your men now

these breathless damp survivors

in a lifeboat

you have to remember

that you are the master

that you remain in command

the abandonment of your vessel

a torpedo followed up by

21 shells from the deck

and AA guns

a different kind of rain

waves of unkinder weather

the steel from another furnace

always crawling out of the sea

always returning to it

the sea keeps you afloat

the seas swallows you

do you think of your homeland

as you await the rescue

of your crew

how your ancestors’ great flood

honoured the Biblical flood?

come from God’s country

to the high seas

of a world at war with itself

a world on fire

in the absence of fraternity

(your brother wrote in his diary

of how he had watched the ships

in his convoy one night

going down

one by one

cargo by cargo

friend by friend

life by life

extinguished light by extinguished light

disappearing act by disappearing act


that boy that his brothers had lifted up

to a beam in a barn

to enable him to strengthen his arms

to balance against the weakness

born in his legs)

the sea keeps you afloat

the seas swallows you

years after your death

and those of your maritime siblings

one soporific TV afternoon

in my NATO assured home

I saw footage of the victorious

U-124 sailing into its home port

proudly bedecked with trophies

from your ship and others

for the adoring crowd

two years after this triumph

this raider lay rusting

at the bottom of the Atlantic

all hands lost

the new cemeteries

of the new warfare

among the resting places

of older sunken worlds

the sea keeps you afloat

the seas swallows you


Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; they saw the deeds of the Lord, his wondrous works in the deep.

(Psalm 107, verses 23 and 24)

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