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Charybdis

by Ian Burr


Last ferry of the day
Over the Camel river,
Across the sound
There is a gentle swell

As we skirt the sandbars,
Head for the rock slipway.
The evening is perfect -
Mauve and Salmon,

The skies, over Gull and Rock,
Showing a moonrise,
Pale, on the Atlantic.
Look to Stepper Point,
Where you emailed from St John's,

Or high, on Chapel Spire,
Where the cross 'to the Men of Padstow'
Watches the quiet water.

Here no whirlpool,
or clashing rocks,
Scylla and Charybdis,
To carefully navigate

Only the wreckage buoys,
The calm wake
At the gunwhale.



          Grave of the Commander HMS 'Charybdis',
          lost October, 1943, Trebetherick churchyard - war memorial