Stephen Livesey Ashworth

Day by day the cold salt water rises,
And the greasy decks increase their slope.
The forward boiler-room’s completely flooded.
Still the blank horizon shows no hope.
The labouring pumps make rhythmic ringing noises,
One by one they cough up oil and fail.
The grand piano slipped its moorings, thudded
Through the saloon and down the staircase well.
I don’t know what my sea disaster’s cause is,
Why I’m sinking deeper every hour,
Why I must fight until my hands are bloodied
To save a ’ship that’s losing all steam power.

Day by day I call your distant heart –
Day by day we drift ever further apart.

15 July 2008