Monday, 02 March 2020 15:18

The Shipping Forecast

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in Poetry
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The Shipping Forecast

The Shipping Forecast

by Kevin Higgins

Back when the three giant liners,
Britannia, Eurasia, and Sweet Land of Liberty
weren’t all simultaneously
taking on tonnes of water,
you didn’t have to think
about what makes them float.

After loading your gut at the buffet
with more prawns and chocolate cheesecake
than it could be trusted to process –
each prawn pausing to give you
a filthy look before it slid
down your in-pipe –
you’d relax on the deck
of whichever of these
great ships you had a ticket for,
sip a glass of alleged
sophistication, as a talking
corduroy jacket
at the table next to you
waxes loud and large
about cheap insurance
policies and the invincibility
of ships such as this.

Now you’ve speed-read the technical manuals
and know
if certain particulars aren’t fixed
we’re all going to die
or, at least, want to;
you look at the corduroy
jackets talking their opinions
and wonder if it’s better
to be like them;
to think the answer
might be to elect as captain
some demagogue made of blancmange
or, failing that, Joe Biden;

or if not knowing just makes the shock
of the ocean hugging you
that bit worse?

Read 612 times Last modified on Tuesday, 03 March 2020 13:14
Kevin Higgins

Kevin Higgins is a Galway-based poet, essayist and reviewer, and satirist-in-residence at the alternative literature site The Bogman's Cannon, www.bogmanscannon.com.