Inside the dogger: knotted nets,
entangled fins and red-rubbed scales
where hooks tore cheeks; the old bulb fails
and sinks the scrimpings of South Wales’
scraped waters into darkness, wet
and slippery as an elver’s neck.
A trawlerman, unorthodox,
concealed in this caliginy
of mangled plunder from the sea
a vervain-scented treasury
a simple unwaxed blackthorn box
among the haul for Swansea’s docks
and in the box, two little dolls
a tiny man and smaller woman
stuffed with herbs and spice, uncommon,
tied together, dressed as human.
Like tuna tossed together will
they cleave together for his spell?
Robert de Born is a poet, folksinger and dressing gown model, who lives in Sheffield. His work has appeared online and in print and he has performed at the Newfound and Beacons Festivals and elsewhere. Robert can be found on his website and on Twitter.
Photograph courtesy of PublicDomainPictures.net