Our priest exulted, “How wonderful His ways,”
then climbed his pulpit’s Calvary. The tide,
lit by the after-dawn had brimmed the bay’s
calm space, reflecting light on the roof inside.
What boy, by a choir-loft window, could resist
turning to look? A seal swam round a trawler
whose lantern-masts were moored above in mist,
and rippled sparkling water-lap down all her
salt-rust length. Past diesel pumps and dock,
the sun unpicked the nets by the fish-house door
as I watched the seal clamber on Pollock’s Rock.
The mist had almost dissolved and a green pour
of ocean swelled and turned by the harbour stair
while the priest struggled, explaining God’s design,
and the seal shook his watered quiff of hair,
slicked down for Sunday morning, just like mine.