Interview with a Trawlerman
Do you ever get tired of the physicality?
(Oh, the long hours, you mean,
The perpetual activity, the sea,
The lifting, sorting, winching,
The aching bones?)
Do you ever think of potential danger?
(Oh, you mean the mysterious depths,
The odd dynamics, the nets,
A broken beam puncturing below the waterline?)
Do you ever wish you were at home?
(Oh, you mean
Would you ever miss the camaraderie ?
(Oh, the bonds that form, the jokes,
The shared belief, the adventures,
That friendly bunch of faces, the fact
That we all care for each other even when
We say that we don’t?)
Do you ever worry?
(Oh, if only
There were time).
Do you ever feel at one with the sea?
(Ah, but does the sea ever feel
At one with me?)
Do you ever feel odd, walking on solid ground
After days on the brine?
(Oh, you mean that feeling of permanence,
Which is negated by the idea that time and life
Are always in constant motion, the ultimate example
State of the universe being chaos?)
Do you ever look at a fish and think, what on earth is that?
(Do you ever think they have similar thoughts about me?)
Have you ever seen a mermaid?
(Oh, you mean that old sailor’s lament, the
Eternal wistfulness of the romantic mariner,
Mists curling in on a calm flat surface,
Drops of dewy moisture clung in his beard,
Wrinkled face pondering on better days,
Circumnavigators making up excuses for the
Slow madness of a life at sea?)
Do you ever sing sea shanties?
(There was that time in the Wetherspoons we all
Sat down and belted out It’s Raining Men).