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Winter/Spring 2019

The Fishing Fleet at San Carlos


by Paul Kiernan

Out of the Gulf, the storms come up.
The stillness is broken by thunder.
Not even lightning can draw the lines
Between sky, and darkness, and water.

Storm warning flags crack in the wind
And no one is leaving harbor.
Favored by Fortune the fishing boats
That reach port before the foul weather.

For boats caught out, it’s dredges up,
All their hatches get battened down.
Theirs is the Fortune to ride it out
On the terrible fishing grounds.

And the crews turn up their sidebands.
For they know chances are even
Not every boat caught on the salt
This night will reach a safe haven.

What boat can steer against Fortune?
They must ride out whatever she sends,
And if fortune chooses, tomorrow
They’ll go spread out their nets again.


[More poems by Paul Kiernan]

[Check out Paul Kiernan’s back porch advice]

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