Winners 2011

Jack Westmore (Second prizewinner)

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College, London

Shipbreakers

After Philip Larkin

I

There is a place in India called Alang,
Where the vessels of the world are brought
To inactivity.

Indiscriminately aligned along the tideline
Are ships that have pushed hulls now-rusty
Ubiquitously;

Whilst seas that bore these vast ships’ preponderancy
Peal weakly against the husks of stilled
Nauticals.

Here, they will return once again to their constituents:
Off-cast shapes; anchors; chain; brokered
Superannuities.

II

The suns stretched long over blank days recall natures
Made-up tempered in stark names on steel
Meridians:

The vast pendant engines, the boiler housing cavernous
As globed whispered galleries, the fleeting
Echoings.

The Asian skeleton crews seek here to unwrap,
Peeling back the years, back the shores, back
The ebbs.

Here, at easeful distance, they have stripped the end
To composite near-truth: long threads of waves,
Breaking ships.

Project Details

  • Date February 10, 2015
  • Tags 2011 Simplicity - Winning Poems