There's a hoarse shout.
So eager for the money
with rattle of chain
blowing of whistle
we - efficient - PUT THE BOAT OUT.

Jo Hulbert,    Ed Smith,    Vince Brown
(myself with some others)
- no heroes - nevertheless not a goat
or rabbit we'd have let
being properly paid drown.

The sea was a mountain, their boat
stiff-whiskered, stuck & afright
(mouth open ... cargo belched ...
blasts on the siren) could as barely
as the crew in that swirl float.

We saved (with Behemoth tied to his floor)
every jack of them!
& stuffed them swinging by rocks
through a gashed sea
ASTONISHED to the shore.

Whereupon not to us but to the Lord
they gave thanks - penniless.
Whilst Jo, Ed, Vince & myself
were speechless at such a nothing
who if any can afford?


These are dedicated men, but they look for the rewards of salvage, rather than for simple congratulations for effort & merit.

Who anyway can afford such altruism?