Red wreck an acre long lapped by the slow sea’s
All-digesting flood, your ribs’ enclosure’s almost gone
All open to the curving skies
Your great caissons crumble towards their last demise
Becoming the ores they were, soon-to-be sediment
Ten thousand tons of it. No, more.
For oxides weigh more than their elements.
When shouts of bathing children echo round the Point
Is there some echo in your iron soul
Of fevered, frantic labour
On the muddy London shore where you were born
Unbearable banging and the roar of glowing coal to heat
The red hot rivets born by barefoot children, slaves
To a half-formed imperative to rule the waves?
•••Mike Jones was born in Bermuda and brought up in Egypt and the U.K. He took a degree in German and French, met Liz, the love of his life, and returned to Bermuda where they bought up their son Douglas. They now have a granddaughter, Ariel.