Hammer & Thresher

Nigel was a writer
he promised me once
deep down in those bitter cups
he told stories about the ocean
and his roving days, now long forsaken
yet recalled in immaculate detail.

He espoused all through those technicolour hours
clouding spent sentiment
with thick river sediment
while scraping barnacles off a bearded hull,
“Fish-scales in the sky, distant and white
a change will be coming our way”.

Until the next morning
he talked himself down
and curled on the couch like a contrary child
stubborn insistence that sleep be resisted
blankets clutched to his trembling chin
and when I rose he had passed like a storm.

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