Home from sea by Phil McNulty

I wasn't seeking him
He wasn't in my thoughts
But, as before, suddenly, I saw him
There in the corner staring at his drink

His breathing laboured in the
Smoke cloud of the woodbines
As he sought solace from the
Half pint in his pint glass

There was no fortune
To be told here
No happy ending
Just lost years and lives


The might have beens
And old ships and crews
And West African sea roads
To mangrove beaches

And drunken shore leave
And wasted wages in Liverpool dens
And her face upon his return
With him remorseful


And the pile of pennies
Looking small between them