The windows of the tight old houses bulge
Across the fishhead cobble, a rope that moors
The sea to a church with its back to the quay.
The sky is stuck fast in the tower tabs.
See now the worried wives, thronging and blocking,
Peering and peering through swollen glass
To watch the catch of bodies hauled uphill,
The dead from the sea laid out in the gate.
The lids of graves are hatches propped right up
By ancient seamen, peering and peering
Through swaying weed that hangs their bones and brows.
Sea pearls are lodged in the o of hope, and
Anno Domini is a rusted spar.
Stained-glass and shipwreck light in the church;
Heaven has rot, fish swim through the aisle interments.
Into the tide the bridge of the chancel twists.
In the tight houses panes writhe with faces.
A captain and a chaplain climb the street
Into a resurrection gale. Boats on sills
Dip stiffly. Children kneel, making
With their hands church roofs against drowning.