The Fishingboat Venus

‘Twas on the good ship Venus.
By God, you should have seen us.
- Folk poem 

There were these five lads and the five girls,
wives and or girl friends, you might say,
one pair newly minted, one only recently
back between the sheets.
At the reception the talk had been
of the love god Eros, and then the good ship Venus,
and on the Sunday they hired a little fishing boat,
the M.V. Bella Vista, I recall,
with three sprightly grizzled guys to crew,
and went to fish for mackerel.
We sat round the harbour most of the day,
but it was August and it misted,
and then suddenly, suddenly
(Have you read The Ancient Mariner?)
the mist half-lifted and the Bella Vista
came shooting through. “Out of the sea came they”.
They came racing nearer and we heard that song,
they were harmonising, “These foolish things
remind me of you”. They were all of them, remember,
from the Swansea Valley and there they do harmonies
from birth. And their song was suddenly ringing,
one of the girls, Carys, mimicking
a trumpet line along the top.
This was the goddess Venus, rising from the sea.

Robert Nisbet

If you have any comments on this poem,
Robert Nisbet would be pleased to hear from you.