The water in the bay is so very calm
the morning air crisp
broken by the oars of a dinghy
sliding across the mirror of time
with every dip

The depths so dark
with seaweed and fish
with the smell of salt
and the wood fire on the boat
with a curried scallop dish

Rounding the Stack of Bricks
motoring up the Channel
dinghy bobbing along behind
Buster barking at the gulls
a child’s memories wonder tell

Voices from time past echo
like laughter from the mists of memory
in a little boat upon the sea
timelessly putting along
in the safe hands of family

His piano accordion gave music to songs
played in the kitchen round
then silence fell when Tom vanished
how to tell a child the fisherman is gone
the body was never found

The Athena glided into the dock
as if steered by loving hands too right
greeted by the boat chandler
those leather soled shoes
they were blamed for his slip into night

The call of searchers fade away
and time mists up as decades slide
across the mirror of time
upon the sea of memories
upon life’s ebbing tide

NOTE ~   I have the news story posted in The Mercury on Thursday 3 July 1958. I was six at the time. I remember being told of the vanishing of Tom. There is a photo of the Athena, slipped, with the dinghy still on board, and the sails ready for the wind. The words beneath the photo read ~ “The 40ft. ketch Athena, which nosed through Battery Pt. moorings yesterday and ran against a jetty – with no one on board. Police believe the owner, Mr. T. J. Martyn (75), of Rokeby Rd, Howrah, fell overboard during an attack of dizziness.” When my brother Brian was taking up old lino in his house, this page from the news was revealed. How time haunts.