"Driving is my trade, plowing cresting seas..."
“Driving is my trade, plowing cresting seas…”

Fishing all night, eye-burning halogens
Aloft transform night into day, blocking
Stars and moon, world unto its own, net
Dragging, making slow headway through
Darkness, course made good, anticipating
Glimmer of fire-bright on distant horizon.

Following USCG navigation rules, we burn
Green over white all-round masthead lights,
Indicating fishing, whether under-way or
At anchor, permitting right-of-way with
Other ships on near-coastal waters or
Whilst transiting deep-sea canyons.

Driving is my trade, plowing cresting seas,
Monitoring marine radios, checking radars,
Watchstanding for marine traffic. Usually
Nights are quiet, distant lights of container
Ships, heavy tugs pushing reluctant sand
Barges north on East Coast shipping lanes.

Tonight weather is holding, north winds 15
Knots, four-foot waves in steady chop, boat
In rising rhythm, pulling another long set.
As nets fill, drag increases, weight straining
Steel cables, repetition of trawling, taking
Tonnes of fish from dark resounding seas.

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