Martin Choules : Sonnet of the Portuguese


They’re coming ! Raise the alarm on the dockside!
They’re swarming, and pushing us out of the sea !
Their billowing sails, from Pembroke to Leigh,
Are storming our beaches, invading our sands!
Their cargo is toxic, their ballast monoxide -
These by-the-wind sailors, these rafts of Medusa,
Mohicaned above, while their dreadlocks hang looser,
All laces and ruffles, and hooks for their hands!
On the hottest of days, when the skies are clear blue,
And the southerlies breeze off the sea to the shore,
This deadly armada with venomous crew
Are planting their colonies right at our door . . .
These silent bluejackets are coming for you -
These unthinking killers, these seamen o’ war.