Age Old Song

Age Old Song

I walked down to the harbour today
drawn by the scent of the sea;
Before me I saw a scene of life and strength.

Trawlers had arrived back
from their week long work at sea,
from fishing and other lands.

Laughter, strength and sheer vitality;
Filled the air with age old song.

I loved it down there, watching and listening
keeping myself out of the way.
My father knew where I was and gave me a wink,
came and lifted me to the sky.

They loved their work, these men of the sea,
it was hard but they were strong and free.
Their stories fascinated me.

As the men withdrew to BOA,
a centre for repairing nets and making new,
for sharing news and laughs, bellyfuls.
It was also where the Storyteller held forth.

Fantastic stories and wisdoms held all enthralled,
as hands flew at tasks and laughter rose.

In the homes women happily worked,
cooking and singing;
Their men were safely home.

At BOA work and stories paused
as husbands and fathers longed
for their women, children. For home.

Happy as a bird I walked home
my little hand in pappas hand, so strong and safe.

Reaching home my mamma held her arms outstretched,
pappa lifted her up and walking around
sang her a song of love and fun;
A song all his own.

All five chicks following them around
waiting patiently for their turn.

Such joy reigned in our abode.

© miriam ivarson

39 thoughts on “Age Old Song

      • Hello lovely, in Salcombe, Devon, UK and then he skippered a vessel out of Cape Town, SA. The tales were incredible, as was the bond between them all. It flooded back as I read your words. Xxx ❤️

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you Jane, I appreciate you telling me. Devon is not to far away,
        Cape Town carries a sound of other seas. I do so agree with the strong bond that bound them.



      • Miriam, I am sorry I wanted to talk to you about your beautiful words and memories and I disappeared down a tunnel of my own memories.

        Whereabouts were your family based? I love the thought of you taking your Dad’s hand and how you write about your early childhood memories. ❤ Xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow! Miriam, you have me in gentle tears at the beauty and I’m in awe of the scenes you capture with poetic finesse. This has to be one of your best poems! Seriously! I’m drawn in from the very title – just perfect – and love how young you are when striding out to meet your father from the fishing trawler. I’m smiling at the wink he gives you, in awe of the power and strength of the men, all the time keeping up their good humour, their storytelling. Oh yes, what stories they must be!

    The reunion between your parents is beguiling, so full of affection, pure joy and I’m enthralled how the five young ‘chicks’ of children scuttled between them both – all part of a most joyful abode.

    Congratulations on this most superlative poem, my friend! A heavenly start to my Sunday and one that stays with me. hugs xx

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Annika, thank you for this wonderful comment. You seem to have walked with ease into the world I inhabited. Yes, I was in awe of the strength
      and spirit they brought. At being there, part of it. I am thrilled how you can feel the atmosphere.
      And the storytelling, it would thrill you and turn into a book no doubt. The wink carried love and fun and I knew it.

      The re-union at home was another memory that gives strength. Yes, I was
      lucky and although hardships visited, the foundation was strong.


      Liked by 2 people

    • Balroop, thank you for your wonderful comment. It is such a joy that you could feel transported to that harbour and really hear the sounds around you. Sounds of life and content.
      I also am taken with that you felt the events I try to portray of a family sharing joy.


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your poem is beautiful, Miriam. When I lived in Hong Kong 40+ years ago, there were still many fishermen living on the houseboats. Their skin were brown and wrinkled. I had a friend lived on the houseboat but young people didn’t want to be fishermen so there were less and less when the older generations couldn’t pass on the business to the younger generations.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your lovely comment, Miriam. You must love memories from such a different world as Hong Kong. Fishing is performed differently in most parts of the world. The similarity is that the livelihood comes from the seas and oceans.
      The trawlers set out to the North Sea and were well dressed against the often harsh elements.
      In spite of that it is a very loved sea.


      Liked by 2 people

  3. Profound words that capture our connection to the sea and land. You reminded me of Rachel Carson, who passed on April 14, 1964, but left us words to reflect upon: “It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist; the threat is rather to life itself.” Rachel Carson, The Sea Around Us. I especially liked your thought: “Trawlers had arrived back from their week long work at sea, from fishing and other lands.” Fishermen lived on the land, but their hearts were with the sea…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rebecca, a heartfelt thank you for this wonderful comment. We are indeed connected to both sea and land and ought to show care so we can all live in harmony. I am proud that you used a quote by Rachel Carson, I shall get the book and read now again.
      Thank you for the last sentence… is just so true.


      Liked by 1 person

    • JoAnna, how wonderful that you could feel my words even visually.
      It could make a movie come to think of it….filled with the emotions you state
      and with the dramas interspersed.
      Thank you JoAnna.


      Liked by 2 people

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