William Messent


The Shipping Forecast (2012)


While sailing by beyond the fringe
I caught a song by Ronald Binge,
Heralding the Shipping Forecast -
"Attention, all at sea! "

Beware of gales in Forties, Tyne,
Fisher, Dogger, German Bight,
Humber, Thames and Dover, Wight,
Portland, Plymouth, Lundy, Sole,
Fitzroy, Biscay, Trafalgar,
Shannon, Fastnet, Irish Sea,
Rockall, Malin, Hebrides,
Faeroes, Fair Isle, Cromarty.

Here's the general situation,
(Please forgive my hesitation)
There is much precipitation
And it's falling on my head!

I have a vague impression
Of a deepening depression;
There's a cyclone over Iceland
And I'm feeling very low.

It is foggy in the Forties
So that I can see Rockall
And it's freezing in the Faeroes -
I'll need my Fair Isle after all.

But in North and South Utsire
Visibility is clearer
And I've come to the conclusion
That this front is an occlusion.

There's storm force 10 in Biscay
Making sailing rather risky,
But the weather now in Viking
May be much more to your liking.

Submitted: Wednesday, March 06, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Since childhood I have always loved the poetic ring of the sea areas around the British Isles which regularly appear in the BBC Shipping Forecast.

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