COLD, WET DECKS


Cold, wet decks
Creeping dawn
The gentle whir of engines
Swishing yellow waters
The Yangt-ze-Kiang
Kowtung Gorge
Yellow walls
Yellow sky
Cruel yellow rapids
Sneering, hideous rapids
Waiting, waiting to crush
The gunboat.

A crouched figure,
Shivering, watching.
A blue figure,
The lookout
Silent, half-blind.
Pulling hungrily at a cigarette
Watching, watching the dawn.

Cold, wet decks.
The brittle fingers of the helmsman.
The smarting eyes of the pilot
The yellow gorge
The yellow waters

The sudden crash of musketry,
Whirling yellow men on the banks
An alarm gong,
The whimper of the lookout
The hysterical laugh of a machine gun.






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