This poem is in memory of Martin Colfer. Skipper of the Rebecca C, who often took me out to search for the whales off the Hook Head in County Wexford. The video was shot at a reading of this in The Troubadour London, during an evening organised by Coffee House Poetry.
Dolphins danced in the harbour that day
in memoriam Martin Colfer, Skipper of the Rebecca C
They were good, those days together, easy
sailing, easy talking, easy in each
others company. He taught me how to
watch at sea for birds circling, then diving.
He showed me the seals spying on us,
the dolphins playing games around the boat,
then, wonder of wonders, we would reach where
we had seen the great whales blow. At times we
would come so close we could hear their very
breathing. Together we saw mighty Fin
Whales, majestic Humpbacks, playful passing
Minke. Once, sailing from our own harbour
at Duncannon we set a Northward course
to Ballyhack he gave me the tiller
to hold her steady while he cleared space
for photographers, waiting for their chance
to see the sights that we had often seen.
It happened then we went through pods of
Dolphins swimming in families of three.
At one hundred we stopped our counting.
Small wonder so that the day they buried
him in the graveyard overlooking the bay
the dolphins danced in the water, plain
enough then, that all who mourned could see.