Iron Thoughts Sail Out At Evening

by Malcolm Lowry

Malcolm Lowry

Iron thoughts sail out at the evening on iron ships;
They move hushed as far lights while twelve footers
Dive at anchor as the ferry sputters
And spins like a round top, in the tide rips,
Its rooster voice half muted by choked pipes
Plumed with steam. The ship passes. The cutters
Fall away. Bells strike. The ferry utters
A last white phrase; and human lips,
A last black one, heavy with welcome
To loss. Thoughts leave the pitiless city,
Yet ships themselves are iron and have no pity;
While men have hearts and sides that strain and rust.
Iron thoughts sail from the iron cities in the dust,
Yet soft as doves the thoughts that fly back home.

Last updated September 29, 2022