Poem ‘Crabbing’


You’d think the crabs would learn,
like the canny herring gull does,
buzzing anyone suspected
of bearing food

Generations have stood, sat,
squatted on this spot
overlooking the wide harbour,
an untamed marsh,
engaged by the melding
of land, sea and air,
dangling bait tied to sodden strings.
It’s easy meat for crab and kid alike,
a great treat to see
their briny sojourns in buckets,
arrayed like lines of medals on concrete.

Soon we’ll let them go,
watch each one plop into the murk.
We’ll be back to coax another day,
warmed by the thought of them
in cold dark depths,
waiting for next time

© copyright dfbarker 2012

18 thoughts on “Poem ‘Crabbing’

  1. Hi David,

    The picture has such colour and beauty, I love it.
    This wonderful poem brings memories of my sons crabbing 🙂 they would take the bait to the sea aquarium of the museum and get money for them. I think crabs will never get wiser 🙂 but we do! I don’t ever want one on my toes again!
    I love how you bring a scene like this to life.


  2. i’m with victoria…can almost smell the sea and feel the wind and the warm moment you capture…a moment spreading across generations into something bigger… *takes a deep breath and longs for the ocean…* thanks for this david


  3. This is lovely, David…the painting and the poem both. I never went crabbing, but I spent a week every summer fishing at the seashore with my father, which you’ve brought back to me. Thank you.


  4. David,

    This is “squeamishly” lovely for me! You captured it too well – I have a “thing” about crabs (with absolutely no disrespect to them of course) They may well have a thing about me! I really inhaled the whole atmosphere.

    A “thing” I may have, but I’m so glad you plopped them back. 🙂



  5. Glad to see you posting more, I’m catching up on my post. Havent been feeling my best! Always a pleasure to read your work and the paintings or amazing. God Bless 🙂


  6. Ah, what a lovely scene you’ve painted with your words. Though I’ve never been crabbing, I can clearly imagine what it must be like after reading.

    warmed by the thought of them
    in cold dark depths

    those lines are thrilling, just as the thought would be to the young child

    fantastic poetry, David


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