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



  1. Victoria C. Slotto · January 2, 2012

    I could almost smell the sea air. Wonderful!


  2. PictureS · January 2, 2012

    Great poem and painting. Both atmospheric and memorable.


  3. Ina · January 2, 2012

    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.


  4. Betty Hayes Albright · January 3, 2012

    I love this painting – and of course the poem is your usual high caliber! I can smell the beach, the seawater, the crabs…. like a scene from the Pacific Northwest.


  5. df barker · January 3, 2012

    Thanks Ina!


  6. df barker · January 3, 2012

    Thank you! Oh, the Pacific Northwest! Now that would be a trip!


  7. df barker · January 3, 2012

    Thank you Victoria!


  8. df barker · January 3, 2012

    You are so kind – thank you!


  9. claudia · January 3, 2012

    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


  10. zumpoems · January 3, 2012

    This captures a mood and scene so artfully and beautifully! Just wonderful!


  11. df barker · January 3, 2012

    Thank you, you are so kind!


  12. ladynimue · January 3, 2012

    Been to sea only once or twice ..
    this had a sweet nostalgic feel for me …


  13. WordsFallFromMyEyes · January 4, 2012

    Vivid, very.


  14. pathwriter · January 4, 2012

    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.


  15. journeyintopoetry · January 4, 2012


    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. 🙂



  16. poeticjourney · January 5, 2012

    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 🙂


  17. Emma · January 5, 2012

    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


  18. Tanitha Smith · January 7, 2012

    Reading this poem brought back years of memories. Great poem! I especially loved the lines, “Generations have stood, sat, / squatted on this spot”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.