At anchor now, a jousting host of masts|
slop-wallow as they slacken off their stays.
A watercolour sky, when sunlight casts
an aureole through mists to backlight bays
where bar-tailed godwits stand on jointed sticks,
in estuaries ablaze with winter's glow
and dunlins spear small shrimps on mudflat slicks
'mid shallows left by ebbing tidal flow,
but how this calm belies the banshee yell
of North Sea winds swept from the Russian steppe
when Herring Buss and Doggers ride the swell.
These winter fishing fleets that strain and schlep
their laden nets of mack'rel, cod and skate
have weathered fearsome storms with mighty waves
when fishermen themselves are tossed as bait
for kraken monsters, deep in briny graves.
At times the bravest hearts may skip a beat,
but there are those at home who need to eat.
This longer sonnet form dates back to 16th century England
Aureole: a circle of light or brightness surrounding something
Bar-tail godwits and dunlins: wading birds found on the shores of East Anglia during winter
Herring Buss and Doggers: types of fishing vessel that used to ply their trade in the North Sea
schlep: to drag or haul
Painting of a Brixham Dogger by William Adolphus Knell [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons