My Poetry

This is a selection of my poetry, I have some others but I am unsure where they are, perhaps on papers in the bottom of a box in storage in New Zealand. If and when I find them I will add them to this collection.

© Alexander Knox (Man From Down Under)
All poetry on this website is copyright to Alexander Knox (Man From Down Under). It may not be copied, reproduced or published in any medium whether written, printed, drawn, painted, photographic or electronic without written permission.


Southern Lord.

11 December 1998, South Atlantic off Terra Del Fuego.

Whilst along side the jacket (Hidra Central Platform) as the tide went down, a large seal was sort of wallowing around among the legs. It seems to have made the platform legs it's home and as the tide went down exposing one of the cross beams it got it's self up on one and let the tide fall away underneath it, staying there sleeping until the tide came back in, with the occasional stretch and yawn. Watching this I wrote a few words about it.


Friday 18 December 1998, Straits of Magellan.

Inspired while travelling through the narrows at the Atlantic entrance to the Straits of Magellan, just off Cabo San Vincient (Cape St Vincent) on the southern shore, Terra Del Fuego and Punta Gracia (Point Grace) on the northern mainland. The cliffs on Terra Del Fuego rise to 40 metres and the race of tide around Cape St Vincent creates quite a turmoil of water. It was a fine day but high winds were racing the cumulus along, and the wind against tide making the water off the cape leap and spume while two black and white dolphins were escorting us slowly past the cliffs as we stemmed the 5 knots of current on our way into Laredo.


Tuesday 22 December 1998, Straits of Magellan.

Laredo is a loadout and supply base for the Chilean and southern Argentinian oil fields. Our vessel the Toisa Puma had just loaded the last of the umbilical reels and departed just as the wind picked up from its usual 20 to 30 knots to 40 plus. I was looking aft at the scene with the wind whipping the waves behind us and the shore receding when the words "Leaving Laredo, in the teeth of a gale" popped into my mind.

Mistress Mine.

Friday 19 March 1999, North Sea.

Working in the Shell Merlin field on the Seaway Eagle one of the Polish girls, Anna, was on her first trip to sea and she did not like it. She was asking me what the attraction was when I would spend so long away at sea. She related to me how her father had recently taken up some work at sea and was loving it, like he had found something he should have done long ago. I tried to explain that the sea is ever changing and full of character but always constant, mostly predictable but occasionally takes you by surprise. Thinking on this later while watching the waves in near gale conditions I related to the sea as a woman, a common metaphor, and as a mistress. The last stanza's in each part are familiar and may have been expressed in similar terms by poets and songwriters through the ages.

The Losing of Liverpool.

Wednesday 26th May 1999, Liverpool.

Just joined the Seaway Falcon alongside in Liverpool on the northern side near the entrance to the Harbour. I was struck by the barren empty feel of the place and the general run down appearance. On one side of the basin we were in was a heap of crushed cars being shredded into rusty metal, on the other a rusted dirty and derelict shed. Across on the tidal basin wall along the Mersey river were heaps of scrap metal. The day was overcast and hazy and it had been raining. I later saw more of the docks and there are some very new buildings, but in general the volume of shipping there had been in the past as evident from the number of wharves and slips lining both sides of the river as far as they eye could see simply was not there.


Thursday 24th June 1999, The Sea of the Hebrides.

Sailing back from an offshore project in the Irish sea I was fortunate to go through the Sea of the Hebrides, between the islands so named and the isle of Sky and mainland Scotland. It was a wonderful vista. Rugged mountains, though not high, had a misty mystery about them. The air was clear near at hand but got hazy in the distance giving the impression of the land being hidden in mist. More than a few miles off and a bypasser could miss them altogether. I was reminded of various verses in the Bible which refer to the Isles of the west, or of the sea, and contemplated if the word Hebrides derived from the Hebrew. That contemplation inspired this verse.


Sunday 4th June 2000, Near Wye in County Kent, England.

I was out walking with Kerstin when, on the last section heading back on the top a ridge through the forest towards Wye along the Acorn walk west of the River Stour, she discovered that the car keys were no longer on her key carabina clipped to her belt. We went back to where she last knew she had them and retraced our steps again but couldn't find them. This upset Kersitn quite a bit and she felt that she had confirmed to me that she was disabled and would therefore have lost my friendship. It took some gentle discussion to convince her that nothing in our friendship had changed (Kirstin was a highly functioning autistic person, absolutely brilliant but had some difficulties associated with autism and could not bear being touched by anyone). The inspiration came when I thought of the opening line "The keys lie somewhere in Kent".

His Father Coat.

Yuzhno Sakhalin, Eastern Russia. 7 July 2005

In Sakhalin Russia, just thinking about the way things are done here, the hangovers from the past, the apathy, the desire in some to return to the old ways. How some are trying to modernise, but get stumped by officialdom and outdated regulations. It's like the son of communism, now his father is dead , wants to be a world leader, to play with the big boys but is being hampered by adherence to old values and methods from his dead fathers day, a time now dead. Its like he is wearing his fathers old coat but that coat does not fit him, it is past its time.

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