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This poem is taken from PN Review 93, Volume 20 Number 1, September - October 1993.

'The Middle Sea' Les Murray

That was sausage day
on our farm outside Dungog.
There's my father Reinhard Boettcher,
my mother Agnes.There is brother Frank
who died of the brain-burn, meningitis.
There I am having my turn
at the mincer. Cooked meat with parsley and salt
winding out, smooth as gruel, for the weisswurst.

Here's me riding bareback in the sweater
I wore to sea first.
I never learned the old top ropes,
I was always in steam. Less capstan, less climbing,
more re-stowing cargo.Which could be hard and slow
as farming - but to say Why this is Valparaiso!
Or: I'm in Singapore and know my way about
takes a long time to get stale.

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