I PEER out on to the Channel

On this sunny, warm March day

And imagine a ghost paddle steamer, Devonia

Drifting out to sea from old Penarth Pier

As over-dressed crowds enjoy the sun

At the bottom of Beach Hill, all long dead

But for the Balmoral, "full steam ahead"

A ship still very much alive

Returning to the Channel this May

Floating on blue sun-kissed water

Towards Flat Holm, Steep Holm, the English coast

With a soft salty breeze in the summer air.

How exhilarating to take a trip

On a glorious, most historic ship.

Guy Fletcher