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Devil's Island

Madeleine McLaughlin Avatar  Send Soup Mail  Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Devil's Island which was written by poet Madeleine McLaughlin. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Devil's Island

I'll tell you a tale
of our own Devil's Island
and the demonic crash
of the waves in the swell.
The smell and the taste
of the ball breaking weather;
the ghosts that deliver 
poor sailors to Hell.

We were out in the water
in the Magdalens
the wind plucked the ropes
of our rigging at sea.
We looked for a port 
and saw many lights flashing
"That's old Devil's Island,"
said the skipper to me.

Tongues began hurling
their fierce imprecations
"to come to the island
safe landfall to thee."
But the skipper turned round
the ship with a vengeance,
"That old Devil's Island
will never get me."

I thought he was mad
to be scared of a legend
it was my first time
in a storm on the sea
and two men washed over
to Davey Jones locker
"God bless 'em, they'll rest now,"
the skip said to me.

Protesting the treatment
of two forlorn sailors
I said to the skipper,
"It's not very well."
"It's better," he said,
"that they're resting in Heaven
than entering into
the portals of Hell."

The wind lasted the night
then the voices did falter
the lights blinkered out
and I saw very well
so many rocks, jagged
just waiting to smash us
the Devil's Isle gateways
await in the swell.

If you're on a ship
and the voices of demons
come tell you it's safe
in their harbor a lee
remember the shoreline
at old Devil's Island
then turn the ship seaward
and gracelessly flee.

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  1. Date: 12/19/2013 1:40:00 PM
    Madeleine, . Congratulations, and thank you for supporting the Ballad contest.... Forever- Linda

  1. Date: 12/26/2009 7:37:00 AM
    Awesome! Your words placed me on the ship! Congrats and Good Luck! Hugs, Robin

  1. Date: 12/23/2009 3:20:00 AM
    Congratulations on being a first round survivor Madeleine and the best to you in the finals. I wish you the best in your writing endeavors in 2010 whatever they may be. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 12/21/2009 9:27:00 AM
    Congrats on your poem winning the first round of PS contest!! Very well deserved, enjoyed reading your wonderful poetry. Here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! May 2010 be your best year ever! Love Light Patty

  1. Date: 12/20/2009 1:48:00 PM
    Congratulations on moving to the next round with this great poem, Madeleine! Wishing you joy and happiness in the New Year, love, Carolyn

  1. Date: 12/20/2009 11:40:00 AM
    Many congratulations on reaching the second round with your fine poem >> James

  1. Date: 12/16/2009 11:42:00 AM
    congrats on being featured and a wonderful poem/tale

  1. Date: 12/15/2009 12:42:00 PM
    Many congratulations on your poetry being featured on the Soup this week >> James

  1. Date: 12/15/2009 2:24:00 AM
    Congratulations on having your poem featured this week. A well deserving honor. A. W. Nutter

  1. Date: 12/14/2009 3:39:00 PM
    congrats on being featured this week

  1. Date: 12/14/2009 11:36:00 AM
    Madeleine - what a wonderful piece - has gone straight into my favs. Rgds Janette

  1. Date: 12/14/2009 8:39:00 AM
    Congratulations on your poetry being featured at PoetrySoup this week Madeleine. May you have many more features. Love,Carol

  1. Date: 9/15/2009 9:41:00 PM
    a wonderfully written tale within this piece that speaks outwardly about life in general as well to be watchful and leary Blessings..Cecil

  1. Date: 7/23/2009 10:59:00 AM
    Another wonderful write Madeleine, for a few poems, so much enjoyment>>James

  1. Date: 3/15/2009 4:24:00 PM
    hi,this poem described so well helped me remember when we were at sea on our small boat and the sea was so rough,i thought we were gonna die,i had a bad experience that day,and what you've written here describes it well,at least i wasn't at the devil's island:-).cheers and thanks for finding time to read my poem-charmaine malta

  1. Date: 1/1/2009 8:47:00 AM
    Your vision is full with adventure drawn into, while danger lurks nearby. It's mostly truth of our imagination, but not so sure. One can sense the cold and fury. Thanks, Jan

  1. Date: 12/18/2008 5:40:00 PM
    Dear Madeleine, WOW superb Story and as a Rhymist love the Rhyme YOU are quite ingenious in YOUR POETRY LOVEYOUr POETIC flair...HG

  1. Date: 12/15/2008 6:03:00 PM
    Deep write...once again thanks for the comments... *Breana

  1. Date: 12/15/2008 6:00:00 PM
    Excellent cadence and rhyming... a stirring tale of life at sea wonderfully expressed! Best wishes, Keith

  1. Date: 9/21/2008 7:53:00 AM
    Being 30 years Navy, and a life ong love affair with the ocean, I loved this one. I was in the Atlantic aboard a cargo ship for Hurricane Dorothy in '66. It gave one a sense of awe. We also sat in one of the holds in '65 on our way to the Caribbean telling stories about the Devil's Triangle. A lot of great memories. God Bless. Vince