Scientists say it’s just a mirage,
but sailors claim the ghost ship floats
in air, with stormy seas below.
Again he tries to round Cape Hope.
Captain van der Decken angered God
one savage 18th Century night.
Vowed he’d sail till “Judgment Day,”
to cross the Table Bay, he’d fight.
The Flying Dutchman disappeared
sank deep in foggy, wind-swept sea,
but the captain’s doomed to walk the deck
each night in perpetuity.
King George the Fifth, the Prince of Wales
are two who saw the Dutchman.
Although these royal heirs survived,
most meet death -- the captain’s omen.
His curse prevails in Wagner’s Opera
and Washington Irving’s story;
crews tremble, ghost ship emerges
Dutchman floats in frightening glory.
So many sailors and their ships
still meet demise on starless nights,
when demons steer the Dutchman
and a vengeful God reads last rites.
Till this day the Flying Dutchman
looms threatening on a ravaged sea.
For Judgment Day the captain waits,
luring crews to their destiny.
*Entry for the Story Poem contest.
I looked up at a silver moon
Peering through a cloud of misty gloom
As we sailed across the Atlantic Sea
That fateful night in June
And as I stood upon the bow
A furrow crossed my troubled brow
When I saw a dying star fall from the sky
As the wind out of the north
Began to cry
'Twas then with fearful heart
I came at last to realize
That we were sailing
On a wave of ill-tidings
Known as 'The Devil's Tide'
For no omen of the sea
Brought more fear than thee
A fallen star - a silver moon
Together in the month of June
If legend true would surely bring us doom
So with no trace of land in sight
We sailed onward through the night
I - the Captain 'Louie Lou'
With my faithful crew
Aboard the 3 mast schooner 'Angel - of the Blue'
On canvas wings we flew
Upon the wailing wind that blew
Then suddenly a hush of malaise
Crushed the summer night
Filling all the crew with dreadful fright
As all the stars in heaven lost their light
And the silver moon dipped completely out of sight
Leaving us to drift without guidance
To our unknown plight
An eerie sound began to roll out of the west
Growing louder and louder as we held our breath
Until it was upon us and the ship began rise
As we looked in horror into the Devil's eye
As the Angel of the Blue began to fly
Up the Devil's breast she climbed 20 fathoms high
One by one the Angel's wings were torn away
As she fought to save us from the Devil's rage
Screams of horror falling from her timber sides
As the crew fell into the Devil's tide
And I - tethered to the helm - watched them die
As we climbed even higher into the Devil's eye
And as the Angel's body creaked and cracked
We finally scaled the crest and rode upon the Devil's back
Just before I fainted and my world went black
I woke up in the morning high on a mountain side
Never knowing just how I had survived
knowing only that my Angel and my crew had died
Many years have come and gone since then
And I am forever haunted by each and every one of them
My faithful crew and my mighty 'Angel of the Blue'
I see their faces in my dreams
As I awaken to their screams
Wishing, too - that I had died
But someone had to live
To tell the tale of the 'Devil's Tide'.
Author: Elaine George
Entry for contest: Legends
Awarded: First Place
We bound down the stairs, out into the light-of-day, and into the blue of the
misty breezes, heavily laden with the smell of wild sea salt roses that grow in
perfusion along the winding road, that bends and turns in gentle lifts and dips to
the other side of the bay, where it crosses the bridge and rises up and winds
away, over the hill.
Overhead the seagulls screech and glide over the ocean spray that washes on
the rocks on the lower banks behind our house along the Fundy Bay, where we
run like the wind through the fields of fresh cut hay and make our way to the
rocky mantle below .
There in the volcanic plateau, worn smooth as glass by the constant rolling
weight of the ocean, is our pool, known by all in our village, as ‘Lizza’s Bathtub’,
created by the eruption of the earth’s inner core, millennia’s ago.
We slip into the still, salty water that has been warmed beneath the blazing sun,
and float with the perry winkles and tiny crabs and listen to the sound of the
ocean, that roars beneath us as it leaves in the receding tide, while we drift
away, in our minds, my little brother the ‘King’ and I, the ‘Queen’ for a day on
the ‘Fundy Bay’.
It was in July of 1945
And the USS Indianapolis
Had a crew of nearly 12 hundred alive
But a Japanese sub fired and did not miss
American sailors had completed their job
Delivering parts for the first atomic bomb
Some sank with the ship, others in the sea did bob
No food, few lifeboats, ocean deceptively calm
Surprise attack, no distress signal had been sent
It was four days later those floating were spotted
The survival rate was just 25 percent
With hundreds of sailors’ bodies the sea was dotted
In the movie “Jaws” as Captain Quint had related,
“The sharks came cruisin'. So we formed into tight groups.”
Six men per hour were killed while for help they waited
All were lost but 316 Navy troops
Some victims died of exposure or starvation
But far more were killed by the sharks that had attacked
These men lost their lives in service to our nation
But bomb parts delivered had a deadlier impact
One of the last ships that was sunk in World War II
The Indianapolis had turned the war’s tide
With a mission carried out by a courageous crew
Victory was soon celebrated by allies worldwide
This is an entry for the History Poems contest
Dark thoughts emerging from a lifeless spirit,
a wandering ship sinking into the remotest depths;
denying itself reality and its sense of comfort...
and was ever there a lighthouse to disperse its darkness?
A captain stirring his erring ship,amid furious waves,
for an imminent and fierce war,
not noticing the making of its destiny...
fighting unnecessary battles of ambiguity,
hoping that luck would bring it safely ashore;
even a small island was hidden from his gaze!
An unwise listener would not take advice from anybody,
he didn't reject it embracing his own vulnerability;
a good decision that didn't imply a cost...
would he ever been discouraged or lost?
For uncountable years, this eager sea-man,
resisted and spoiled many pleasures for victory...
freezing time to avoid another tragedy
with a perception so sharp to defy anyone's will!
And did he deserve the harshest judgment
from others, who were pleased with their fate?
Loneliness was chosen by him
for unequivocal reasons and he craved it
like the bitterest, strongest wine
to make him strong and invincible...
nothing swayed him from his pride
to obtain that impossible goal!
She climbed the liquid staircase
Just to gaze at gleaming stars;
All she wanted was a wee one
To light up her fair boudoir.
A thousand times she spied them
Flash across the midnight sky;
She strained so high to catch one,
But the mermaid could not fly.
Exhausted with hard striving,
She lay back against the sea,
Rocking on the waves, gently,
As she rested peacefully.
The moon, climbing his set arc,
Saw her glist'ning on the foam;
At first sight so madly loved
Her, longing to take her home.
To lightly comb her flowing
Hair, he sent a small moonbeam,
Who tangled in her tresses
And woke her from her dream.
With a flash, her glitt'ring tail
Slapped the water and she fled,
Sliding down in the ocean,
Hiding in her pearl lined bed.
The moon, absent one moonbeam,
Wanders heaven, round and round,
Surveying seas and oceans,
Praying his mermaid is found.
Sometimes in the deep, dark pool
He sees a shining light start
Beneath the frothing billows,
And he clutches for his heart.
Forever in his orbit...
She, forever in the waves,
Her hair with his beam glowing,
All of love he ever gave.
May 31, 2014
Before spring came, in late February
to the blooming and jolly hills
I ran, breathing heavily and frantically,
touching the perfumed blossoms
of a solitary, old cherry tree;
and underneath it I sat writing poetry
that hadn't a perfect rhyme and beat!
Weren't my skills marred by imperfections?
Canaries and red-breasted robins
flew down and rested on my outstretched legs;
perusing my lines to spot their names,
and when they did, they flapped their wings in gladness!
I could have imagined their joyful words,.
if only they had acquired the gift of speech,
and deeper in their thoughts I would have reached:
to dispel the myth that they had no feelings...
After my short poem was completed,
I reached for my harmonica to play my favorite classic tune;
and being surprised by the paleness of the fading moon,
I dedicated that happy melody to her not to let her despair:
by waving my hand to make her farewell less sad, while I whispered,
" Silent moon, eternal companion of every poet,
what's beyond the realm of this universe?...
Tell us more of those invisible suns and planets! "
Before spring came to the dormant valley,
the mountains' peaks allowed the sun to melt their snows,
to create gushing torrents to feed its water to the dry and cracked soil,
which needed rain instead of harmful frost;
and I drank the freshest water and washed my sweaty face,
while fighting off the bees' stubborn rivalry!
That spring has come again to dress herself with incredible splendor,
and this discontent and wishful heart desires nothing more than being there!
My theme is: Happiness In Childhood
The sweet neck of her life came adorned with dazzling jewels of the ages;
jewels imbued with holy virtues, long before she was born.
She rose, alone, Venus veiled above a sparkling sea,
her love light flashing wherever she gazed.
As she spun her cosmic spiral, a tiger, hungry with anger and bitterness,
tore at the veil, hoping to claim victory—fire and passion.
Each time she dipped her head, trying to free herself from the ships of ancient
torments that lay anchored at her throat, the tiger roared for more,
devouring jewel upon jewel—fire upon fire, passion upon passion.
She lay, alone, her carotid adornment shortened by the tiger’s every move,
her virtues struck down until she was left grasping at a choker
‘round her throat, her life soon to end.
Then, in the billowing clouds of her torment, she saw Diana rising from the sea.
She stood on an iridescent ivory shell, her arrow poised to strike.
The tiger raged, but could not pierce the clouds.
A red fury filled with fire and passion shot from its hell-born eyes;
its massive jaws spewed hot saliva that set the sea on fire.
The sea itself cried out, “Golden Diana, make your arrow swift and sure;
the world in Venus is quickly fading.
Strike now, the tiger, and restore all aright!”
Even while the prayer was being uttered,
Diana’s aim proved its power as the arrow found the tiger’s heart.
In a flash, Venus was restored,
her long strand of jewels aglow,
the tiger at her side.
Together they stood in a deep, iridescent ivory shell
and made their way out to sea
with a wind that was sure and true.
All was set aright. All was free
as they sailed into the rising moon,
her Venus jewels lighting the way.
Written in contemplation of Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a
Pomegranate, One Second before Awakening, by Salvador Dali. (1944)
It was still dark when I arrived at five o’clock
I commenced the day by going to the wrong dock
I was a little concerned that I may be late
When I arrived they were still loading bait.
The boat started up with a thunderous sound
You must stay the channel so you don’t run a ground
Next you head into the safety of the bay
Everyone’s quiet with not much to say.
As we turn the corner the sun divides the sky and sea
A blend of orange, purple and blue explode in front of me
The sea starts to pick up and the boat gets tossed
A peace grows within all else is lost…
You pull the traps up in what’s called a set
You winch them on board to see what you get
My job was to restock the bait
It seemed kind of an ironic fate.
It was pretty hard work yet so much fun
Me, the boat, the sky and the sun
We had a pretty good catch and turned to go back
The auto pilot planned our course of attack
On the way in you wash down the boat
It cleaned up quite well with water and soap.
As I view around me as it was time to go
The sea put on its own picture show.
When we returned to the river the tide had come in
All of the lobsters had been placed into bins
The boat was too tall to fit under the bridge
Like smooth sailing and then hitting a ridge.
We had to unload the boat so the catch wouldn’t be lost
Our pride and a little work was all that it cost
When we had finished it was time to rest
Having comfort in knowing we did our best.
We cleaned up and had dinner to end the day
This is my lobster tale of today
Everyone found humor in what I had to say
Then we said goodbye and went on our way.
When I got home I fell fast asleep
I dreamed of a bottom far too deep
It was a long day and I needed to rest
The lobster became someone else’s dinner guest.
Waves of Change
Changes in life descriptionalized
In comparison to waves of the ocean
Our bodies are made mostly of water
A body of water with flowing emotions
Now an ocean will flow peacefully
Until there is a bit of turbulence
Disrupting from a smooth flow
With the up and down currents
As we walk onto a new path
A different kind of feeling steps in
New ventures can be scary in thought
Of what is left behind when we begin
An air of difference can bring on a spin
To a funnel effect as does a water spout
Sometimes when in the spin motion cycle
We are shaded by clouds and cannot see out
When actually caught within the spin
We do not see the change is there
Our sense of direction is lost
We become totally unaware
If you are the one caught
Within that fast paced spin
You will not be able to see
The shape you are really in
That’s the time we need someone
To give us a tap on the shoulder
It’s not a matter of who knows more
Or which one of the other is older
You’ll need a friend like Dory was
Saying to just keep swimming the sea
To never give up your hopes and dreams
As changes in life really just happen to be
Florence McMillian (Flo)