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As to the this and the that and the how and the why,
I pass no judgement to the tale at hand.
And leave it to scribes to much later decide
On the measure of this nautical Man.
He had failed at baking, he had failed at banking,
He had failed at building a home.
He had failed at improving his corporate ranking,
He had failed at working with stone.
He had failed at stocking, he had failed at unlocking,
He had failed at exploiting his crimes.
And his failure at talking was left open to mocking
As he spoke only in poem and rhyme.
So he walked every floor and tried every door,
When he received a most optimum tip.
At the business described, he was quickly proscribed
The command of a sea faring ship.
He refused any lessons to help him get by
And was ill-informed to the ways of the sea.
And when pressed on this notion, he duly replied,
"How hard can such a thing be?"
"You stand on the deck with a sail or two
Pointing the ship in the direction one hopes to align,
And when the wind and the waves are taught to behave,
You arrive exactly and precisely on time."
His sailors were a deep mystical lot
Who made their peace with the Gods of the sea.
As all through the ship, they regretted this trip
As their Captain was a 'Jonah' you see.
The details that day were foggy at best
And not as clear as others might think.
Was it a heavenly test as some latter guessed
Or just a ship that happened to sink?
"Everyone to the boat," the Captain proposed
As he was sipping a fine cup of tea.
And began working a riddle while playing his fiddle
With no further though on his order to flee.
But he eventually stopped as he gave in to the thought,
"My traitorous crew may leave me behind.
And with my future so fraught, it is well that I ought,
No matter how badly maligned."
Now in Maritime Law, it is commonly known,
A Captain must go down with the ship.
But he had no fervent desire to singularly expire
While others continued the trip.
The five passengers were safely on board
With the Captain tucked squarely away.
As the crew quickly gathered a few meager stores
Knowing any rescue would take many days.
They gathered some rope and good mottled soap
And a small mixture of bacon and rice.
As well as a flask with a small smidgen of hope
Which had been purchased at the usual price.
They had a single life vest to keep them afloat
As well as a thimble of rebellious intent.
Because the Captain had decided to store in the boat,
Two hundred pounds of unwanted cement.
He also loaded tattoos and all manner of shoes
And a recording of his favorite band.
But his greatest addition to the success of their mission
Was a clear ignorance to the perils at hand.
He had bartered the fishing line for a bottle of wine
As he traded away the best of their stores.
And before the journey began, he had taken the time
To sell all of their paddles and oars.
A passenger spoke up, "I may be daft in the head,
But aren't you supposed to drown with the ship?
You will be a pox on us all," He forcefully said.
"As you will jeopardize what's left of our trip."
"You make a strong point," the Captain admits.
"And what you say is a key nautical fact.
But it does not apply, this being the fourth of July,
When I'm allowed a single pusillanimous act."
The passenger sat tight with the Captain in sight,
Shaking his head at what he had heard.
And took on a great pout with an inkling of doubt,
On whether 'pusillanimous' was even a word?
The crew lowered the boat as the ship slipped away
To fill the deep locker of one Davey Jones.
And the crew's only concern with the clouds spectre-grey
Was hoping Poseidon would leave them alone.
After a passage of time, the Captain seemed fine
As his spirits took a positive turn.
When the crew had their say as they dutifully relayed,
They had remembered his tropical fern.
"I stand by my record thought obviously checkered,"
Said the Captain in a mysterious rant.
The words he would state would have carried more weight,
If the man had been wearing his pants.
"Be of good cheer, my passengers and crew,"
The Captain said as he moved to the bow.
"We are as sound as the pound and will see this thing through."
But to be truthful, he didn't know how.
A passenger raised the notion of expenses returned
To compensate for financial distress.
The Captain was firm as he embraced her concerns
And all questions would be quickly addressed.
"Now some are troubled by this untimely delay,
Having spent good money to sail the seas.
And as we will drift in a haze for several days,
We will charge but a small nominal fee."
"We will charge by the hour, we will charge by the day.
We will charge for the clothes on your back.
We will charge a copper farthing for getting away,
We will charge you for water and snacks."
"We are exceedingly willing to charge you a shilling
For having access to this wonderful boat.
And since the ship sank, you will pay thirty-nine francs
For a vague promise of rescue and hope."
Another spoke up to question this Man
Who seemed wanting and not up to the task.
"We would all love to hear of a possible plan
And if that bothers you, I'm sorry to ask?"
"Fear not good Sir, I will meet you demand
As I am a proud sailor to the base of my core.
I had the privilege of having several commands,
And out of five, I've lost only four."
"We passed an island in the dark of the night
But it will now be a journey of several days.
And if the current be steady and I read the stars right.
We will reach it without too much delay."
The Captain sat down knowing the lie he had told
And had his doubts they would get very far.
For the facts of the case would quickly unfold,
He knew nothing of reading the stars.
*Next: Adrift at Sea
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