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I be a common salty once, no captain's bars, did bear,
Yet blessed was I to venture where few a skipper dared.
From steadfast crow's high perch I watched the bright coast beacons wink,
Through a biting spray's December gale, what goring shoals could sink.
For countless days I rocked atop an oaken spar at length,
As wake and skies conveyed my eyes, Lord Neptune's sullen strength.
Busy dogs, the mates and jacks, bent hard to tasks below,
While toward the sky, with glass to eye, my post waved to-and-fro.
First was I to e'er spot land, my voice, the first to yell,
Aye, first to sight the skull and bone and raise the warning bell.
"Thar she blows!" was oft' my cry, if spied a breach, had I,
And "Friend or foe?!?" the question barked, if strange sails split the sky.
But the moments that becalmed my soul as swells ticked off my time,
Were star-filled nights, a bullion moon, and the phosphorescent brine.
The darkest times were battlements, when the ship groaned in its might,
But never dark, the eventide, sea and sky awash with light!
Quite rare, it was, to find this tar on deck or down below,
And rarer still, did I abdicate my nest there in the crow.
Well, I'm adrift on shore now, with brittle bones and gray,
Yet, my lubber's mind still climbs the mast, to man my post and sway.
I bounce wee kin on knobby knees, and tell them swabbie tales.
Of St. Elmo's Fire and scorching skies, of picaroons and whales.
And when the angels task me to a new and heav'nly crow,
I'll bend my gaze to the looking glass, and give a hearty "Tally-ho!"
~ 3rd Place ~ in the "Verse A Favoured Form, Any Theme" Poetry Contest, Brian Strand, Judge & Sponsor.
~ 5th Place ~ in the "2019 Poetry Marathon Mile 5" Poetry Contest, Mark Toney, Judge & Sponsor.
~ 2nd Place ~ in the "Favorite Rhyming Poem Ever" Poetry Contest, Laura Loo, Judge & Sponsor.
~ 8th Place ~ in the "Create A Character" Poetry Contest, Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer, Judge & Sponsor.
~ 2nd Place ~ in the "Best Rhyming Poem This Year" Poetry Contest, John Hamilton, Judge & Sponsor.
Copyright © Gregory R Barden | Year Posted 2017