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The Captain

He sat all alone, drinking jim beam and coke Looking out as the waves crashed ashore He kept to himself, drinking jim beam and coke As the storm winds would batter the door He'd only come in when the weather was rough Sitting alone, drinking Jim Beam and coke Looking out at the waves never saying a word Just this man and his Jim Beam and coke He'd lived all his life in this sea faring town Working ships from the time he was ten He grew up real fast on the high roiling seas Doing work that was best left for men His father had run a small fleet of five Chasing cod up the Grand Banks each year But as cod stocks declined and the fishing died out His old man sold off his old gear One boat was left, a shrimper, it was It was christened the "Bain of my Life" It was a jab at his job, but as his dad liked to say "I named the damn boat for me wife!" They ran this old boat till the paint was worn off Fixing nets, running traps and old lines Catching shrimp, heading home....and time after time Getting soaked in the stormy old brine He sat in the bar looking out as the waves Grew and intensified more With his Jim Beam and Coke, looking out to the sea And dried peanut shells crushed on the floor When the fair weather came, he was never about He was down by the ships holding court For as sea farers go and tellers of tale He was the best one they had in this port He told of the time that their boat had been hit By a wave twice as tall as the ship But his dad kept her up, and they only lost pots And the "Bain" proved she couldn't be flipped On fair weather days he would start out his day At the Church of the Maritime Witch It was a small little bar, serving breakfast till ten And the bartender there was a ***** At least that's his word to describe Betty Jean He would call her this name and then grin For he'd known Betty Jean for his whole bloody life She was this old seafarers sister, his twin She'd run the old bar for about 40 years Took it on when she lost on a bet She 's been there ever since and she won't tell a soul How she lost and why she's never left yet But, on days like today, she'd shut down the bar Batten windows and hope for the best For with 90 knot winds and just plywood and nails Her bar would be put through a test So he'd come up here drinking Jim Beam and coke Watching out to the sea past the break He watch for the ships coming in from the storm Seeing just how much sea they could take He'd name 40 men who he knew lost their lives Facing death on the water to fish But there only was one for who he'd give up his place and that was his eternal wish His son was lost out on the bubbling sea, chasing cod When they knew there were few He was out on a ship that was captained by him and a small, inexperienced crew His son was swept off by a swell straight from hell It was two miles long if an inch He was working the nets when the rogue wave did hi ttaking his son, two pots and a winch He'd spent fifteen years searching daily for him His body had never been found Davy Jones held it fast in the depths of the sea To which his sons soul forever was bound He gave up his search and he never went back Never fished for a shrimp or a cod He'd just sit on the dock watching out at the waves Praying silently this prayer to God "Please give me my son, so I can bury him whole" "Let him surface so he can find peace" "I only ask this, for my sister and me" "And for his daughter, my dear little niece" "We've waited for years for a sign...even small" "Just to show us that your job is done" "I'll never go out on the water again" "Regardless of how strong they run" "I ask you dear Lord, for his body to see" "So we can consecrate him back to the earth" "This is all I ask, and I will ask no more" "Just how much is my dear son's life worth" With an amen and a smoke to finish it off He'd head back to his sisters to sit He'd drink Jim Beam and coke till "the *****" sent him home With a hug and a kis and a "git"! But on days like today he'd watch waves crash ashore Hoping no more were lost to the sea Drinking Jim Beam and coke, sittling all on his own Wishing God would set his son free If you're down by the docks when the weather is fine Look for him and he'll tell you a tale But don't ask about that terrible night When he lost his young son to a swale

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018




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Date: 5/7/2018 1:56:00 PM
Hello Roger,a beautiful Epic poem. Of a sad heart breaking tale you wrote. I feel sad for the captain. Have a nice day my friend.
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roger turner
Date: 5/8/2018 7:46:00 AM
Thanks for reading and your kind response Roger
Date: 4/25/2018 8:35:00 PM
Wow Roger, this gut wrenching piece smacks of sheer bitterness so eloquently written. Your knowledge of the fishermen is deep. Jim Beam and coke brings it out it seems.
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roger turner
Date: 4/25/2018 10:26:00 PM
thanks Jannie. I have a bunch in this vein. The character poems involve The Captain, The Bartender, The Bluesman and others. Hope you like them too
Date: 4/25/2018 1:11:00 PM
Excellent creativity Roger!! Was such a great pleasure to read.. Congrads!!
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roger turner
Date: 4/25/2018 10:26:00 PM
thanks Robertina. glad you like it
Date: 4/25/2018 10:16:00 AM
I love your poem. I feel like I know the town and the people. It was like a movie in my mind. I have one question. When you write "I only ask this, for my sister and me" "And for his daughter, my dear little niece" Wouldn't the niece be his sister's daughter so it would say "her daughter" or is it his son's daughter in which case it would be the father's granddaughter. I will be reading this poem again because I really enjoyed it.
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roger turner
Date: 4/25/2018 10:32:00 AM
you are correct, but, remember...he is drunk. did the ship actually go down at all, or is it all in the mind of a drunken old man in a run down bar in a flawed part of town?