Harry Kemp

(15 December 1883 – 8 August 1960 / Youngstown, Ohio)

Fo'c'sle Comradeship Poem by Harry Kemp


There's not much in the fo'c'sle of a ship
But old sea boots and chests that stand in rows
While up above a smoky lantern glows,
And hanging from a peg the oilskins drip,

Sometimes in storms the water rushes in;
Sometimes we stifle for a breath of air;
Yet somehow comradeship gets being there
And common hardship makes the stranger kin . . .

Blood-brothers we become, but not in peace, -
Still ready to exchange the lie and blow;
Just like the sea our quarrels rise and cease:
We've never a dull moment down below . . .

But set upon us in a tavern brawl
You'll find that you will have to fight us all.

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

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