David S Dennis

(75) What A Day - Poem by David S Dennis

“Keel haul the scuppers” you yelled and you laughed
And your bright eyes shone as the ketch heeled to port

The deck tilted dangerously down by the lee
Where a high wall of water was flowing abaft

Standing a metre or more at the scuppers
Striated and streaming and flowing away

Great rolling seas, vast mountains of water
Stood high beside us and showered us with spray

We perched on the high windward gunwales and huddled
Our backs to the wind, your hair in your face

And we kept ourselves warm and huddled there closely
Our breath intermingled with cold stinging spray

“Button the hutches” you cried and we laughed
And we drank in the elements living a dream

The humming of rigging the crash of the waves
The noise and the power and roar of the sea

Rising and rising the bow as it carved
Then plunging and falling impossibly fast

And into the trough it fell plunging so deeply
And slowing and pausing and rising at last

And the skipper was rapturous here in his element
Wild eyed helmsman as mad as can be

Ecstatic adventurer living a fantasy
Shouting out Masefield’s rhymes to the sea

His ship is a living thing, heart of his mother
A creature of water, a creature of wind

And when she has weather she plays like a dolphin
Taking us travelling frolicking free

“Shiver me giblets” you cried and we laughed
And we sailed off to happiness living the dream

Comments about (75) What A Day by David S Dennis

  • (3/22/2007 5:32:00 PM)

    Like a photograph, diary entry and piece of music all in one!
    Anna xxx

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  • (3/9/2007 8:00:00 PM)

    I thought of Masefield even before I read the line 'shouting out Masefield's rhymes to the sea. Cargoes is one of my favourite poems in the world and this one has the same rollicking, energetic, boisterous, blokey feel. Wonderful rhythms David. This piece has a salt tang and a bright passionate spirit. It has lifted my day! love, Allie xxxx (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, March 8, 2007

Poem Edited: Friday, January 28, 2011

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