James Tipp

Rookie - 408 Points (20-06-1945 / East London)

A Dockyard Pigrimage(Chatham Kent) - Poem by James Tipp

The sun cast its heat
I sat in the cool of this historic place
Here I pondered and dreamt
This seat shadowed by an ancient wall
Brought comfort and allowed the muse to run.
‘Avast there sailor what ship?
‘The Pelican sir’
‘Man the sides captain coming aboard’
The rigging dripped like rain
Onto a red painted deck. ready for war
‘The French are out., war it is, we sail for the Nore'
Man the braces...
I stirred the echoes of the past
Grew dim and distant
Again the soft sound of an Indian summer
The droning of the insect life grew louder
The red bricked building seemed on fire
The droning turned to a whistle,
The whistle to the crump crump crump of falling bombs
Steel hatted figures dart here and there
The dockyard lit by the incendiaries.
Men fight to save the ships
The war has come to you,
Who for so long sent war to others.
The sun warmed bench brings echoes
Of a nations history.
Where press ganged men awoke in fear.
Here now the young seek learning.
People come for recreation.
Pilgrimage through this site
Listen to its echoes
Of sadder times and bitter times
Lived by ordinary people
Who never knew they made us proud
Gave us freedom made us what we are.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, December 14, 2009

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