Danny Draper

Freshman - 716 Points (14 July 1963 / Kiama, New South Wales, Australia)

Race To The Bottom (With Apologies To John Masefield) - Poem by Danny Draper

I must go down in the seas again, the lonely sea and to die,
And all I ask is a better life and a land to set that by,
And the world's kick and the wind's song and the white fists shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and great jaws breaking.

I must go down in the seas again, for the call of the run to hide
It's a wild card all or nothing that asylum be denied;
And all I ask is a worldly care with the old words applying,
And the flung sprayed and the thrown strewn, and the sea-done lying.

I must go down in the seas again, to the vague refugee life,
To each dull day and smuggler's way, where the alternative is death as life;
And all I ask is an open mind from a lucky country-over,
And safely sleep and a sweet dream when the long scream's over.

Poet's Notes about The Poem

For all the desperate people in the world that hope for a better life and risk their lives in dangerous decrepit boats on unforgiving seas, and to governments of supposed democracies such as my Australia as signatories to agreements for refugees from a more civilised and enlightened time, distant and foreign from the comtemporary uncaring race to the bottom.


Danny Draper 30/7/2013

Comments about Race To The Bottom (With Apologies To John Masefield) by Danny Draper

  • Susan Lacovara (8/22/2014 11:43:00 PM)

    Danny, you so eloquently show us the turmoil, the plight, the too often unseen other side of the sea... Always in awe of your talented stroke. PEACE (Report) Reply

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  • Lyn Paul (9/2/2013 6:05:00 AM)

    Dear Danny this shows your pure poetic talent along with genuine ability to care for humanity. Thank you (Report) Reply

  • (8/31/2013 11:09:00 AM)

    A superb parody of Masefield's poem, updated to cover conditions of modern times. Stirring, troubleing- a powerful write- no apologies needed (Report) Reply

  • (8/12/2013 9:10:00 PM)

    Not a good time to be a caring politician. I'm tending to Green. (Report) Reply

  • (8/6/2013 6:00:00 PM)

    Orphans of the world is what these people are, what most people seem to forget is that refugees are desperate individuals trying to escape the turmoil of despotic states, often backed and supported by western governments and multinational industries, they risk dying in an icy swept ocean for the chance and fleeting grains of opportunity of our world.
    Sorry for the rant, its a great work, both literary and modern.
    (Report) Reply

  • Heather Wilkins (8/6/2013 1:25:00 PM)

    a great write Danny. Much enjoyed (Report) Reply

  • David Wood (8/5/2013 3:12:00 PM)

    A brilliant parody that put a smile on my face. But also a serious subject. (Report) Reply

  • Valerie Dohren (8/4/2013 5:40:00 AM)

    Brilliant Danny - I'm sure John would be very impressed. (Report) Reply

  • Diane Hine (8/3/2013 4:44:00 AM)

    Well, if he were alive today and agreed with you (regarding refugees) , then I'm sure he'd be approving.
    If he disagreed with you (unlikely) , then I expect you'd have still have written the poem but without the apologies.
    A seamless adaptation - great message.
    (Report) Reply

  • Valsa George (8/2/2013 7:53:00 AM)

    A brilliant adaptation of John Masefield's poem... Sea Fever! ! The very sorry plight of the poor marginalised people should be an eye opener! The last two lines are particularly remarkable! ! (Report) Reply

  • (7/30/2013 11:57:00 AM)

    An outstanding poem, Danny, and a real eye opener. (Report) Reply

Read all 11 comments »

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Poem Edited: Tuesday, August 13, 2013

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