Marlin Nightingale

Rookie - 86 Points (12/11/89 / Oklahoma, United States)

Tales Of Two Captains - Poem by Marlin Nightingale

One fine day two boys were found,
Runnin' in the shipyards south o' town,
One named Jess and the other was Jim,
I don't know what got into them,
But they were wild and they were free,
And careless and happy as boys could be,
Full of adventure and full of fun,
Brown feet, brown face, aglow in the sun.

Past the fishermen they ran,
Repairing nets with steady hands,
Past the clipper, 'the Mary Lee',
Just as she was puttin' out to sea.
Round some barrels full of flour,
Through some crates, that within the hour,
Were bound to leave for Portugal,
On the cargo ship 'Michelle de Gaul'.

Along the timbers that lined the dock,
They ran past the sailors and didn't stop,
Til' beneath the shadow of a massive ship,
They paused and took a breath for a bit.
They gazed at the giant ship that lay,
Fast to her moorings in the bay,
Up the sides of rough-hewn wood,
To the vast top deck where some sailors stood.

Looking and wondering how it would be,
To be setting sail on an untold sea,
With pirates and storms, where any a slip,
Could be the one that would sink the ship.
'I wish', said rowdy Jim at last,
'That I could captain a ship that fast.'
For the towering mainmast caught his eye,
Stretching upward into the sky.

'A ship that's fast, ' said Jess with a snort,
'Well I guess that's good, but just for a start,
Cause mine, dear Jim, would have three decks,
I will build it strong, so that when it hits,
The mightiest wave in the fiercest storm,
All but me shall call an alarm,
And in the morning a placid sea,
Shall find none else afloat but me.'

'Yes, ' said Jim, with a careful grin,
'But what if pirates strike, my friend?
That's when there would be no time to waste,
Take a ship that's fast and run with haste,
For with every sail on my mainmast set,
By the sailors workin' the topmost deck,
And my halyards taut, by the capstan braced,
Then I might be able to win that race!

'You win your races, ' smiled Jess,
'But for any ship, the one true test,
Is the test of time, for we don't know,
When a ship will sink or a boat will go.'
'I'd fill my ship with plenty of food,
Hire some sailors like a captain should,
Hoist the sails and point my bow,
To sail to the end of the world, right now! '

Jim looked at Jess with a dreamy eye,
Leaned on his elbow and gave a sigh,
So we will leave these captains two,
To tell their tales of the ocean blue,
To the voyages long, to the many trips,
That they will take in their mighty ships,
And now we watch them setting out,
On a trip we can only dream about.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, February 11, 2010

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