My friend signed on to a coastal ship
His name, John Escobar,
He said, for only a week long trip
On the Steamship Southern Star.
While I worked out of the office of
The Southern Shipping Line,
To keep in touch with our fleet of ships,
But the Southern Star was mine.
They said that ship was a special case
It was fitted out so well,
They joked of equipment so refined
It could sail clear through to hell.
I'd noticed bulges down on the hull
But under the waterline,
They told me to keep an eye on it
When they said that it was mine.
It sailed on out of Ascension Bay
When the tide was running high,
The motor gave out a whisper like
The sound of a woman's sigh,
It wasn't supposed to leave the coast
But it went far out to sea,
And kept in touch with the dit-dit-dit
Of John on the morse code key.
He tapped a message out every hour
And I let him know I knew,
The ship was sailing way off its course
And lost to the coastal view,
He said the Captain was acting strange
He was locked up by the wheel,
That all the maps had been rearranged
And that something wasn't real.
At midnight there was a message came
To me in a darkened room,
It said, ‘I don't know what's going on
But we just sailed past the Moon.'
I sent, ‘Just lay off the Bourbon, John,
If this is John Escobar, '
And he replied that the Captain died,
‘And I don't know where we are.'
He sent more messages on the hour
And they seemed to grow apace,
By midday out on the second day,
‘We're somewhere in outer space.'
I didn't know if he'd gone berserk
But we'd lost the Southern Star,
It disappeared, and the thing was weird,
When I lost John Escobar.
The messages gradually petered out
So I don't know if he lied,
He said some things about Saturn's rings
And then the battery died.
I lost my job at the shipping line
For they put it down to me,
They said, ‘your ship was the Southern Star,
And you've lost the thing at sea.'
4 June 2017
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem