Monday, May 21, 2018

May 21, 2018







Sea Leaver
with a nod to John Masefield

I must get back to the land again, the realm of fields and sheep,
And shun this heaving nightmare, the so-called rolling deep.
Why did I move from Ledbury, near Langland's Malvern Hills,
Where I walked out and whistled, not puked and took pink pills?

I must go up on the deck again, to those slime-encrusted planks
And the boat's roll and the bosun's role? No sanguinary thanks!
I must stay away from the sea for good, as it only makes me vomit
And leaves my head in a ghastly state so I can't tell cleat from grommet.

The way out? Not the marlinspike, but certainly the pen
And salty reminiscences (with omissions now and then
Like the nausea, almost constant, lads' unsavory shore-leave morals)
Pave the path to published glory, sherry butts, and royal laurels.

by Jerome Betts



Sea Heaver
with a nod to John Masefield

I must bend over the side again and spew out a meal or three.
The sea goes on giving this ghastly gift, and I give it back to the sea.
And all I ask is a steady deck, so my skin doesn't prickle and pale,
And no queasy lurch undoes my gut and drapes me over the rail.

I must escape this clammy despair that has touched every pore with its kiss.
As dry heaves wrack me, I gag and gasp that death would be better than this.
And all I ask is a patch of scop to stick on the side of my neck
So the swells that judder the ship don't drive me to pray for a fatal wreck.

I must stay home from the sea next time, to spare me this hellish ordeal.
I couldn't feel worse if Captain Bligh were hauling me under the keel.
And all I ask is a Muse that doesn't steer me back to the ocean
And make me sick all over again with its churning, choppy motion.

by Chris O'Carroll





Julia's Reply
with a nod to Robert Herrick

Whenas in silks my Julia goes...?
It pleased the poet, I suppose,
To versify my furbelows.

No Puritan, or too strait-laced,
I did, though, think it in poor taste
From one who claimed his life was chaste.

It irked me how his eyes would note
What lay 'neath gown and petticoat,
Less godly priest than parish goat!

by Jerome Betts


Whenas
with a nod to Robert Herrick

Whenas in jeans my Julia dances,
My yearning for some hot romance is
A thing her dance-floor flair enhances.

As denim-clad her hips she swings,
The curves to which the fabric clings,
Write hymns my eager bloodstream sings.

Tormented by the flames she's fanned,
I'm out of luck. I understand
She's dating some guy in the band.

by Chris O'Carroll


all these wonderful words can be found
in volume 6 issue 1

Buy a Copy

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