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Thread: Poetry and Creative writing

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    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    Default Poetry and Creative writing

    Hi there all you budding poets and writers of sea stories,this thread is for you,the usual rules apply,no politics,porn or religion,just pure ,unadulterard, writing for the joy of it.


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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    Here is my famous tale of the Mersey that I read out at the Merchant Navy Day Service in St Nicholas Church in September.

    MERSEY MEMORIES.

    What a wonderful river the Mersey is, it is a conveyor to the seas and oceans of the world. It is a river that has changed so many lives.

    Let us not forget, it was from this River Mersey, that those brave men and women, sailed into U-boat Alley, in the Battle of the Atlantic, and in the Malta and Russian convoys, many never to return, some leaving their bones on the bottom of the ocean, others were buried in some far off land, many suffered extreme hardships in lifeboats. The Ship Owners stopping their wages on the day the ship went down.

    It was this same River Mersey that carried me out, as a young Deck Boy, to sail amongst the flying fish, the dolphins, the whales and the odd sea serpent.
    From the River Mersey we sailed to those other great rivers, The St. Laurence, to Montreal, the Hudson to New York, a thousand miles up the Amazon to Manaus, the Plate, the Congo, the Whampoa to Shanghai, the Houghly to Calcutta and the Shatt al Arab in the Gulf.

    Sailing out of the River Mersey on the old Cunard Liners, the `Franconia` and `Britannic`, gave me a chance to meet many celebrities, from Mary Pickford, Bob Hope, Burt Lancaster and many others
    In the Market Diner opposite pier 90 in New York, I sat next to the beautiful Grace Kelly one night, and the next I sat with Cadillac Kate.
    Up on Broadway I shook hands with `The Hand That Shook The World`, in Jack Dempsey?s Bar and in the clubs across the road I danced to the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.
    The River Mersey took me out to Jamaica on a Fyffe?s banana boat and a meeting with Errol Flynn where we shared a bottle of Rum on his yacht `Zacca`.
    I sailed down the River Mersey in 1959 and met Fidel Castro and when I asked him to buy me a drink he told me to "Vamoose" or something like that.

    The River Mersey allowed us to go on the worlds biggest pub crawl, From Joe Beefs in Montreal, the Diner in New York, the Scandy Bar in Valparaiso. To May Sullivan?s Bar in Buenos Aires, , then across to Tombo Mary?s in Apapa, Nigeria, down to Del Monaco?s in Cape Town, up to the Anchor Bar in Mombassa, across to Mary Bashems and the Blood House in Sydney and Ma Gleason?s in Auckland.

    This River Mersey took me out to see all my girl friends around the world. To Rosita, Paquita and Maria in South America. To my lovely Wahine under the swaying palms in Tahiti. To Maggie in New Zealand where she and her friends sang, `Now is the Hour`, as we sailed out into the Pacific, To Hanako in Moji, Japan, where I had to share a hot bath tub with her Mamasan and Papasan, whilst drinking Sake. To Dedeh in Tanjong Priok in Java, with her colourful sarong and beautiful long black hair. Then there was Mimi in Hong Kong who kept me going in free beer with the dollars she robbed off the American Sailors.

    The River Mersey took us out across the Atlantic on the big white `Empress?s, `the Empress of Scotland` and `Empress of France`. We went to Montreal and drank in the `House of Scouse` and saw Joe Finnegan and Tommy Lawless win the singing contests on the Bulova Watch Radio Show.
    On the `Empress of France` we hit the iceberg and lost 40 feet of bilge keel.

    After sailing down the River Mersey, many jumped ship, to be Waiters and Bartenders in New York, or Lumberjacks in Canada, Sheepherders in New Zealand or Wharfies in Australia.
    After 24 years as an Able Seaman, it was on the banks of the Mersey, up on Derby Square, where I sat for my Mates and Masters Certificates, which gave me that wonderful feeling when navigating a 300,000 ton tanker across the oceans of the world.
    Now that I have retired after 45 years of seafaring, I stand on the Pier Head and looking out onto the dark waters of the River Mersey, I can see the ghosts of the old ships sailing past, outward bound to a world that no longer exists.
    The `Reina Del Pacifico` to Valparaiso, the `Georgic` taking ?10 Poms to a new life in Australia, the `Franconia` and `Empress of Scotland` off to New York and Montreal, the Blue Funnel ships to Java, China and Japan. Elder Dempsters, Harrison?s, Ellerman`s and `Maggie` Booths with many others, all have sailed off the face of the earth, never to return. Then I think of the Mersey, what a wonderful River, it gave me all of this and much more. Thank you, River Mersey. Brian Aspinall, aka Captain Kong.

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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    Author unknown.


    Ten thousand miles and a world away
    Old `Alehouse `on his death bed lay,
    Alone and forgotten lying there
    he softly whispered this dying prayer.

    Oh take me back to my younger days
    To the old Pier Head and the Landing Stage.
    Where the Liver Birds with gaze serene
    look down upon the bustling scene.

    Where the double decker trams roll by
    their trolleys swinging in the sky,
    and homeward Dockers wearily tread
    underneath the Overhead.

    The busy ferry boats leave the Stage
    rolling and bumping on the waves.
    Fighting hard against the tide
    all the way to the other side.

    Dockers in long greasy coats
    horses and carts on the luggage boats
    Buckets and spades in grubby hands
    heading for New Brighton sands

    Banana boats and liners tall
    moored together along the Wall.
    Copra, cotton and sugar cane
    barges loading up with grain.

    Wet Nellies and great mugs of tea
    in the Cocoa rooms by the old Goree
    Coolies parading down Scotland Road
    dressed in Paddy`s Market clothes.

    Gone is the Liverpool that I knew
    Gone are all my old friends too
    The trams, the horses and the floats
    Gone are all the Cunard boats.

    Oh take me back to the old Pier Head
    to ride once more on the Overhead
    To sign on at the Pool again
    Alehouse`s last trip down Memory Lane

    posted by `Alehouse`, aka CaptainKong. Author unknown,

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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    FIDDLERS GREEN. Author unknown.

    As I roved by the dockside one evening so fair
    To view the salt waters and take in the salt air
    I heard an old sailorman singing a song
    "Oh take me away boys me time is not long

    Wrap me up in me oilskin and blankets
    No more on the docks I'll be seen
    Just tell me old shipmates, I'm taking a trip mates
    And I'll see you someday on Fiddlers Green

    Now Fiddlers Green is a place I've heard tell
    Where sailormen go if they don't go to hell
    Where the weather is fair and the dolphin do play
    And the cold coast of Greenland is far,far away

    Now when you're in dock and the long trip is through
    There's pubs and there's clubs and there's fair lassies too
    And the girls are all pretty and the beer is all free
    And there's bottles of rum growing on every tree

    Where the skies are all clear and there's never a gale
    And the fish jump aboard with a swish of the tail
    Where you lie at your leisure there's no work to do
    And the skippers below making tea for the crew

    Wrap me up in me oilskin and blankets
    No more on the docks I'll be seen
    Just tell me old shipmates, I'm taking a trip mates
    I'll see you again on Fiddlers Green

    Now I don?t want a harp nor a halo, not me
    Just give me a breeze and a good rolling sea
    I'll play me old squeeze box as we sail along
    With the wind in the rigging to sing me a song.
    And I'll see you again on Fiddlers Green..................".


    Wrap me up in me oilskin and blankets
    No more on the docks I'll be seen
    Just tell me old shipmates, I'm taking a trip mates
    And I'll see you someday on Fiddlers Green

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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain kong View Post
    Sailing out of the River Mersey on the old Cunard Liners, the `Franconia` and `Britannic`, gave me a chance to meet many celebrities, from Mary Pickford, Bob Hope, Burt Lancaster and many others, aka Captain Kong.

    Great memories, Brian. Thanks for sharing them with us. Maybe you were on the Britannic when I sailed on her circa 1957? I also sailed from Liverpool on the Saxonia, when I initially emigrated to the U.S. in 1955, and I believe I was also on the original Queen Elizabeth from New York to Southampton on one crossing.



    Christopher T. George
    Editor, Ripperologist
    Editor, Loch Raven Review
    http://christophertgeorge.blogspot.com/
    Chris on Flickr and on MySpace

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    This first piece is in the way of a found poem that I put together for the "Liverpool Poem800" site. The second, original, poem was also written for that site.

    Sailing Day: Liverpool, Tuesday, July 16th, 1833

    I am not usually very particular about dates;
    but, as there is an odd coincidence connected with
    the 16th, I desire to note it. On this day, then,
    about 3 P.M. I was rumbled from Bold-street
    down to St. George?s Dock, accompanied
    by a few friends, who were resolute to extend their
    kindness to the latest limit time and tide,
    those unyielding agents, might allow.

    Arrived at the ship?s side, I found
    a number of my own poor countrymen,
    agricultural speculators, filling up a leisure
    moment before seeking harvest, in seeing
    ?Who in the world was going to America, all that way. . .?

    Disposing amongst the boys the few shillings I had left
    in my pocket, I jumped on board the packet-
    ship Europe, without cross or coin, saving only
    a couple of luck-pennies, the one an American gold
    eagle, the present of an amiable gentlewoman;
    the other a crooked sixpence, suspended
    by a crimson ribbon, the offering of a fair
    ?maid of the inn,? given to me on the very eve
    of sailing-day with many kind wishes,
    all of which have been realized.*

    Tyrone Power

    * This reminiscence by Irish actor Tyrone Power (1795-1841), great grandfather of the movie actor of the same name, recollects one of a number of cross-atlantic trips the actor made to appear on the American stage. During one such ocean crossing, on March 17, 1841, he was lost at sea when his ship sank on a passage back to England.


    Take As Take Can

    We?re huddled in Mother Redcap?s one freezing night
    swigging rum and porter, content that we?ve stowed
    our wreckers? best-found gains in Redcap?s cellars,
    a-ready to haul them out shortly, up over the moors

    when in swaggers Jack Daws, excise officer -- our foe!
    -- may Beelzebub take the man! Daws eyes us cannily.
    We lean closer, devise a plan: Jack has not spied me,
    so I sneak out the back way, sprint down to the beach,

    like a fool lay down in the dark cold, incoming tide.
    Water licks my face, drenches my clothes immediately.
    What is taking them so long? Has our plan gone awry?
    Will I succumb to b-b-bone-numbing cold, ever get dry?

    My teeth are a-chattering; do I though hear a yell?
    Jack Daws comes a-swaggering down to the swell,
    believes me dead. Aye -- I might be soon as well!
    Blighter picks my pocket, takes my best fob watch!

    I groan and pretend to wake, grasp my handspike,
    stun him smack! with an almighty swing. Oh, brother!
    So, mateys, we haul our goods through the back door!
    Aye, ?tis some neat and crafty work tonight at Mother?s!

    Christopher T. George

    Note: This poem is based on a story told about the tavern run in the 18th century by Mother Redcap on the shore at Liscard across the Mersey from Liverpool. Tradition has it that the inn was frequented by smugglers and wreckers -- men who would pillage shipwrecked ships. They were said to have hidden their ill-gotten gains at Mother Redcap?s and at the Red Noses west of New Brighton.
    Christopher T. George
    Editor, Ripperologist
    Editor, Loch Raven Review
    http://christophertgeorge.blogspot.com/
    Chris on Flickr and on MySpace

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