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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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    paddy Paddy's Avatar
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    Default Two from Salt water ballads!

    HELL'S PAVEMENT

    'When I'm discharged in Liverpool 'n' draws my bit

    o' pay,

    I won't come to sea no more.
    I'll court a pretty little lass 'n' have a weddin' day,

    'N' settle somewhere down ashore.
    I'll never fare to sea again a-temptin' Davy Jones,
    A-hearkening to the cruel sharks a-hungerin' for

    my bones;

    I'll run a blushin' dairy-farm or go a-crackin' stones,
    Or buy 'n' keep a little liquor-store,'

    So he said.

    They towed her in to Liverpool, we made the

    hooker fast,

    And the copper-bound officials paid the crew,
    And Billy drew his money, but the money didn't

    last,
    For he painted the alongshore blue,


    John Masefield




    VALEDICTION (LIVERPOOL DOCKS)

    A CRIMP. A DRUNKEN SAILOR.

    Is there anything as I can do ashore for you
    When youve dropped down the tide?

    You can take 'n' tell Nan I'm goin' about the
    world agen,

    'N' that the world's wide.
    'N' tell her that there ain't no postal service

    Not down on the blue sea.

    'N' tell her that she'd best not keep her fires
    alight

    Nor set up late for me.
    'N' tell her I'll have forgotten all about her

    Afore we cross the Line.

    'N' tell her that the dollars of any other sailor-
    man

    Is as good red gold as mine.


    John Masefield
    Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
    Time held me green and dying
    Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

    Dylan Thomas

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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    Hi George I did a trip on the Brit in 1956,
    here is another favourite poem of the Sea.

    My old Ships.

    When old ships I used to know come back from the sea
    they are laden with a cargo, full of messages for me.
    And they bring men I used to know, grown older by the years
    to chat about the old days and lift a glass that cheers.

    When old ships I used to know drop anchor by the shore
    with a salty, smoky funnel and a pennant at the fore
    Red rust on the bowplate and decks that smell of brine,
    I know them as the old ships that will ever more be mine.

    When old ships come back again they tell of an Empires`s fame
    or a Consul`s office out abroad where I sometimes signed my name.
    To work my passage, broke and bent, a heart like a lump of lead,
    till "***** Street" changed to "Promised Land" on sighting Beachy Head.

    In old ships I used to know I`d lean on the rail at night
    and follow the lay of the Southern Cross, from the Line to the Aussie Bight.
    I`d count the days from Calleo, to the Horn and the Flortida Keys
    with the Great Bear as a pilot through the North Atlantic Seas.

    The old ships I used to know from Penang to the Golden Gate
    they wrap their arms around me and whisper a sailing date
    and I`m out on the run to Rio, and back with a concience clear
    on every course of the compass the `Old Man` chose to steer.

    The old ships, they give me joy, but bring me something more,
    they bring Cape Town and Freemantle right up to my front door.
    When I sit by a cosy fireside and the wind howls through the trees,
    there`s a call that veers to the harbour piers, the call of the open seas.

    by Sydney Brand, in `Sea Breezes` August 1950

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    Senior Member naked lilac's Avatar
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    Excellant memories, poems and writing.. ta lads..

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    Senior Member roccija's Avatar
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    Default "A SEAMAN' by George Skypeck 1992

    I put this on another site a while ago

    I WAS THAT WHICH OTHERS DID NOT WANT TO BE
    I WENT WHERE OTHERS FEARED TO GO
    AND DID WHAT OTHERS FAILED TO DO.

    I HAVE SEEN THE FACE OF TERROR
    AND FELT THE STINGING COLD OF FEAR
    I HAVE CRIED, PAINED, AND HOPED.

    BUT MOST OF ALL,
    HAVE LIVED TIMES THAT OTHERS WOULD SAY
    WERE BEST FORGOTTEN.

    AT LEAST SOMEDAY, I WILLBE ABLE TO SAY
    THAT I WAS VERY PROUD OF WHAT I WAS
    .......A SEAMAN!!!!!!!


    Bob F

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    paddy Paddy's Avatar
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    Default The Atlantic

    Here in Watford I met a pensioner who originated from Vauxhall Road his name was Ronnie Carr and his Father had been a merchant seaman in the war. He told me that his Dad went on an Atlantic convoy and coming back from America the ship he was on got sunk by a German u boat. Ronnie?s Dad was lost at sea. Back in Liverpool Ronnie?s Mum had a few kids to feed. After being informed of his loss she applied to the shipping company and then to the admiralty for his wages receiving each time the same reply that was, because he did not complete the trip he signed up for he could not be paid. Apparently if you never got there and back you never got anything.
    Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
    Time held me green and dying
    Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

    Dylan Thomas

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    Senior Member roccija's Avatar
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    Default "RUSSIAN CONVOYS'

    Also posted in another site

    Have you ever thought what it must be like
    To face an Arctic winter storm?,
    From the deck of an ice-bound ship
    In the early light of dawn?.

    With the steel of the hull so cold to touch
    It would flay the skin from your hand,
    And nothing above , but a late gray sky,
    And far from a friendly land.

    With red rimmed eyes, and a face that is gaunt,
    The result of a forced lack of sleep,
    And nerves that are stretched beyond breaking point,
    As watch after watch you keep.

    Think how it feels to face danger and fear,
    In clothes that are wet through and cold,
    For hours and days, or long weeks on end,
    No wonder young men grew old.

    Do you know what it takes to face a foe,
    That you may never see or hear,
    Until the klaxon's shrill and strident blare
    Gives warning that they are near?.

    Can you guess how it is to see a friend
    Die a hard and lingering death,
    To be at his side and not show your tears
    As he draws his final breath?.

    Think how it feels to be one who has seen
    That dead friend weighted with lead,
    Consigned to a dark and friendless sea
    When the last Amen is said.

    If you can imagine all of these things,
    Then I ask you to spare a thought
    For those gallant men, who were heroes all,
    In the special war that they fought.

    Author unknown

    Bob F

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    Senior Member roccija's Avatar
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    Default Reply to "Paddy"


    Paddy, re the pensioner's father.
    Your pensioner is quite correct in telling you that if a ship was sunk or lost for
    any reason during the war, the survivors - if any - had their pay stopped
    immediately. In other words, the "articles" ( or agreement) they had signed had been broken - through no fault of their own, therefore they were no longer employed !!!.

    I guess I was very lucky, I was not torpedoed,- very close, but not quite !!.

    Bob F

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    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    Roccija does'nt say so,but he is a veteran of the Russian convoys,that poem he posted has great meaning for him;he is the stuff that heroes are made of.

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    well said Brian
    He was there when they needed them, not feeding them.
    I have had the honour to meet this man, and he never ever mentions it.
    A gent I highly regard.
    Ron

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    paddy Paddy's Avatar
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    Default I MUST GO DOWN TO THE SEA AGAIN!

    Thats a fantastic poem. I must say this it is very like Masefield.Yet sea poets would most likely be influenced by the poet Masefield as he wrote the finest sea poetry. I like the narrative poem called the Dauber you have mostly likely read it.

    My mate died last year. He was a Watford lad who loved Liverpool, as his first voyage as a training ships egineer was out the port of Liverpool. He told me as a young fella walking along the dock road he asked a docker where the blue Star ship he was looking for was and the docker replied 'the Star is over there and your the star thats getting on it'.
    Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
    Time held me green and dying
    Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

    Dylan Thomas

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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    When the POOL FISHER sank 29 years ago this month, 6 November 1979, the wages were stopped for them on the day she sank.
    13 died and two young lads survived, I was a witness at the inquest and the Court of Inquiry.
    Most of the families lived in the North West and they had to pay their own fares and accommodation to the Inquest in Gosport, Hampshire,
    One year later a young lady turned up at the Court of Inquiry, in Blackpool at the Norbreck Hotel. The ship owner didnt even tell the widows there was a Court of Inquiry. I spoke to her, then took her for a dinner on the Treasurers Solicitors expence.
    She lost her husband. She told me they were buying a three bed semi detatched house on a mortgage overlooking the Menai Straits, she had three children, one born after the sinking, She said she still had not recieved the wages that her dead husband had earned before he died. She could not pay her mortgage, they were evicted, and dumped in a two bed Council flat. His Mother went down to Bournemouth which overlooked the site of the sinking. She walked into the sea and drowned herself.
    The ship owners, were James Fisher of Barrow.
    Things dont change.

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    paddy Paddy's Avatar
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    Thats an awful tale Kong, but good man for telling it.
    Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
    Time held me green and dying
    Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

    Dylan Thomas

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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    I am writing the whole story at the moment, I will post it when it is finished, it was a very sad event. I can still have nightmares over it.

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    paddy Paddy's Avatar
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    I must admit I don't remember it too well but I will deffo look at your further stuff.
    Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
    Time held me green and dying
    Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

    Dylan Thomas

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    Liverpool New Yorker! Ronijayne's Avatar
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    Great thread guys
    Earth is the insane asylum for the universe.

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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    Billy Pegleg.

    I have a friend called Billy Pegleg
    and he has a good leg
    and he also has a wood leg.
    and Billy is a ships cook and he lives upon the sea.
    and hanging by his griddle
    old Billy keeps his fiddle
    for fiddling in the dog watch while the moon shines on the sea.
    and its grand to see them dancing ,
    them bow legged sailors dancing
    while Billy plays his fiddle fast and free.
    and its good to see old Pegleg
    a waltzing on his woodleg
    when the Bosun plays the fiddle
    so old Peg can dance with me

    anon.

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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    Here`s one I wrote earlier.

    The Lap of Honour.

    I went to the `Vindi*`when I was a lad,
    where conditions were hard
    and the food was bad,
    but I walked through those gates
    as tall as a man
    off to my first ship bound for Japan

    And now I`ve retired and saved up my cash
    once more round the world I am going to dash
    to Mombasa and Java and out to Cathay
    to see all my old girl friends
    once more on the way

    Mimi`s still waiting for me I`ve been told
    I`d like to see her before she gets old
    then on to see Dedeh in Tanjong Patack
    then fly off on a Jumbo to Hong Kong`s Kai Tak

    I`ll go back to Tahiti down in the South Seas
    to see my Wahine in the warm sunny breeze
    Then across to see Maggie in New Zealand`s Hawkes Bay
    and have a beer in Ma Gleesons* back on the way

    I`ll do the Lap of Honour round the Australian coast
    to see all the girls who loved me the most,
    from Thursday Island round to Sydney and Perth
    they were the loveliest girls on earth

    I`ll go to see Sheila and then Marylou
    and call upon Mary in Woolloomooloo
    then go up to Townsville to see Mary O`Keefe
    where we walked hand in hand by the Great Barrier Reef

    When I think of those nights by a blue lagoon
    loving my girl under a tropical moon
    and those happy times that we both shared..........
    my Mary`s still waiting for me so I`ve heard.

    On then to Honolulu and then Frisco Bay
    and up to Vancouver and down to L.A.
    I`ll jump on a Greyhound across to Hoboken
    to see my Jenny whose heart I had broken

    In Manhattan`s Times Square and 42nd Street
    there must be some girls that I used to meet
    it would be sad if I looked around
    and none of my girls were there to be found.

    So off I would go to old Mexico
    to see my Juanita down in Tampico.
    then across to see Molly in Montego Bay
    and go up the Blue Mountains where we used to play

    On then to Rio, Montevideo and B.A.
    To May Sullivan`s Bar, where I used to stay.
    There was Rosita, Paquita and also Maria,
    On then to Santos and round to Bahia
    .
    Then when I return home again
    to Liverpool`s dark and dismal rain
    all my memories will always stay
    they are something that no one can take away

    I`ll be thinking now that I`ll get a shock
    on my memory trip to turn back the clock.
    things won`t be the same time has moved on
    the young girls I once loved have grown old and are gone.

    and now that I am coming to the end of my time
    I must put my memories down into rhyme.
    `cos when you are young life is all magic
    but as you get older life becomes tragic.

    but there is still some life in the old dog yet
    and there`s more adventures for me to get
    so I`ll be heading off into the sun
    to have more excitement and plenty of fun.

    I`ts not for me to tend the garden and flowers
    polishing the brasses , walking the dog for hours.
    but to go round the world in a blaze of glory
    then I`ll come back home to write my story.

    And then one day when I am old and grey
    and my life`s been used up and it`s come time to pay
    as I lie on my bed on my face will be a smile
    I`ll just be a thinking ` it`s all been worth while.

    Brian Aspinall, aka Captain Kong

  24. #24
    Keeping It Real !!!!!!!!! ItsaZappathing's Avatar
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    Very good Cpt Kong

  25. #25
    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    Here is one I like....

    Yesterday upon the stair
    I saw a man who wasnt there
    He wasnt there again today
    Oh how I wish he`d go away.


    anon

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    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    What happened,was there summat up? where's everyone gone. Not a sailor in sight when you need 'em. I'd got meself all geared up to reading more salty yarns and what've we got ,Zippo thats what! I guess I'll have to dig a few of mine out then.............................................. ...

  27. #27
    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    This is a poem of the USS TRIGGER in WW2.
    It was written by one of the crew who paid the ultimate price the next voyage.

    I'M THE GALLOPING GHOST OF THE JAPANESE COAST

    You don't hear of me and my crew.
    But just ask any man off the coast of Japan
    If he knows of the Trigger Maru.

    I look sleek and slender alongside my tender
    With others like me at my side,
    But we'll tell you a story of battle and glory,
    As enemy waters we ride.

    I've been stuck on a rock, felt the depth charge's shock,
    Been north to a place called Attu,
    and I've sunk me two freighters atop the equator
    Hot work, but the sea was cold blue.

    I've cruised close inshore and carried the war
    to the Empire Island Honshu,
    While they wire Yokahama I could see Fujiyama,
    So I stayed, to admire the view.

    When we rigged to run silently, deeply I dived,
    And within me the heat was terrific.
    My men pouring sweat, silent and yet
    Cursed me and the whole dam*ed Pacific.

    Then destroyers came sounding and depth charges pounding
    My submarine crew took the test.
    For in that far off land there are no friends on hand,
    To answer a call of distress.

    I was blasted and shaken some damage I've taken,
    my hull bleeds and pipe lines do, too
    I've come in from out there for machinery repair,
    And a rest for me and my crew.

    I got by on cool nerve and in silence I served,
    Though I took some hard knocks in return,
    One propeller shaft sprung and my battery's done,
    But I saw the enemy ships burn.
    .
    I'm the galloping ghost of the Japanese coast,
    You don't hear of me and my crew.
    But just ask any man off the coast of Japan,
    If he knows of the Trigger Maru.

    USS Trigger was lost with all hands during her twelfth patrol,
    on March 26, 1945.
    Last edited by captain kong; 11-28-2008 at 09:53 PM.

  28. #28
    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    Default The Bosun's Story

    The Bosun's Story

    "Ice" said the bosun,sniffing like a dog
    Across the rail to wind'ard in the Cape Horn fog,
    "Ice" said the bosun "wot sunk the Skerryvore
    Time I siled onboard 'er back in seventy four".

    "The Ol' Man was looney - worst I ever knew;
    'E cracked on to blazes when it was thick as stew;
    'E bunged through it blindfold - fourteen knots we ran
    'Till we fouled a berg bigger 'n the blinkin' Calf of Man".

    "We run our bows on it in the middle of the night,
    An' a fallin' spar killed 'im - and **** well sarve 'im right!
    We took to the longboat, and it was jump or drown ;
    She'd 'ardly touched the water when the ship went down."

    "We made land at daybreak - ice an' sand an' stones,
    An' seabirds waitin' an' a wind that chilled your bones;
    An' for two blessed months there we lived like fightin'- cocks
    On the winkles an' seaweed we gathered off the rocks."

    "Till a spouter chanced to sight us , cruisin' round that way,
    Or else we'd be stiff 'uns layin' there to-day;
    An' ice said the bosun, sniffin' once again,
    "Is a thing I've had no use for , no ,never since then."

    This was written by a lady,Cicely Fox Smith, in 1931 .She captures the feeling of fear that all old blue watermen had for icebergs. A little known poem that deserves a better reading ,
    BrianD

  29. #29
    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
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    Default A nearly Christmas Tale (well,almost)

    More than a couple of years ago ,my wife,Sue,and I were holidaying in Turkey ,in a little place called Altinkum. I was grey bearded even then and some folk said I had more than a passing resemblance to St. Nick.
    One evening we went to a little restaurant in a place called Prierne ,we were sat at a table for six even though we were only two in number. As we were waiting to catch the waiters eye ,a young couple with two small children entered the dining room and as they were waiting to be seated their daughter ,a girl of about six, spotted me and rushed across the restaurant and threw her arms around my legs and hugged me, She had the loveliest smile on her face as she looked up at me. Her parents raced to pull her off but she would not let go. My wife and I were laughing like hell but the young couple were clearly embarrassed. I invited them to sit with us as their daughter was evidently not going to go without a fight. So there six of us now and we ordered our meal with the little girl sat firmly at my side.She thought I was you know who. Mum and Dad quickly got over their initial embarrassment and they told us about their special daughter,she was 7 and had slight autism which made her very determined to see any thing through to the finish. her brother ,who was two years older was a wonderfully balanced young man and was very protective of his sister. We introduced ourselves and we told each other where we were from,when we mentioned Birmingham they told us that a family in their hotel was from Birmingham and that they had two children the same ages as their own and that the daughter of the other family was autistic like their own daughter and that the son was like their soon ,a protector of his special sister. We passed an enjoyable two hours and bade them goodbye. Next day we bumped into them again and the little girl once more took command of me, so we sat and had an ice cream with them.This time they told us more of the family from Birmingham,they were from M=====m Road in Kings Heath,the boys name was Jonathan and the girls name was Maria. Dad was a carpenter and Mum worked as a dinner lady at Jonathans school and they had brought Grandma along so that she could baby sit while mum and dad went out dancing. More information than we needed to know,but it passed the time.
    Scroll forward a few days and we find Sue and me relaxing on our Lilos on the beach in an adjacent bay,and there, not twenty yards away, was a family that resembled the profile of the family from Kings Heath. The boy and girl were busy digging a huge hole in the sand and they looked over at us and started whispering to each other. I tried reading my book but everytime I looked up I could see that I was under close scrutiny from the two youngsters. At length, the little girl walked slowly toward me and stood at the end of my Lilo and pronounced ,very nervously ,"My bruvver finks yew look like Farver Christmas" Her little index finger pushed against her lower lip. I lowered my book and put my finger to my pursed lips and said "Shsssh, I'm on holiday!" She blushed bright red and ran back to her brother,whispering excitedly;he dropped his spade and struutted toward me ,little chest thrust out and features flushed. "You're not Father Christmas " he proclaimed,giving me a look of defiance. I sat up and put down my book ."So, that means that you are not Jonathan, and that little girl is'nt Maria ,your sister" his jaw dropped and I went on..." so that means that your Dad is'nt a carpenter and your Mum is'nt dinner lady ,and that there old lady is'nt your Gran and you don't live in M=====m Rd. in Kings Heath in Birmingham. He was gasping "'Ow ooh ahh" his eyes like saucers and his mouth one big O. " Jonathan" I said looking over the top of my spectacles, "I am on holiday and this is a secret between Maria ,me and you " his little head was nodding frantically "You must'nt tell anyone d'you hear?" "Yes Father Christmas " he replied and he ran straight to Maria and had a hurried conflab with her and then both of them came back to us . They asked me to tell them all about Snowland and the elves and reindeer. And like an old fool I told them ,they were entranced. Each time we saw them after that they would give secret signs of recognition and beg anther story. On the last evening of our holiday ,both young families invited us to join them in a dinner farewell and I told Sue that I would tell the Kids that I had been kidding them. But when I saw their little faces that night I could'nt do it,they believed in me so much. Sue said I did the right thing,leave them with their dreams "The time they were on holiday with Santa Claus..........."
    Last edited by brian daley; 09-28-2010 at 11:57 AM. Reason: Mistakes

  30. #30
    Senior Member roccija's Avatar
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    Wonderful story Brian, that's what Christmas is all about, helping to make
    the children happy, - and really, "There is a Santa Claus" !!!!!!!!.

    Bob F

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