Some Fine Day.
Just a boy he longed for the sea, his mind filled up with it`s ships.
Some fine day a sailor he`d be, dreamed of endless trips
Some boys dreamed of football, or of driving engines on mainline trains,
of flying Hurricanes and Spitfires,and other fighter planes.
This boy had no time for these, nor other boyish notions.
Had time alone for sailormen, and ships and far flung oceans.
He walked a beach, watched heaving sea, Saw ships go on their way.
He waited for a time far off, looked ahead to a sailing day.
He tramped the docks,saw ship and ship, watched them leave a quay,
heard them blow, saw them standing out, headed for a sea.
Saw liner and freighter, tanker and tramp, ships bound for far away ports.
He`d stand and watch `till far out of sight, a small boy alone with his thoughts.
As ships he watched, in his minds eye he stood upon their decks,
head filled with dreams of sea and sky, of ships and storms and wrecks
Through boyhood years he`d watch and wait, head filled with far off sea.
`Some fine day` his time would come, a sailorman he`d be.
Came that day at long long last, that fine day came around,
stood looking up at his first ship, at last he`d be `outward bound`.
Just a rusty battered trampship, no ocean greyhound this;
but to that boy she was beautiful, after all that ship was his.
Stood getting to know the feel of her, her smell her weight her size;
“Was she not the finest ship” ?, riding high and proud in his eyes.
Looked at that strong bluff bow, “Will weather any sea”.
Looked aloft at towering masts, “How much higher could they be” ?
Saw the crew about her decks, `a special breed of men`,
these the shipmates to which he was bound, at last he was `one of them`.
Then came the jokes and laughter as they poked good natured fun;
“Come here boy, let`s see you boy, tell us where you`re from”.
“Nothing of him” says one, “Skin and bone” says another, “Will be swept
away by a draught”.
“Will be carried away by a spindrift” says another, oh how those sailors laughed.
He sailed away to a whole new world, knew storm and ice and fog,
Learned to haul on a rope, to lash and make fast, learned how to `stream a log`.
He learned how to watch a compass, to stand his `trick` at the wheel,
he learned how to keep a lookout, high in a box of steel.
Learned to swing out a boat, to splice a wire, learned how to reave a fall,
he knew a heaving deck, a reeling mast, knew a sirens call.
He became a man, spent many a year away on endless trips,
saw a great wide world, knew many lands, sailed in many ships.
That young boy who became a man, is now hard and fast to a shore;
times have changed, ships are few, compared with days gone before.
What ships there are, are different now, they`re filled with technology,
old skills are gone, there`s little call for sailormen such as he.
He`s back to standing on a quay, letting memories go by,
it`s different now, most of the time just empty sea and sky.
There stands another boy, dreaming of sea, his mind filled up with it`s ships.
`Some fine day` a sailor he`d be, dreams of endless trips.
“Keep dreaming boy, dream on I say, but just keep this in mind,
it`s a different time and things have changed, ships are hard to find”.
[ I wrote this poem quite some years back, and obviously after the `heydays`
of the once prolific trampships and British shipping in general. ]