Hard swallows whilst bearin' heart pangs in motion
High seas; sailin' leagues in search lost devotion
Distress call with thy mermaid's knack
Changeth mine maritime tack
Tattered sails and ghostly wails
Creakin' boards; amidst mostly gales
Grippeth rails; art reach for you
Frantic face, thine embrace too
Dangerous curves and searin' eyes
Wind swept hair, holdin' on for dear lives
Charteth so as weather she through
Scuttleth fears, whether thou knew?
Strugglin' hard not to stare
Modesty, and nigh'ly bare
Sayeth faith in thee; come what motin' be
'Fraideth wrath of sea; come wrought against me
Amidst lightnin' strikes and strong winter hails
Dodgin' shoals and deafenin' wails
Flashin' silhouette 'midst you and thine misty bissou
Fearin' she'll settle; admits, yet mine persistly sea through
Winter chill and awfully smote
'Twas better doffin' me's pea coat
Fixatin' on the skipper's
Blushin', and with coy snickers
Breakin' waves and into the tempest
Holdin' on and fairin' our damndest
That thy warn't yet thar too
Hast pushed mine through
An unwieldy and unresponsive tiller
But she werts mine ballastin' pillar
Set mine straight and reachin' that strait
Headwinds gait, crestin' wake
Reasonin' Saint Elias above wrangell'eth his seine
Ragin' 'midst us wrack selfeth awainin'
Stormeth 'ath she blew, fro ghastly list
Sweetest kiss knew, so sorely missed
Last tackin' aport sans precision
Alas, driftin' to ours port protection
Every dockworker thar standeth they agawk
Nary fret danger; thar thee pranceth their dock
Salty tars that liketh ours wined
Grippin' tales, 'ath both we dined
Sittin' betwixt nigh me;
Citin' mixed, high envy
Amazed at haveth reached shore
Amidst gasps of hearin's such lore
Haveth trawled and caught such a maiden
Stareth we bold; fraught, much attention
A guffaw at this shipfull dodgeth sinks
With cheers and a roundfull of drinks
As fallin' aboard as checkmate
Feelin' she werts my only first mate
Pearlin' eyes and tears astreamin'
Unstable footin' with head aswimmin'
Ensnarin', this airy mermaid;
Captivatin', in nigh'ly all she bade
A dockworker haveth learned by rote
But menacin'; hath she dote
Glistenin' tail and a charm thine belay
Head to tail warm and mine allay
Bet we'd be reelin' the tonnages
Set out voyagin' thar Tongass'
Beauty and charm fallin' heir the galley's ere
Rumor amidships gatherin' far gentries fare
In calm waters and 'round sweet smilin'
Bound, much fleet decidin'
With well baited hook after heardeth she sing;
The Chinook she mistooketh ye King!
Chris Barry lives on Prince of Wales island and has a background in technical writing. "The Tempest" was his first attempt at poetry.
1. Special thanks to that fair lass; whose inspiration mine bequeathed, Christmas last.
2. Nils-Lennart Johannesson for contributions to The Ormulum Project and making the punctus interrogativus and punctus elevatus fonts freely and publically available: (http://www2.english.su.se/nlj/ormproj/ormulum.htm).
3. Dedicated to southeast Alaskan fishermen and dockworkers.
Juneau Empire ©2014. All Rights Reserved.