Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

If I were on a ship . . .

If I were on a ship,
a clipper ship, with gray waves higher
than any seasoned traveller can imagine,
the ship rising and falling with the swells,
racing against the white caps that blow senseless
in the wind, and the crew, all barefoot,
pulling the ropes that lift the sails
so we could run before the wind. And
everyone suddenly burst out singing,
"Leave her, Johnny, leave her."
and I was filled with such delight
at that chanty call
that e'en the terror of the deep
stayed far below:
"Leave her, Johnny, leave her"
an' the first mate cried "Ho, boys,
Pull, ho!" The ship sailed to the far horizon
and back again, my motley crew around me,
the deep purple sea still
beneath us, no land, no land as far as
anyone could see, God's landscape
flat and infinite.

Drop by Carry on Tuesday to read more in response to this week's prompt.


  1. I enjoyed this Carry ON very much. I always wanted to work on a ship lol

  2. Enjoyed this one. Esp the ending.

  3. I feel quite queezy after reading this! A realic descriptive oiece and a joy to read

  4. Phew, we went for a days sailing on a tall ship about three weeks ago, your poem brings my memories flooding back to me!

  5. Wonderful, reminded me of Melville's Moby Dick, especially with the string of vivid descriptions ending with, 'God's landscape
    flat and infinite.'