He sails the seas seven,
Now calls them his home,
Turns his back to the land,
Feels freedom to roam,
Yet being neither Captain,
Nor first or second mate,
Finds his new freedom
Swiftly under constraint,
So much to do all through the day,
So little time to up and to stray,
No say on the heading,
Though a world to explore,
Just scrubbing and cleaning,
More and still more.
His sea-locked land soon loses its charm,
At next port he reckons he’ll jump the yard arm,
Find his own ship to steer, to navigate,
Take on loads to suit his own plate,
Never be driven by prices and costs,
Just keep his end up, regardless of loss.
His dream shatters fast as the bell rings again,
More work to do, more scrubbing, more pain,
His face tells his tale as the Captain walks past,
Who orders him hung from the main, tallest mast.
Early days sailing, not for the faint heart,
Salted meats, biscuits and rum, for a start,
Long days on the rope or climbing up high,
Scrubbing the wood, tying the tie,
No dreams of new lands to be seen, tasted, heard,
But endless seawater and lonely seabirds.
© Copyright 2015 Robin McShane
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