Men Of Old

Stories told by men of old,

Of secrets held in waters deep.

Giant squid that swallow ships,

And Moby Dick his raith did reap.

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What visions lie in minds of men,

Of evil born in godless Hell.

To take their lives to Neptune’s grave,

From mast and plank to death they fell.

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Darkness tricks doth surely play,

As do voyages far from home.

Not much does it take for insanity to set,

Cause to pray for a watery tomb.

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A seaman’s life is a life of great pride,

Tough are the souls that partake.

Many a man has gone down with his ship,

Never once was it thought a mistake.

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Honor and duty were the marks of these men,

Hearty and rugged and strong.

Not so very smart in the schoolmaster’s ways,

Baked by the sun to a swarthy bunch they belong.

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Though the days of mast and sail have long gone,

No less are the dangers at sea.

What horrors await in its watery depths,

Forever shrouded in mystery.

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~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

 

Icy Froth

Icy froth crashes over unshod feet,

Numbing and cramping as they slowly sink into sea-washed sand,

Pant legs soaked with limitless brine.

The gale whips up waves dressed in white one after another,

Chilling me to the bone with cold excitement,

Breath and spirit become one with the undulation.

Sting of salt spray does not deter as I spy the fractured horizon,

Dreaming of serving on the distant freighter

Rising and falling with the swells on it’s way to exotic ports.

What better life is there than to work shoulder-to-shoulder with your brethren

Under sun and on sea,

Conjoined with the natural forces overhead and underfoot.

Were it not for you my love– this destiny I would have fulfilled,

But alas…it was not to be,

For I love you more than the sand, the sun and the sea.

So here I stand,

Looking out on what might have been,

Joyful for what is

And content with what will be.

~

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

A Ship Gone Adrift

What little I have,

What little hope I hold out,

I hold out for you my brothers and sisters,

As this ponderous ship lumbers on.

Burdened with the heavy load of it’s own pomposity,

It lists port and starboard under it’s shifting cargo,

Tacking to-and-fro to navigate to calmer waters.

Captain and crew befuddled by the turbulent course,

Confused, cries of “Mutiny!” wring out from the deck,

Their cries fall on deaf ears.

On course for the eye of the storm,

The captain, in his pigheadedness refuses to yield,

Refuses to see the oncoming torrent,

Refuses to change course,

If not for him, but the sake of his crew.

Equally obstinate,

The crew abandons ship with nary a word,

Cowardly defecting to save face,

Leaving captain and cargo,

Feral and adrift to meet their fate.

For a ship untended…

Seldom reaches the safety of port

 

~~ D. R. DiFrancesco ~~

Mistress of the Sea

Barnegat Lighthouse - New Jersey - USA

Barnegat Lighthouse – New Jersey – USA

An elegant lady stands a silent watch

Never taking rest or wavering in her duties

Decades of battering by nor’easter, ice and tropical gale are for naught

She may be worn and tired, but she remains strong in her resolve

Wind swept torrents are no match for her refinement

An A-line of red and white graces her elegant stony figure

Utilitarian in dress and form make her no less lovely

Many a man has looked upon her with starstruck affection

Standing tall, her crown highlights her magnificence

With eyes crystal clear and bright, she was born to see the unseen

Beholden to her unwavering radiance are those forever in her debt

She has comforted countless souls lost in nights hollow embrace

Surely treachery amongst the shoals would spell certain doom

Taking their hands, she leads them to certain safety

Welcoming ports embrace them by her blessing

Returning them back to family and loved ones unscathed

~~ D. R. DiFrancesco ~~

The Schooner

Gentle waves caress the hull,

As a lover to it’s mate,

Soft undulations fostering a grand dream.

Gulls sound their lullaby,

Urging on this docile behemoth,

Fashioned of wood and pitch.

Sun warming the salt bleached deck,

Whilst beams reflect off whitecaps crest,

Blinding as diamonds are beautiful.

Cool breezes buffet weather worn sails,

Placidly rolling port and starboard,

Slicing onward through gulf born swell.

Spar raised skyward,

Touching heaven with square sail unfurled,

Carried by the breath of angels.

Acrid spray stings,

Overpowering the bulkhead in swarms,

Showering planks with briny ice.

Days last glow cast shadow approaches,

Salt sea air begs sailors slumber,

Beckoning twilight to take the helm.

Timber creaks with waves touch tender,

As starlight hails sunsets mate,

The moon assumes this maidens master.

What ports ahead in waters uncharted,

Daybreak’s charge determines the way,

To stern bid farewell the fore she must go.