Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Plight of the Jellyfish by Bob Atkinson


Plight of the Jellyfish

(c)2012 Bob Atkinson

forty guns she had aboard
launched in year eighteen ten
her purpose meant for war upon
those seas so far from France

a simple sailor's hard won dream
a beautiful fast ship of combat
so wonderfully equipped and manned
through waves she slipped so briskly

a captain appointed doubtfully
for reasons not clearly known
sailing skill and wise decision making
were lacking, yet he had backed the throne

headed for the Bank of Arguin
to become embroiled in distress
confused guidance carried her
below the surface to rest

Gericault captured pain of death
inflicted upon the men of salt
seizing, freezing emotions of struggle
in that painting of the deadly raft caught

caught out where it left
those men with so few options
survival at first was offered
then in the end withdrawn from them

tow ropes were cast off
leaving souls to ponder fate
of those who lacked the basic needs
to reject death as something strange

all who trusted lives with faith
to the captain amateur
felt the wrath of incompetence
as salt waves broke overboard

decisions less smart than bold
the triumph of ego over sense
she blew out her hull from pressure
as she scraped wood
against hard granite

in a later time when a ship followed
in the way of this fine craft
following too close to shore again
resulted again in more pain and death

as a white ship touched the shoals
to sink decks beneath the waves
was revealed that her captain too
broke the hull upon rocks raised

so twice and many more times
a captain left to chance
the survival of ship and men
by lacking common nautical sense

a ship is made for the ocean
upon it gracefully she glides
needing water under keel
without it she will surely die

die the death incongruous
how could he navigate
so close to those rocks of danger
smashing hull upon mortality's open gate?

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