scurvy shanty

the quartermaster
ran to the deck
with a tattered piece of paper
clenched
in his gnarled
scurvy ridden
hands

the seas were boiling
the skies dark gray
punctuated with strikes
of purple lightning

the captain
navigated the deck
with peg leg tapping heavily
on the salt water
soaked wood
his sunken eyes
dinner plate sized
with excitement

the winds howled
threatening
to rip
the yellowed parchment
from his
white knuckled grasp
as he laughed excitedly
at the faint x
marked
by serpents
and islands

the oceans
were minefields
of enemy vessels
as the rickety ship
turned starboard
to follow the stars

the jolly roger
hoisted high above
to wave freely
in the face
of the union jacks
that patrol
like the sharks
just beneath the waves

for treasure
for fame
they sing
against the storms
that threaten
with every huge wave
that lashes them
they stand defiant
against god
against king

cracked lips
yellow gums
flagons of rum
and shaking limbs

yo ho
a bottle of rum
to spit in the face
of the king

yo ho
the stars up above
for treasures we fight
and we sing

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4 thoughts on “scurvy shanty

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