Author Topic: "Raising the Black Flag" and "Farewell, Brave Lion"  (Read 3504 times)

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Offline Blackbead

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"Raising the Black Flag" and "Farewell, Brave Lion"
« on: May 23, 2008, 10:21:51 AM »
Just a couple of poems to pass your time -

Raising the Black Flag

Golden flames, purple and pink,
The colors of the sunset
Blend and flow among the clouds
As we take in our lines and
Slip away from the dock.
The crew counts the dolphins
As we escape down the channel to the sea.

Home falls away behind us
As we close with the perils
Of a life spent in the sweet trade:
Bad food, worse water, eels in the rigging,
French muskets, Spanish cannon, Dutch rope,
Dying of thirst becalmed in the doldrums
Or drowning when the ship comes apart in a gale.

We measure these dangers against
Phantom coins in untaken treasure chests
Spent on red wine nights in exotic ports
With companions paid to make us feel like gods.
They do their jobs well.
And when we sail we have the wind in our hair
And the horizon to scan for prizes.

A pirate’s life is most likely short,
A pirate’s death is most likely sharp.
But we are not slaves to any wage
And we call no man “sire” or “squire.”
In the end, it’s not the gold that sets our sails;
‘Tis freedom and the promise of a better life
That raises our black flags.

Stephen Sanders
2008



Farewell, Brave Lion

I took you from a Spanish captain,
Back in seventeen-oh-two,
I knew it was your maiden voyage:
Your sails were still brand new.

You handled like an Irish racehorse,
Headstrong but steady and true,
And with the slightest breezes
There was nothing I couldn’t ask of you.

You managed fourteen cannon
Without giving up a knot
And in every fight but the last one
You gave better than you got.

It was my mistake to fight a carrack
With a twenty-four gun array
And now you lie forever
‘Neath the blue of Santiago Bay.

It’s been years since I first boarded you,
Now your sailing days are through,
Your guns have all gone silent:
I finally asked too much of you.

         Stephen Sanders
         ©2008

Enjoy . . .

Blackbead
"It's not the gold that sets our sails, 'tis freedom and the promise of a better life that raises our black flags."

Offline Charlotte Rowan

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Re: "Raising the Black Flag" and "Farewell, Brave Lion"
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2008, 11:04:06 AM »
Very nice!  You don't see too many good piratical poems, but these are great!
Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

Offline Blackbead

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Re: "Raising the Black Flag" and "Farewell, Brave Lion"
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2008, 11:15:54 AM »
I thank ye, fair one! (humbly bowing.)  Poems about pirates and all things piratical are rapidly rising to the top of the list of things I enjoy doing!  Keep a weather eye on this board as I hope to have a notice of a pirate poetry book ready for purchase before the Christmastide!  Currently, I have a crew of seven pirate poets and two pirate artists working away like the busy beaver to fill the pages of the book like the hold of me pirate ship!  But, I digress . . . once again, thank ye for the kind words and I look for'ard to discussing things poetic with ye in the future.

Blackbead
"It's not the gold that sets our sails, 'tis freedom and the promise of a better life that raises our black flags."

Offline Charlotte Rowan

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Re: "Raising the Black Flag" and "Farewell, Brave Lion"
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2008, 11:45:05 AM »
A pirate poetry book! Fantastic! I look forward to seeing it!
Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

Offline Rani Zemirah

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Re: "Raising the Black Flag" and "Farewell, Brave Lion"
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2008, 01:09:41 PM »
Wonderful! Full of powerful imagery and evocative emotion!!! The last one made me mist up just a bit, seasoned reader that I am... Excellent rhyme and meter, great visuals and authentic contextual reference.

HUZZAH!!!
Rani - Fire Goddess

Aut disce... aut discede

Offline Blackbead

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Re: "Raising the Black Flag" and "Farewell, Brave Lion"
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2008, 07:48:46 AM »
I thank you, Mistress Zemirah.  To borrow a phrase and employ it in a way different from its usual use, "it takes one to know one."  Thank you for making me feel "golden"!

Blackbead
"It's not the gold that sets our sails, 'tis freedom and the promise of a better life that raises our black flags."

 

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