Shadow Over the Shanty

old manTell us a tale oh swan of the sea,
With your wind sweeping feathered white hair,
A beard that has harboured the salts of the earth,
And hands, by the rope, stripped bare,
Teach us of pirates and far away lands,
Of smugglers that sailed upon high,
Cutthroats and maritime plunder,
And Jacks drinking rum barrels dry,
Of gruelling tempestuous sea states,
Of violent intolerant gales,
The pitiless task of a timber cut bow,
Of dolphins, of marlin, and whales,

No tales of the merciless oceans,
Or yarns of the sea will I spin,
My tongue holds respectful in silence,
For the hearts of forever lost seafaring kin,
The Swift, The Medina, The Rosemary-Ann,
Took passages bound from this port,
And each fall of night I walk the old wharf,
Where hearts bring the losses of loved ones to thought,
When a shadow’s cast over the shanty,
The skin of Poseidon is burned,
By a moon that rises in memory,
Of ships that will never return.

Copyright © 2002 Terry Stephen Driscoll • All rights reserved.