Colin F. Jones
THE GOOD SHIP “THE WAILING VETERAN” ON A WINDY DAY
Part 1: The First Voyage
~ 1 ~
God is the captain of this ship,
But the Devil steers her bow,
Because the crew are so damn sick,
They’ve all forgotten how.
~ 2 ~
In fair winds they rig no sail,
They run backwards in the squalls,
In everything they do they fail,
‘Cause they lack the bloody balls
~ 3 ~
To stand up strong upon the deck,
And face the wailing wind,
And spit in Moby’s eye by heck,
And set the sails a-swing
~ 4 ~
They don’t know where the next port’s at,
Nor how to rig the sail,
And all you’ll ever hear is that,
Confounding morbid wail
~ 5 ~
Which helps to deaden southern winds,
And to rattle ghostly chains,
While with their tears they wash the decks,
And compare their horrid pains.
~ 6 ~
They don’t look forward it’s always aft,
As backwards sails the ship,
Which is a forward going craft,
That can sail at quite a clip
~ 7 ~
A government sub beside them rose,
“Hey! Who the hell are you?”
And when they waved it quickly dove,
And screamed out, “Bugger you.”
~ 8 ~
The torpedo missed but it was close,
But it brightened up the crew,
That like a giant wave all rose,
To get a better view.
~ 9 ~
Then suddenly the sails went up,
The wind blew across the bow,
Old Nick he lost his evil grip,
And fell overboard somehow
~ 10 ~
With this Apache sheila at the wheel,
The sails they caught the breeze,
“So what?” said I, “‘taint no big deal.”
Then, “Ruby!!! Oh No! Please.”
~ 11 ~
They fished me out just in time,
And shoved me in the hold,
With my mate Poppa lookin’ fine,
But like me so bloody old.
~ 12 ~
With Admiral Woodfolk by the mast,
(It helped to hold him up),
The ship was running swells so fast,
She’d beat a swimming duck.
~ 13 ~
Tone stood on the heaving deck,
His pockets filled with crackers,
And every time it dipped to port,
The Sharks snapped at his knackers.
~ 14 ~
They always missed of course they did,
‘Cause Steve was there to save him,
Drove his Harley down their throats,
‘Cause he had nothing else to bathe in,
~ 15 ~
Well I tell you what this stupid ship,
Better soon the be landin’,
‘Cause I am running out of lib,
And simple understandin’.
~ 16 ~
Well soon ‘twas that an isle was seen,
Reb steered us near the shore,
There was a forest deep and green,
With trail bike tracks galore,
~ 17 ~
Admiral Woodfork shouted out,
“I thought I saw me Mum”,
But Woody knew not much about,
A good old Aussie gum,
~ 18 ~
Or was it a palm that waved to us,
Beyond the rolling surf,
It sure was kicking up a fuss,
I think it was a smerf!
~ 19 ~
Somebody slammed the hold door shut,
Upon my bloody head,
Then laced a ten across my butt,
“Oh, go on back to bed!”
~ 20 ~
Along the beach…was it a horse?
With a fairy queen astride,
Galloping down the sandy course,
Oh wow how she could ride!
~ 21 ~
“I can’t endorse that that’s a horse.”
Frowned Faye from fairly near,
“It’s got a swordfish through its head,
Which I think is somewhat queer.”
~ 22 ~
“But it’s got four legs a flowing mane,
And an arching tail and neck,
It looks like ‘er, a what’s its name,
A giant goat’s … what I suspect.”
~ 23 ~
So bedazzled by all this stuff,
The good ship ran aground,
And out there coming round the bluff,
Was a gover mental sound.
~ 24 ~
It was a ship of window frames,
With documents piled high,
Rejecting our disability claims,
For which we had to die.
~ 25 ~
Then on the beach from the trees,
A thousand fairies came,
To shove us of into the breeze,
That we were afloat again
~ 26 ~
The fairy goddess on her goat,
I mean… her prancing steed,
That had a horn stuck through its throat,
(perhaps a special breed),
~ 27 ~
Leapt on the ship as she did sail,
Into the boiling surf,
For now she surely couldn’t fail,
To float around the Earth.
~ 28 ~
Steve had washed his pig enough,
To make its chrome pipes gleam,
But he was finding it was tough,
So Ruby intervened.
~ 29 ~
They yanked and kicked it, bit and yelled,
But the shark it wouldn’t let go,
till by mistake it was shelled,
When the gover ment had a go.
~ 30 ~
‘Twas a normal shot, they always missed,
They usually forgot to aim,
And mostly all the clerks were pissed,
Or putting in a claim.
~ 31 ~
The shark took off; Steve roared away,
Down the swaying deck,
And there he had a lot to say,
But oh well, what the heck.
~ 32 ~
Said Admiral Woodfork to the crew,
“Run up the skull and bones.”
Poor old Poppa had had a few,
So he called on Aussie Jones.
~ 33 ~
“Climb up the mast up to the crow,
And stand there in plain view,
Though it might take a week you know,
This is what you must do.”
~ 34 ~
“Stand up there and hold the flag,
That it flows so proudly high,
And if your legs begin to sag,
With it you must die.”
~ 35 ~
Then up stepped Tone from Potters,
Another fly-drome it was true,
“I will when he totters,
Take the flag when it is due.”
~ 36 ~
“For how can man die better,
Than from exhaustion holding flags,
As a high up master sitter,
When Jonsies aging muscles sag.
~ 37 ~
For my fathers were all flaggers,
They loved their plonk in jars,
And who from flaggers staggers,
Wear medals with their bars.”
~ 38 ~
Then out spake Piddi Patter,
Mountain snow ran through his blood,
You could hear his teeth a chatter,
When he said he understood.
~ 39 ~
“For I will take the crows nest,
If poor Tone of Potters falls,
For I have courage to invest,
And a pair of frozen……”
~ 40 ~
But you are here as master,
Of this bloody ship,
For none can drive her faster,
Though ‘tis the wind that’s driving it.”
~ 41 ~
“Hey who’s that drongo on the mast,
With that piece of scruffy rag,
How long do you think the fool will last,
He already looks a dag.”
~ 42 ~
“Out Texas way we breed em tough,
But we don’t breed bluddy fools,”
“Now Eileen dear, that’s enough,
Keep loadin’ up those spools.”
~ 43 ~
“But look at ‘im man that’s some jerk,
Must be an Aussie bloke,
No one else would do such work,
Hell, what a bloody joke!”
~ 44 ~
The ship sailed on and while they slept,
Jonesie fell from the bloody mast,
As he lay ass up; up Tone crept.
“Ah my turn has come at last.”
~ 45 ~
“Oh look,” said Eileen, “look at that,
Shining like two moons,
On the deck there by the mast,
Or are they just balloons.
~ 46 ~
I saw one float down from above,
Though it made a funny sound,
And look the other like a dove,
Is to the crows nest bound.”
~ 47 ~
Admiral Woodfork still propped up,
And sleeping at his post,
Opened up his radar eyes,
As if he’d seen a ghost!
~ 48 ~
“Good Lord!” he cried, “Good Lord, Good Lord!
I think I’ve seen a Ghost,
I opened up my radar eyes,
And… Hey look, I see a coast!”
~ 49 ~
We sailed on in to a blue lagoon,
Though some thought it was green,
It wasn’t green it was blue you goon,
No it wasn’t it was green!!
~ 50 ~
Whatever the colour of the blue lagoon,
Where the sea all looked so green,
It was a beautiful place and made us swoon,
‘Cause it was a swoon type swoony place.
~ 51 ~
But then in the distance the drums were heard,
Nearby they were heard as well,
But that was the hearts of this courageous crew,
Who had faced a life of hell.
~ 52 ~
“Send Poppa in to track the swine,”
Said Woodfork from behind the mast.
“Just keep away from this pig of mine,”
Said Steve, “or you will not last.”
~ 53 ~
“Maybe that’s the way to check things out,
Send Steve on the pig to hunt.”
Said Tone, “He’d make the perfect scout
He was the man to send up front.”
~ 54 ~
They heard Tone’s voice but where was he,
His voice seemed far away.
“I’m up here in the old crows nest,
If you look up you will see.”
~ 55 ~
“Oh there you are you have grown so tall,
That we can only see your feet,”
Said Admiral Woodfork, “Ok all,
Let us all but Steve retreat.”
~ 56 ~
Steve kicked the gleaming pig to life,
It trembled between his thighs,
Down the forest trail his sickle roared,
As he blasted out of sight,
~ 57 ~
Well one thing’s for sure he won’t get bored,
‘Cause this hog he rides don’t bite.
It roars a bit and rattles some,
But it still ain’t mean enough to fight.
~ 58 ~
Skidding round a bend with his boot pushed out,
He spun to avoid a log,
And found himself with a lively shout,
Ass up in a putrid bog.
~ 59 ~
The shadows closed in as he tried to save,
The disappearing chrome and steel,
But though his efforts were so brave,
The old bog enjoyed its meal.
~ 60 ~
A man approached with his tongue stuck out,
So we stuck ours out as well.
“Cheeky buggers what do you think you’re about;
You look like a bunch of rats from hell.
~ 61 ~
If that’s your ship so new and clear,
Then it’s banned from our Lagoon.”
“Crewed by a bunch of yanks I see,
For whom we ain’t got room.”
~ 62 ~
“Well I’m not a yank I’m from Texas pard,
And our missiles are all up front.”
“If you can’t tell that, you ain’t looking as hard,
As a good old southern grunt.
~ 63 ~
So listen friend go take a hike,
‘Cause we’re here to meet our friend,
International soldier Kiwi Mike,
Who we think is round the bend.”
~ 64 ~
“Well you’re out of luck ‘cause he ain’t here,
He went looking for a better place,
Sometimes he likes to disappear,
‘Cause he has a lot to face.”
~ 65 ~
“The gover ment ships will soon be here,
With a heap of forms for you,
For you lot cost us more each year,
Than a can of sausage stew.”
~ 66 ~
It was right then that a horny horse,
Ridden by a fairy queen,
Leapt from the ship to follow the course,
Where Steve on his hog had been.
~ 67 ~
“We’re coming Steve to help you out,
I’m riding my unicorn,
It’s more comfortable than a hog lost in a bog,
Though it might seem a bit extreme.”
~ 68 ~
But Steve had dug into the bog,
To dig his sickle out.
“No bloody swamp will steal my hog.”
You could hear young Steven shout.
~ 69 ~
Soon enough as the morning sun,
Rose up all dressed in black,
The Unicorn got there on the run,
‘Cause great speed it did not lack.
~ 70 ~
Into the glade of sun and shade,
Rode the fairy queen
Where upon the Unicorn,
Its pearly wings received.
~ 71 ~
The lightning flashed, the sun went out,
There was darkness all around,
And in that darkness all about
There was not the faintest sound.
~ 72 ~
Then suddenly though stained with mud,
A hog burst from the trees,
Its chrome wheels spinning as they should,
When the throttle is gently squeezed.
~ 73 ~
“I’m here, I’m here, my dear, my dear,
You arrived here just in time,
‘Cause all these funny birds are here,
Wading through the slime!”
~ 74 ~
“Birds! What birds? I see no birds,
Oh! Those funny little things!
They look like govern mental nerds,
And since they don’t have wings,”
~ 75 ~
“I’m off to gallop through the sky,
On Pegasus my steed,
Back to the green of the blue Lagoon,
‘Cause the ship’s moving now at speed.”
~ 76 ~
“Wait for me.” came the faint reply,
As the Unicorn hit the trail,
Picked itself up and into the sky,
Took off with a spinning tail.
~ 77 ~
The hog it gave a little grunt,
Bye, bye you stupid birds,
And swerving to avoid a smoking stump,
It outran the perusing nerds.
~ 78 ~
Eileen launched a life boat then,
With a fishing trip in mind,
But when she saw ol’ Steve arrive,
Her idea took a dive.
~ 79 ~
She swam back to the heaving ship,
Which had stopped though in full sail,
The anchor chain snapped like a whip,
And all the crew went pale
~ 80 ~
She shot like an Arrow out to sea,
And headed round the bluff,
From where our Steven flying free,
Yelled, “Hell, I’ve had enough.”
~ 81 ~
He landed safely on the boat
Where Pegasus landed too;
Eileen hanging off the stern,
With an even sterner view.
~ 82 ~
Christina helped hold the Admiral up,
Who’d fallen for the mast,
And calmly sipped from a steaming cup
When another torpedo passed.
~ 83 ~
She got hot water for her brew,
From the hog’s steaming pipes,
The salty taste was nothing new,
Nor were Steven’s gripes
~ 84 ~
Days passed and turned to weeks,
And weeks turned into months,
And the heaving deck sprung many leeks,
Which fed them more than once.
~ 85 ~
It was good humour, friendship too,
That kept them all alive
A multi international crew,
But they would all survive.
~ 86 ~
‘Twas when all eyes were on the horse,
The Unicorns white hide,
That the good ship suddenly altered course,
But then the strong wind it just died.
~ 87 ~
I ain’t never going to give him up!
Screamed the Queen of Fairies then,
So they turned their hungry eyes elsewhere!
The sweet fairies numbered ten.
~ 88 ~
Oh don’t eat us the Fairies cried,
We are flimsy things with wings,
That have not got the strength to fly,
And our bodies are such little things.
~ 89 ~
Granny Grit with her lines still out,
Had failed to catch a fish,
She looked at the fairies with a shout,
“But you’d make us a dainty dish!”
~ 90 ~
The fairies fled to the lower deck,
Where Poppa was counting sheep,
“Oh, please Oh please protect us please.”
And the pleas were ten folk deep.
~ 91 ~
Poppa awoke with shocked alarm,
Shut and locked the hold,
Don’t worry fairies they can’t do you harm,
But his hungry eyes were cold.
~ 92 ~
“Welcome to my little trap,
Er, I mean to this deck ‘ere down below,
In here you can have a little nap,
And have SWEET dreams you know.”
~ 93 ~
Then Tone still clinging to the mast,
With the skull and bones held high,
“Hey ahoy … land at last,
‘Tis land that I do spy!”
~ 94 ~
They all ran across to the starboard side,
And the ship began to tip,
The Admiral still to the old mast tied,
Yelled get back from the rail a bit.
~ 95 ~
So they ran across to the port,
Then of course ran back again,
The ship was like a rocking horse,
With the sea wash for a mane.
~ 96 ~
She stabilized when she hit the beach,
And sand flew everywhere,
Not a grain of brain was possessed by each,
So they didn’t have much to share.
~ 97 ~
The night well it was cold and black,
(we’d have been surprised had it been white)
And weird sounds it did not lack,
It was too dark for human site.
~ 98 ~
“What was that” Eileen exclaimed,
“I thought I saw some eyes”,
“They looked so red and so inflamed”,
“Uh! What was that noise behind?!!”
~ 99 ~
But it was only something dead,
Lying dormant on the ground,
With strange green things crawling out its head,
Oh my God! What have I found?
~ 100 ~
We must find food and water as well,
Regardless of the dark,
So follow Ed ‘cause he can tell,
Without the need for spark.
~ 101 ~
Well they found a well but it was dry,
Nor was there water there,
“What was that?” said Ed, “I heard a cry”
But there were cries from everywhere.
~ 102 ~
“Which one did you hear then,” asked Faye,
“It’s a bit hard to tell.” said Ed,
But there was no answer from that day
‘Cos the crew had woke up dead!
©Copyright November 2003 by Colin F. Jones
Part 2: The Second Voyage
~ 103 ~
From beneath the palms a Robin flew,
With a Jolly Roger in her grasp,
She looked so sweet in the mourning Jew,
Though she sounded like a rasp.
~ 104 ~
I’ve had to drink water on the boil,
To ensure ‘twas free from germs,
So try not to deliberately In-Tim-edate me,
Because I only do things on my terms.
~ 105 ~
I’ve got some food behind that rock,
Stashed under a Terry towelling hat,
That’s the owner over there,
Hunting for another rat.
~ 106 ~
He likes to write verses about us girls,
And he wants to be a member of the crew,
That’s not all because so do I,
So that’s what we are going to do.
~ 107 ~
Welcome said Tone get a board,
If there are any lying round,
Well this one is square so will it do,
Tis the only one I’ve found.
~ 108 ~
Okay said Tone lets shove off,
Because she’s running out, the tide!
So they walked the plank that they could thank,
Old Tone for the ride.
~ 109 ~
Old Rogue he took off to the stern,
Because he had a rather back ward view,
While the Robin perched upon a barrel,
Of Terry’s finest brew.
~ 110 ~
What a tranquil scene thought Woody then,
What a delight it is to see,
It was better I guess than being blind,
A much better way to be.
~ 111 ~
I wish I had me chopper here,
Can’t stand the sight of ships,
Said Fred who led them up the plank,
A Terryfied brew pressed to his lips.
~ 112 ~
Where the hell did you come from my man,
How many more are there, there,
Said the Admiral standing beside the mast,
The moon shining on his silver hair.
~ 113 ~
But it’s still daylight!! Yes I know,
It’s me that’s writing this tale,
So keep your comments to yourself,
Or I’ll turn you into a whale.
~ 114 ~
Well there’s me you know and vio-Lynn,
Who is more gentle than a bear.
There’s a butterfly and a Melonie,
And that little pommy Sheila over there.
~ 115 ~
Ann-Marie Spittle is my name,
In case you are wanting to know,
I could teach you all a thing or too,
Because I can write as well as sow.
~ 116 ~
But can you sail this crazy ship?
Yelled Rogue from the rear,
You might be good with your lightening lip,
But who the hell is going to steer?
~ 117 ~
We could throw Garry out for a keel,
Or we could tie him to an ore,
But I don’t know how it would make him feel,
He could get a trifle sore!
“He only knows one way to steer,
And that’s not the way we want to go,
We have to find a Mark to guide,
Us through the contaminated flow”.
~ 119 ~
“Hey, I’m willing to lighten your cruel load,
If you don’t give me any sass,
I know I’m a little bit down the road,
But I really have heaps of class.”
~ 120 ~
“I’m not as Meek as some might be,
‘Cause the ripples I make are large,
But brothers let me tell you this,
Any clown could sail this barge!”
~ 121 ~
“Well, Jacob Son, you done said it all,
First mate you will be”,
Said Admiral Woodfork from the mast,
Where he still clung so desperately.
~ 122 ~
So Gazza took over on the wheel,
And gave poor rogue a rest,
“sometimes you’ve gotta make ‘em feel,
That they are more than just a guest”
~ 123 ~
So on we sailed to the south,
Or was it north or west,
In fact it might have been the east
It was sure to be a test.
~ 124 ~
While Fay mouse Faye and Dani Mouse,
Were tending to the sprites,
Gyme was doing his best to rouse,
The Admiral from his long nights.
©Copyright December 2007 by Colin F. Jones
Author’s Note: Dedicated to Steve Brandenburg, who loved this poetical nonsense.