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Oct 2016
As so it was as we put to sea.
The Dark pirate captain and me.
Aboard a ghost ship decorated with bones and skulls.
I listened to hear creaking and the circling gulls.

Twas a dark and dismal day, with a ghost green sky.
Her main mast atop the Skull and Crossbones did fly.
Holes in her jib and Poseidon’s pitch fork on her main.
Our dark and treacherous ship was the high seas bane.

A purple fog hung over her deck, coiling and twisting.
Up the masts and sails dark spirit existing.
Born out of the ancient timbers and the toil.
Born out of heartbreak and roil.

I was first mate on this ship of the dead.
One and thirty nine hands that bled.
On the ropes and the sails.
On the harpoons and whales tails.

I counted 14 cannons on the decks.
I found more on a midnight check.
She had seven eighteen pounders deck under.
She shuddered and rolled from the thunder.

Listing to port or starboard from a volley.
Recoiling on the oaken dolly’s
No cannon ***** would touch her.
The purple fog protected those that were.

Aimed at her masts and broadside.
Swatting them into the deep I watched wide-eyed.
She deep sixed more ships than any other vessel.
Their captains hung from the stern trestle.

We came upon a man adrift in a whaling vessel.
The captain swung the ship around to nestle.
The small boat’s gunwales were shattered and torn.
Her occupant screaming wide eyed did warn.

“Avast your voyage twas Mermaids I fear!”
His face a ghostly pale and his eyes were queer.
The Captain brought him on board.
And he brought with him a fear that roared.

My Captain held him at the point of his sword.
The man’s eyes became as fire and he roared.
Deafening, it was out of his empty mouth it howled.
And with it the very air was fouled.

And the purple fog recoiled from this man.
Round and round on the decks it ran.
We all backed away from this apparition.
A horror straight away from Mariner’s superstition.

And he collapsed on the deck.
His pulse I did check.
And he did not have one.
I listened for his heart beat and there was none.

Filaments of his former self arose.
And Hung over his dead body close.
“Beware of White Cap Bay.”
“Tis where the Mermaids play.”

Came a watery cold voice upon the night air.
And we all stood there and stared.
His tortured soul wailing into oblivion.
And he passed on by aspiration.

Of these tiny stars that surrounded him.
And his likeness became dim.
And then he was gone.
The purple fog again was redrawn.

There was no body from whence this came.
Upon the deck where he laid, a blue flame.
And no man could extinguish it.
The Captain touched it with his sword, it split.

And became two, and ran off the starboard side.
“It’s gone!” the bosun cried.
We all stood there at the Captain we stared.
For the first time ever saw the Captain scared.

“Who’s afraid of some Mermaids Mates?”
“I like Mermaids more than pieces of eight.”
Our Captain said in a falsetto voice.
He did nothing to make our hearts rejoice.

And so we sailed dead ahead into the night.
And the crew held their fear with all their might.
A red litten gibbous moon to steer by.
The wind through the tattered sails sighed.

There came into view a huge rocky bay.
Bathed in the ethereal moon light lay.
To the starboard stood a huge stone monolith.
Surrounded by a ring of small obelisks.

And in its top there stood a giant mirror.
At first I thought its purpose unclear.
The closer we sailed I finally understood.
Twas a warning beacon if you would.

Harken to its brilliance unto its warning.
Listen unto its mourning.
And green sea foam licked round its base.
And the wind howled in its face.

And there were queer holes and vanes upon its top.
The wind sounded through the holes an octave drop.
Which made a strange, deep reverberation?
And it shook the deck and masts with strange gyration.

We dropped anchor in a quiet nook.
The Captain said “Lads let us look!”
And several of the old salts were superstitious.
And mumblings of spells and things malicious.

Ran through the crew like a runaway current.
For reasons of truth and things that weren’t.
Then the Captain became enraged.
Said he’d use his enchanted sword to engage.

Any man not worth his salt.
He’d be locked in the forecastle vault.
With the purple fog and the demons of the ship.
Forever in death’s grip.

So nary a man stayed aboard.
And we all crossed a small tidal ford.
And found ourselves again on dry land.
Our sea legs making it strange to stand.

We came to the monoliths huge door.
Adorned with strange hieroglyphs it bore.
Testament to some earlier time.
To some odd number prime.

I stepped into a gigantic hall that was lit with no light.
And I saw a most impossible sight.
A giant sapphire ball floating over a deep shaft.
It radiated beams of light from this strange craft.

It danced on the walls like a giant kaleidoscope.
The men were about to abandon all hope.
I saw a huge aperture above the ball.
That opened like an iris above the hall.

One of the men found an elevator of sorts.
And its doors had rows of oval ports.
And our Captain stepped inside.
And so the crew filed in wild-eyed.

We found ourselves walking out of a strange mist.
In a room atop the monolith.
A huge mirror affixed to system of lens of strange hue.
And I saw in polar equatorial it would slew.

And our Captain looked upon it with an uneasy eye.
“Tis a light house Capm,” came a wistful cry.
“Not like anyone I seen.. says I.”
The Captain touched one of its wheels, “Aye,.. aye.”

I saw upon the wall an imprint of a hand.
Surrounded by a solid gold band.
And it shown a deep blue.
Its color the same as the orb’s hue.

And the boson’s mate was about to touch the object.
“Hold fast there mate!” the captain checked.
“We dunno what that’ll do?”
A blue halo around his hand flew.

And it pulled his palm unto the wall.
And he could not remove it at all.
There came from under us a rumbling vibration.
The aperture was opening in measured gyration.

Upon the mirrors there came a column of light.
From the orb below a blue-gold blinding sight.
And its countenance you could not behold.
Through the lens and off the mirror it rolled.

And it beamed out upon the sea.
And the men were afraid and began to plea.
And it swung around on its own.
Like some mechanical drone.

Nothing human touched its controls and levers.
For it moved upon its own endeavors.
One of the men was standing above the rest of us.
The beam swung into him and he became dust.

Neither force nor the Captain could stand the men fast.
They ran for the elevator save the Captain for last.
Once again we were in the great hall.
The huge orb was making a strange call.

Calling the Mermaids of White Cap Bay.
Upon the rolling surf they did play.
There were mermaids too numerous to count.
Their passage we could not possibly surmount.

They all began singing as one.
Their mesmerizing melody begun.
These sirens from leagues of the deep.
Soon had us all at the edge of sleep.

The Captains enchanted sword did resist.
Upon our lips it did kiss.
A sharp blue spark awoke us all.
From the lilting Mermaids call.

One of them beckoned to me.
I could not move and I could not flee.
And she came out of the sea.
And was floating in front of me.

Sea-green eyes and golden hair.
A long slender nose and skin so fair.
High cheekbones swept back did blend.
Into her hair unto the end.

And small gold stars within her eyes did move.
In a fathomless green sea did prove.
Their test upon my soul.
Doing their best to take a toll.

On this sailors lost heart.
She weaves her black art.
And her teeth a row of ivory scimitars.
That sparkled in the light of the stars.

She called me by name.
And the gold stars in her eyes danced in green flames.
Her breath smelled like sea breezes and myrrh.
And it reminded me of better times that were.

Then she touched my face her touch wet and cold.
She drew fire out of me and glowed gold.
Upon the night.
As I beheld this wondrous sight.

And her touch was no longer cold.
The spot she touched me turned to gold.
Then she kissed me and I could not think.
The flames in her eyes danced and winked.

And so I was lost to this siren of the deep.
Then her sea-green eyes began to weep.
Mermaid tears upon my cheeks.
Diamond liquid from her eyes did leak.

All down my face and into my mouth.
Salty and sweet, like some wine from the south.
And I began to see sub-mariner sights.
And I soon forgot my own foolish plight.

“For I cannot stay here with thee.”
“For my life comes to me from within the sea.”
“Fear not for I can change thee if you see.”
And she pulled me into the pounding green sea.

So down we went into this emerald abyss.
And I found myself in some strange bliss.
And I could breathe in the sea.
And I felt a oneness within me.

And she beamed at me with her ivory smile.
And pointed at my legs for a while.
As I looked at my legs I was startled to see.
A large broad fluke attached to me.

I could hear her voice inside my head.
We talk this way underwater instead.
And we swam down to a sunken Galleon.
Its deck littered with gold and a medallion.

She reached down and picked it from the deck.
Submerged in the sea this old Spanish wreck.
I brushed away the barnacles and brine.
Etched into its face within fine lines.

I saw on its face inscribed a name.
A name from long ago clouded in fame.
Ponce De Leon from the Queen of Spain.
Her lost explorer who succeeded no gain.

And I saw all my shipmates swimming towards me.
The Mermaids converted them was easy to see.
The Captain looked odd with a large fluke tail.
And octopus tentacles from his face did flail.

He was still wearing his stupid three cornered hat.
The silliest sight I concluded that.
And my Mermaid swam up to me and took my hand.
“You do not belong here you belong on land.”

So we swam up from the emerald deep.
When we broke surface she began to weep.
“When you get old and turn to gray.”
“Come back to sea and we will play.”

And with that she dove down and swam away.
And I think about this Mermaid to this very day.
And in my hand I still held the medallion.
Taken from the deck of the old Spanish Galleon.

A gift to me from my lady of the sea.
At night the wind brings me her singing plea.
“Return my sailor return to me.”
“Return to your home under the sea.”

Now I’ve grown old and my hair turned gray.
And you doubt this tale from me you say?
And I swear it’s all true.
I’ll swear by my tattoos.

Dave Proffitt 2/7/2012

This is a long poem!
David Proffitt
Written by
David Proffitt  Oregon
   --- and Doug Potter
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