Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Mar 24
We all have heard the stories
Of spirit ships and ghosts
That sail upon the oceans
And up along the coasts

This tale is a whopper
And I'll not forget the day
So as God is my witness
Listen now, to what I say

We were sitting in the tavern
Telling tales of days of old
When the door, it burst right open
And Bill came running from the cold

His face as white as ever
Like he just had seen a ghost
When we told him that we thought this
He said " I did, just up the coast"

We laughed and ordered whiskey
To warm us up inside
"I did, by gum, I saw it"
"I saw the Nell McBride"

"There's no way that you saw that boat"
"It's been sunk a hundred years"
"A hundred sixty" said a voice
As we tended to our beers

"The Nell McBride was lost boys"
"Late eighteen  and fifty nine"
"You didn't see her Billy"
"She's sunk down in the brine"

" I did" said Bill , "I saw her"
"I was standing  on up the beach"
"She came out of the clouds there"
"Aw, Bill... cut back on the screech"

"I haven't had a drop today"
"And you know, I don't tell lies"
"I saw the Captain up on deck"
"I looked right in his eyes'

The wind was really howling
We all huddled round the fire
As far fetched as the story was
Old Bill, he was no liar

"The Nell McBride was lost at sea"
"All 14 men were drowned"
"The ship went to the bottom"
"And no bodies were found"

The barkeep chirped "We have ghosts here"
"I have seen a few"
"With all those lost at sea near here"
"I believe in them, don't you?"

We laughed at him and Billy
Ghosts, nope, dead is dead
Bill just sat there shaking
He believed the words he'd said

Now, me, I was a pup then
Just a minnow if you please
But, I sat and felt my hair rise up
I'd not heard of ghosts like these

"The last time the Nell McBride"
"Was seen was in ought four"
"Old Johnson, at the light house"
"Said he saw that ship and more"

"They proved Old Johnson crazy"
"All alone out with the light"
"Was just the moon a playing"
"There was nothing there that night"

Another man chimed in then
"Old Johnson was no loon"
"His diary says he say that ship"
"'Twas no trick of the moon"

"Okay then boys, tomorrow"
"We'll meet here and head on out"
"We'll see the ghost out sailing"
"Or we'll see that she is now't"

The wind was really whipping
It was getting louder as they sat
Nobody was heading home
They were safer where they sat

"Ghost ships sail the waters"
"I believe to warn us still"
"I believe The Nell is out there"
"I believe in our boy Bill"

"There's tales of ships and mermaids"
"There's been sighting of great whales"
"Their stories boy's just stories"
"They ain't nothing more than tales"

At this the wind was screaming
Like a wail now or a scream
My hair was up directly
This could only be a dream

"I remember when Mike Watson"
"Said he saw that woman all in black"
"Waiting on her rooftop"
"For her husband to come back"

"I remember that as well" said Bill
"God, old Mike he loved to talk"
"He saw her on the roof in black"
"On the iron widows walk"

So, tomorrow it was settled
We would meet and hit the coast
Watching for the Nell McBride
Waiting for the ghost

"Boys, we never made it"
"We don't talk about that night"
"See, Billy boy, he left us there"
"And he disappeared from sight"

"Turns out Billy Boyle"
"Drowned early in the day"
"Was it his ghost come calling"
"It is not for us to say"

"Bill Boyle washed ashore you see"
"About two...yep he was dead"
"So just was it that came to us"
"And said the things he said"

"There's ghosts out on the water"
"Like the ghostly  Nell McBride"
"I swear and cross my heart now"
"But, boys...you must decide"
Roger Turner - Poet
Written by
Roger Turner - Poet
Please log in to view and add comments on poems