Storm At Sea

Storm in the Transkei



We set out from Durban Harbour, headed for Cape Town

on an unsettled sea, on storm inspired waters.

We reach the Transkei waters twenty four hours later.

Neptune’s really pissed.

He pushes majestic swells of green, blue and white.

Thirty metres tall, trough to crest, now up, now down.


Three hundred tons of steel and engineering.

Man’s brilliance is nothing in this washing machine sea.

We are surfing down the face of the swell,

Cox’n at the wheel for fourteen hours more.

The sea and ship have their own minds.

They heed the wheel’s command for only nanoseconds.

Then back to their demonic games.

Seasoned sailors (salt up their arses it is said)

green as the swells, white around the lips,

Holding on for dear life to rail or basin or head.


Boat three ahead, one mile or so.

You see her masthead lights until she crests and is gone.

Land on the starboard beam, lights of towns and cities come and go.

Shifts are one about.


Steel creaks and groans. Men crawl and moan.

Bow digs into the next swell,

five metres of liquid filter the light.

“All engines stop” is the cry, so to lift your eye.

“All engines ahead” the engine watch hears.

On we shudder, brave as bears.

Few enjoyed its fury. Neptune, the uninitiated and those big diesels.

Men were tossed, bones were broken.


Port Elizabeth, Plettenberg Bay, Knysna. The game has ended.

No need for words, all is mended.

Calm is restored, quiet waters. Blue skies and seabirds

Bring us home, sons to daughters.


This story is old,

settled in marrow

Twelve years on,

now first noted.


With these words told

of splendour, wonder and pain.

This landlocked mariner

needs to come home again.



bcj bcj
51-55, M
15 Responses Mar 15, 2009

Why thank you miss Spring, for that lovely complement.<br />
<br />
love<br />

Of course it helps. B, you should really have your poems published and proudly sign them with your name. They can't remain 'hidden' like this. You need to let more people enjoy and admire them.

stanza 2 and 4 are compacted stanza's with multiple stanza's being compacted in each one. They are meant to be read in a rapid, staccato manner with stanza 3 slowing the pace/tempo in between them. <br />
<br />
Then the last stanza's slow again to indicate peace and tranquility.<br />
<br />
hope that helps

Good to know! *sighs with relief* ;)))


Secret then!<br />
<br /> still love women, in spite of all that, right? Just making sure ;)))

Oh yes........ with a capital I<br />
<br />
But because i am quiet, they don't know that I think that they are MOSTLY, dumb sh*ts, because they believe that the stuff in the soapies and "Sex and the city" is real life.<br />
<br />
But that will stay our secret!!!!!!<br />
<br />

Nah, B, I don't believe it for a minute! I'm sure you are exaggerating. What I believe, though, is that they might not know you well enough to appreciate you as much as you deserve it. That's probably because we, introverts, (I'm getting the impression that you might be one too) don't reveal our thoughts and feelings very often. I'm just about to post a story partly related to it.

Thank you, Miss Spring.<br />
<br />
Then how is it that women in my RL think that I am an a ----le<br />
<br />

A bit scary, and yet beautiful mental picture. The majesty of God and the universe is incredible indeed, my friend. No man will ever understand it fully and perhaps that makes life such a beautiful, unique experience. Beautiful in its mystery.<br />
<br />
I love your poems and I equally love your comments. Each time I read one of them under your poems, I'm struck by the wisdom your words hold. Such is also your comment to aftermath here.

Great story, thanks for sharing this

milady am<br />
<br />
i am not frightened. see, i truly believe that the time of my death is ordained and so i do not fear to live. <br />
<br />
for me, this piece is about the majesty of God, the universe, creation and in my tangible experience, the ocean.<br />
<br />
it gives me scale and perspective and helps to tame my ego as man.<br />
<br />
love and peace<br />

Sir b, <br />
<br />
I was frightened just reading this story.<br />
<br />
More, more, more, tell us more.<br />
<br />

hi lady d<br />
<br />
you are most welcome<br />
<br />

My father would have really liked this poem. He often talked about his crossing of the Atlantic coming home from World War II. Many of your descriptions remind me of his telling of the storm that his ship weathered.