The Cabin Boy and the Sea (Poetry)

Robert Quick

Where the -@!# did my muse go?

Writer, dreamer, knight, shackled by entertainment . . . and people.

The ship heaved high, breaking through the waves,

the dark hell of night's clouds and the sea's spray

Stars cloaked by a devil's veil were hidden away

and the once mighty captain was lost and afraid

The crew revolted pledging their wails to the winds,

panicking they added mutiny to their litany of sins

They did slaughter the cursed and craven captain

once again becoming devils instead of men

Nine crew remained, leaderless in their treachery

leaderless in truth, each armed, untrusting, and wary

Blood lust, not yet slaked, slowed thoughts already

slowed and quickened hands, hateful and uncaring

Each one fell to squabbling and then to fighting,

order unraveling-- that glutted darkness after lightning.

Failing each other and themselves, they now lay dying,

sliding down through the final curtain of sighs and crying.

Not so the cabin boy whose fearful heart stayed true

and instead hid whilst the Butcher collected his due.


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Comments (4 so far!)

Average reader rating 4.00/5

Robert Quick

Robert Quick

Format was different originally. Probably won't matter to anyone but the whole poem should be separated into four line stanzas with the one exception of the last two lines on this particular page.

  • #1930 Posted 6 years ago
  • 0
ElshaHawk LoA

ElshaHawk LoA

I noticed that, too; that spaces left between lines do not translate to the published work. I know that's why some use periods in the spaces.

  • #1939 Posted 6 years ago
  • 0


(1/?) "The crew revolted, pledging their wails to the winds." So this line was the first to really grab me, Not that the preceding lines were bad or uninteresting, but this one had such emotion and such darkness, that I could really place myself in the moment. It was a powerful image that you portrayed here and I think it's lines like these that make this poem special.

The following line, however, downplays it somehow. I think it's adding that "background" to the crew-- making them have this dark past only makes their eventual mutiny and demise, less gut wrenching for the reader. I suppose I liked the idea of a once "good" crew, being set into such a panic that they turn savage. That makes this all that much more tragic. That's just my opinion though.

"Each one fell to squabbling and then to fighting," This line broke your rhythm ... even though it fell within the right amount of beats, it lost it's impact. I would try to reword this to keep up the intensity.

  • #2245 Posted 5 years ago
  • 0
  • 4 out of 5


I would do without the couplet at the end. I feel like there would be more of a punch to the gut if you continued the natural flow of the rhyme scheme. Also, I would like one more line between the narration of the crew's attack and the introduction of the cabin boy ... something to hint that not ALL of the crew was in on this mutiny.

Overall, however-- you've painted a very deep and detailed picture here, and the back and forth of the rhymes mimic the back and forth of a ship. I felt tossed about and on edge like the crew did. Very well done!

  • #2246 Posted 5 years ago
  • 0
  • 4 out of 5

Story prompt:

Write some lyrics. It's a different form of storytelling than I'm used to, and I thought it might be fun!

Lyrics by GradualUprising

  • Published 6 years ago.
  • Story viewed 15 times and rated 1 times.

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