Cabin Boy and the Sea (Con't) (Poetry)

Robert Quick

Where the -@!# did my muse go?

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

The cabin boy, now Master of the Ship, walked alone

stepping over the glass-eyed corpses of meat and bone,

men who had once been, the only fathers he'd ever known.

He cried for his own loss and the light-lost souls forever gone.

The ship shuddered and cracking thunder broke below

the cabin boy wondered if he had only survived, to follow.

He heard the ship's squealing cry and horrifying bellow

as she tore herself apart on the sea, on the stone

Slowly, the ship sank into the deeper dark of the sea.

Pulled by grasping hands of the waves and Her greed

It was the final end to all things that which must be--

every seaman's nightmare and every poet's dream.

He climbed the mast, clawing up into the biting wind,

seeking salvation to save him from this descent.

Afraid and shivering the cabin boy sank with the ship

into the seas vast, hungry, mouth and nearly silent crypt


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Comments (4 so far!)

Average reader rating 4.50/5

ElshaHawk LoA

ElshaHawk LoA

This is gruesome and descriptive, making it believable and evoking sadness, bitterness, and a cold, stark, finality without compassion.

  • #1938 Posted 5 years ago
  • 0


I'm not sure how to define the difference but this feels like a story rather than a poem. I'm invested in the character and you've got some evocative descriptions in there. Keep up the good work!

  • #2182 Posted 5 years ago
  • 0
  • 5 out of 5


That first line-- switch it around: "Walked alone did the cabin boy, now the master of the ship." Although, that would screw up the following rhyme scheme ... so maybe not.

The comma after "been" in the third line is unnecessary, and the use of "own" in the fourth line, clunks up the flow. It cuts it short when the reader is expecting the next rhyme to come at the end of the line.

Yet, these two lines: "The ship shuddered and cracking thunder broke below/ the cabin boy wondered if he had only survived, to follow." marry in a very nice way, so I kind of wish you had the other follow suit. Maybe, even switching it up so this is the beginning, could offer a smoother transition of thought and word.

Lines 8 and 9 use the word "sea" too much.

The last four lines, however are beautiful and moving. I do think your focus is more on point with this half, but the first half flowed better overall.

  • #2247 Posted 5 years ago
  • 0
  • 4 out of 5


I like that all we knew here was that the cabin boy lived only to die atop the ship. I think if you narrowed the first poem down to only that moment of the crew fighting back against the captain, and not mention them already being fiends, then the focus won't waver there. And for this poem, if you work on the layout and flow a little bit more, it can match the intensity and do even more justice to the last four lines.

I do really like the story you've told here; and the soft voice in which you began telling it, erupted into thunder at just the right times. It is very very good, and I would not mind seeing more works like this from you. Great job!

  • #2248 Posted 5 years ago
  • 0
  • 4 out of 5

Inspired by (sequel to):

The ship heaved high, breaking through the waves,

the dark hell of night's clouds and the sea's spra…

The Cabin Boy and the Sea (Poetry)

  • Published 5 years ago.
  • Story viewed 17 times and rated 2 times.

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