[from the stabenow.com vaults, first posted February 14, 2004]
Two poems I found posted by the mid-watch on yellow sticky notes on a bridge window. I added the titles.
Cold wind blowin’
On the sea tonight
One screw turning’
One screw tight
In the lee tonight
Cold wind blowin’
On the sea
Davy Jones’ Plea
Please be careful overhead
When your leadsman casts the lead
My bedroom is the bottom of the sea
I used to walk the pitching decks
But now I haunt the deepest wrecks
So cast your lead with care and leave me be.
Both are signed BMC M. I believe that would be CPO Merrifield, who is an interesting guy. When he isn’t standing watch or training conn officers or running the deck crew during a docking or writing poetry, he hops in our helo to go check out a malfunctioning navigation light on the Alaska Peninsula. When they get there, they discover the light is a hundred feet in the air with no landing site next to it. The helo hovers next to the light and Chief Merrifield steps from the helo to the ground, unhitches his safety line from the helo and hitches it to the light and unpacks his tools. “How did you get back on the helo?” the captain asks. “I dove,” says Chief Merrifield.
The aviators took pictures. When I saw them I said, “No wonder some of you are buried out here.”
Tonight I was drafted into working pizza night with the Chiefs (there is a price to be paid for bunking with Chief Jamison). This has been much discussed in the Chiefs’ mess, and my bet is on Chief Affinito for best pizza, because he speaks without fear of ingredients like artichoke hearts and basil and provolone, and all anybody else is talking about is pepperoni. My judgement is entirely justified and in spite of all the whining on the serving line I notice that all four of our pizzas are gone by the end of chow, so there.
Click here to order a copy.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.