how pirates really look

she pulls heavy wooden oars
through sky high waves, muscles ache,
red-blond hair a tangled mess,
a ragged canvas sail hangs
limp from splintered masts,
she checks the wind– “north” she says,
“north east, portside has a little leak”,
& stinking pirate spit
still clings to the boat deck

yet she made it

neptune smiles
from emerald depths with charcoal velvet eyes
and yellow teeth as she leans wide
over the railing, cool spume
on her burning face,

“day 11” she writes in her logbook,
“i can make it before daybreak–” &

“mommy, please”, she says
(chestnut speckles in her eyes)
“can i get a bit more foam?
also the water seems/a little cool now”

.

smiles..a little fun for poetics… we’re writing anecdotes with kelvin today…see you at 3pm EST in the pub

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58 responses to “how pirates really look

  1. This was a little bit wierd. I just started reading this, and Night Boat to Cairo started playing on my digital jukebox.

    This piece starts off and reminded me of the story of Grace Darling, a local heroine who saved many men’s lives during a terrible storm.

    But I also guessed from the title where this was going. Priceless when they are that age, full of imagination and bath time can turn into just about anything. Our little ones favourite toy for the bath? Stacking cups that belonged to our son which puts them at about 33 yrs old. She invented all kinds of games with those things.

  2. There is nothing like the imagination of a child. You had me going for a while though, as we saw a Real Pirates exhibit at our museum recently, and there definitely were some female pirates. It was quite a dangerous life.

  3. Hello! Claudia…
    “how pirates really look…”
    [postscript: I hope that you and your readers have a nice-week end…}]

    • “day 11″ she writes in her logbook,
      “i can make it before daybreak–” &

      “mommy, please”, she says
      (chestnut speckles in her eyes)
      “can i get a bit more foam?
      also the water seems/a little cool now”

      …Thanks, for sharing this anecdote [in your poem] Of a coming back to reality moment for a [small] child?, a young girl? that dared to dream…an adventuress day-dream before…
      argh!

  4. Good morning,
    Getting your tongue around ‘cool spume’ before breakfast
    is a little daunting 🙂
    But then: there’s menthol in it, so it can’t be bad .
    Loved the story and the perspective.

  5. ha. loving the imagination in this…there is a certain romanticism around pirates as well…nice reveal…when my boys used to take baths we would come up with stories like these as they were playing in them…how refreshing as well the spray on the hot face…smiles.

  6. it is so easy to get list in your tale; the description so vivid. I wasn’t quite ready to wake from the tale, but I understand the importance of lots of foam and warm water.

  7. …excellent diction Claudia… you have some purely inviting memories here… you missed her a lot… bath time is indeed one of the magical moments i had with mum when i was li’l… the foam & cold water drama is very relatable… i enjoyed it.. thank you… and have a great remainder of the week… smiles…

  8. If she is anything like her mother, then her imagination should take her far in life with amazing creative energy…another wonderful poem my friend.

  9. Holy cats. I love the second half:

    yet she made it

    neptune smiles
    from emerald depths with charcoal velvet eyes
    and yellow teeth as she leans wide
    over the railing, cool spume
    on her burning face,

    “day 11″ she writes in her logbook,
    “i can make it before daybreak–” &

    “mommy, please”, she says
    (chestnut speckles in her eyes)
    “can i get a bit more foam?
    also the water seems/a little cool now”

    It gets better with each subsequent line, but I just adore what you did with the part about her daughter at the end, the way their imaginations are playing together. This makes me so happy. 🙂

  10. Oh my, wonderful; what an adventure you shared with her..and quite the teaching moments, too, when she learns of sails, mast, and port side ..super anecdote 😉

  11. This made me smile and smile… Imagination all so real in the eyes of a child, and all the moments we miss after they grow up and float away from us… This is the best way to revisit those moments.

  12. This was sweet. Riley learned how to play Pirates in the Bathtub from me. Plenty of little boats, including the putt-putt ones that run on baking soda. Eventually, she’d yell for more hot water.

    This started off gnarly and ended up, like so many good stories, as a fun adventure of a kid. Great take, Claudia! Amy

  13. Yo, ho, ho! Loved it. Pirates don’t like their water to cool down too much…they may seem tough but deep down they’re just like a little kid…wink..

  14. Nicely done, Claudia, nicely done.

    I have been reading about pirates, in a wonderful history book which brings evidence to argue that they, along with escaped slaves and indentured servants, dispossessed poor and landless, and other disregarded folk were the true revolutionaries of the 17c and 18c.

    Quite different from my pair of Sapphic buccaneers…

    .

    It’s fifteen years since Captain Jane and I
    On Bonaventure’s deck first made our stand.
    Our flag, a skull and two spare ribs, did fly
    Upon our jack-staff; we sailed hand-in-hand.

    I mind when she o’erhauled the barque I rode,
    A naval surgeon’s daughter blue with fright.
    About our captured poop with glee she strode,
    Then held me tenderly throughout the night.

    But freedom’s short – at last bold Captain Duff
    Commanded that the frigate Greyhound rape
    The Bonaventure. Though we cried “Enough!”
    We all succumbed to canister and grape.

    Now Captain Jane and I, two piles of bones,
    Embrace upon the couch of Davy Jones!

    (c) 2006 Marie Marshall

  15. lol! I adored this, Claudia. I remember high sea adventures just like these when my sister and I were little! Thanks for making me laugh out loud before I’ve even finished my first coffee of the morning! 🙂

  16. Oh, I really enjoyed this one..the imagination is a wonderful place and I adore this line.

    from emerald depths with charcoal velvet eyes

  17. I love this poem!! Pirates, especially women are particularly fascinating to me and your ending gave me such a huge smile, my eyes are still twinkling 🙂