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  #1  
Old 11-02-2009, 19:15
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Default Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Greetings shipmates,
I thought I would start a thread on Poems and Words by the Naval Man. Hopefully everyone who visits and knows of a poem or words will contribute to this thread. Just to get things started here is my contribution for starters.
This should go nicely with Chalky Whites great effort and his colleagues on The National Malta Siege Memorial in London.

The Malta Run
The turret was still and silent
The crew were at their dials
The air inside was stale and dead
As their thoughts travelled over the miles

It has been many a month since leaving our shore
Months that was etched on each face
A subtle smile would sometimes break through
A memory of that last embrace

Was it a mother, father or new wife
A sweetheart, a daughter or son
Or just a memory of that last night out
Before joining "The Malta Run"

Africa lay well off to the south
Italy was well out of sight
And not far off in the morning mist
Pantellaria, would soon be in sight

A fortress of axis bombers
ready to fly into the sun
Had heard from their spy's in Gibralta
That a convoy was "Making the Run".

You could almost hear the engines roar
as they taxied, and took to the sky
Flight after flight of enemy planes
Determined that Malta should die.

The fleet had ringed the tankers
The orders had passed to the guns
To throw up an umbrella of shells
But nothing could put off the Huns

They came from every direction
The best that Goering could send
The tankers had no chance at all
In the main they followed the trend.

One after one they floundered on fire
Palls of smoke spiralled into the sky
The dead and the dying were floating in oil
For the most it was better to die.

But as always the agony had to end
We were approaching our Eastern Fleet
The Carriers there sent up their planes
The attackers were now in retreat.

The survivers limped into Malta
Their "Red Dusters" torn but unfurled
They had paid the price for delivering the goods
But the cost was out of this world

So let us hope as the years pass by
And the war either lost or won
That we remember with pride, the men who had died
Whilst "Making the Malta Run".

Unknown Poet.

Baz.
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2009, 10:06
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Here's another one.

[b]As Spokeshave Said.

When nature is calling and plain speaking is out
When the ladies, Gawd bless 'em, are milling about
You may "Wee wee", make water or empty the glass
You may powder your nose, even let Nelson pass.
Shake the dew off the lily, see a man about a dog
When everyones drunk, its condensing the fog.
But please to remember if you would know bliss,
That only in Shakespeare do the characters P---.

Shipmate Steve Powers BEM. Rushden Branch RNA.

Baz.
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2009, 11:52
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

I must go down to the sea again,
To the lonley sea and sky,
I left my nicks and socks there,
I wonder if they're dry.
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  #4  
Old 12-02-2009, 16:30
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Nice one Francis. Any more please?

Baz.
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  #5  
Old 12-02-2009, 21:22
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Greeting Shipmates,
One more for the thread.

Confucious and the Buffer say's

If you drop it, pick it up.
If you sleep in it, make it.
If you open it, close it.
If you empty it, fill it up.
If it rings, answer it.
If it cries, love it.

Shipmate Steve Powers BEM.
Published in the Bosun Call, May 1997.

Baz.
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  #6  
Old 13-02-2009, 14:47
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Greetings Shipmates,
Here's another one for the thread.

In the heyday of sailing ships, all warships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem-how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a "monkey" with sixteen round indentations. However, if this plate was made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make "Brass Monkeys". Few landlubbers realise that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey". (All this time you thought that was an improper suggestion).
Baz.
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  #7  
Old 13-02-2009, 17:03
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Here's another one.

At local taverns, and bars, people drank from pint and quart sized containers, A barmaids job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in "pints" and who was drinking in quarts, hence the term "minding your P's and Q's.

Baz.
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  #8  
Old 13-02-2009, 20:48
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Excellent ...keep them coming ...I am enjoying this thread


Is there any truth in the claimed tale about the "Golden Rivit" in the ships Keel of every boat ......?
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  #9  
Old 13-02-2009, 21:43
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Greetings Ivor,
Thank you for your comment on this thread, makes it all worth while.

As for the "Golden Rivet" I know something about that, but unfortunately not printable here.

Baz.
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  #10  
Old 13-02-2009, 21:51
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Greetings Shipmates,
Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the "Ace of Spades". To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 playing cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't "playing with a full deck".

Baz.
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  #11  
Old 13-02-2009, 22:11
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Yes Baz I thought so ...but I thought I may have just been mixing with bad company and there was such a tale to tell

I won't persue it here.


Regards Ivor
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  #12  
Old 13-02-2009, 22:16
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Hello Shipmates,
Another one for you to peruse.

A Golden Prayer.

Blessed are they who bring back memories of yesterday.
Blessed are they who understand my faltering steps and shaky hand.
Blessed are they who know that my ears today must strain to catch the things they say.
Blessed are they who seem to know that my eyes are dim and wits are slow.
Blessed are they who look away when the cup spilled at my table today.
Blessed are they with a cheery smile who stop to chat for a little while.
Blessed are they who never say "you've told that story twice today".
Blessed are they who make it known that I am loved, respected and not alone.
Blessed are they who know that I am at a loss to find the strength to carry my cross.
Blessed are they who in loving ways ease the days on my journey home.

Poet unknown.

Baz.
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  #13  
Old 14-02-2009, 04:46
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

I like "The Golden Prayer" very much. It's a good one to keep. Thanks Baz,

regards
Vivian
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  #14  
Old 14-02-2009, 05:01
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Quote:
Originally Posted by ivorthediver View Post
Excellent ...keep them coming ...I am enjoying this thread


Is there any truth in the claimed tale about the "Golden Rivit" in the ships Keel of every boat ......?
Ref Golden Rivet

If I did see it (which I didn't) I certainly wouldn't admit to it on this forum
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  #15  
Old 14-02-2009, 06:50
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Yes I thought the stories I had heard were right ...but as I said before it may have been just bad company I mixed in

Keep them coming Baz.............

Regards Ivor
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  #16  
Old 14-02-2009, 14:12
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Hello Shipmates,
Glad you like what you read so far, so here's another one.

Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV or Radio's, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs and bars. They were told to "go sip" some ale here and listen to peoples conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. "You go sip here" and you go sip there". The two words "go sip" were eventually combined when referring to local opinion and, thus, we have the term "gossip".
Baz.
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  #17  
Old 14-02-2009, 14:17
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

I wondered if you might enjoy my sonnet.

"GUNNERS IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC"

In pools of salty water iced they stand
Tossed on steel plates of painted greys and black
Against the storm sky's evening blush of sand
With eyes held narrow against the wind's cold track
The gunners tightly gripping hands surround
Their mugs of slowly moving heavy kye
And shift oft frozen toes, in boots, around
Their salt-rimmed faces search the levelling sky
And watch the frenzied water's welcomed dance
Long to hold those dark machines deep down below
Until black nightfall leaves attack no chance
And bids them, "Come dream," in slumber shallow
Thus they watch, out and back, across the sea
Protecting our good land and her sweet liberty

Regards Jan
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  #18  
Old 14-02-2009, 14:44
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Greetings Jan,

Brilliant, anymore like it? Would be pleased to read them. Thank you.

Baz.
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  #19  
Old 14-02-2009, 14:54
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

You're very kind Baz. I'll see what I can find
Best
Jan
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  #20  
Old 14-02-2009, 14:59
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Another one Shipmates,

Crossing The Bar.

Darkness and the midnight bell
As silently we slip
No tears, no sadness, nor farewell
Aboard this ghostly ship

Cable stowed shipshape and neat
Both engines throbbing beneath my feet
A shrouded figure "has the ship"
I must go it alone this one last trip

Perhaps they will miss me
My girl and my mates
As I point her nose to the harbour gates

To Starb'd Fort Blockhouse, To Port Still and West
No more will I drink a pint of their best
Nor will I ask the landlord for more
This sailor has had his last run ashore

I've crossed the bar
The great jaunty is near
I hope I shall meet him
In spite of my fear.

Shipmate Frank Day.
Rushden RNA.
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  #21  
Old 14-02-2009, 19:11
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Hello Shipmates,

Some of you Oldsalts out there must know a few words or poems to add to this thread, so dig a bit deeper in your ditty box's and see what you can turn up. In the meantime here's another one.

The Stokers Creed.
Keep the sprayers open wide,
DO NOT touch the valves at the side.
Keep a pressure on the pump
and up your bally steam will jump.
If the smoke is black and thick
open up your fans a bit.
If the smoke is thin and white,
check the temperature is right.
If these instructions you will follow,
you'll make a balls up, I bet a dollar.

Baz. Poet unknown.
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  #22  
Old 14-02-2009, 19:46
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Evening Shipmates,
Here's another one.

The Empty Chair.

Mark me absent captain,
I'm afraid I can't be there.
Explain to all new shipmates
about the empty chair.

Talk to them of Dunkirk
D'Day and victory on the beach.
Tell them too of Arnhem
and the cost of that defeat.

Look to the men of the jungles
and the hell of the Far East War.
Know well the meaning of Friendship
and the value of Esprit De Corps.

Mark me absent Captain
I just can't make it tonight.
But drink to me in the mess lads
and to the days of our gallant fight.

Hold your pen there Captain,
lets get the minutes straight.
Mark that shipmate "Present"
though delayed, maybe late.

Look to the empty chair lads,
and know the reason why, we
formed this association that
these deeds should never die.

Yes drink in the mess tonight lads,
but let this be your toast.
That often the saddest memories
are the ones we treasure most.

Though wars in other countries,
still rage and never cease.
These shipmates we now honour
gave us sixty years of peace.

Their names are carved on many
stones in distant War Grave Fields.
They stand to show a spirit that
though broken did not yield.

Should we mark him absent
Do so if you dare. But before you
pen that entry, Look well
to the empty chair.

Published in the Bosuns Call 1989.
John Stephens. Skegness Branch RNA.
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  #23  
Old 15-02-2009, 07:04
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

What a moving and sombre script

Very touching .....evocative and calming......................
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  #24  
Old 15-02-2009, 14:56
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Hello Ivor,
It certainly brings things home.
Baz.
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  #25  
Old 15-02-2009, 17:07
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Default Re: Poems and Words from the Naval Man

Hello Shipmates,
Here's the first one for today.

The Convoy.

Last night when seas were mountain high,
I saw a ship go down.
Last I asked "Dear God
why oh why must the sailors drown".
Last night I saw the torpedoes flash,
and heard it's angry roar.
Last night I cried to heaven above
"Dear God, what for, what for".
Last night no answer came to me
as we our vigil kept.
But was the rain upon my face a sign that Angels wept.

From the Albatross Run. by D. Scott.
I'm afraid I'm a little ignorant as to what the Albatross Run was.
Can anyone help me please??
Baz,
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