Categories
Pirate Poems

Pirate Blacktarn is Nearly Blown Away

By Jay Nicholls

Pirate Blacktarn is Nearly Blown Away


Pirate Blacktarn was feeling dizzy,
The winds above his head were being very busy.
They were roaring altogether in a contest of blowing,
Till the pirates didn’t know if they were coming or going.
Whooosh! went the West Wind, warm and wet.
EEEssh! hissed the East Wind in a fuss and a fret.
Rruusssh! went the North Wind, cruel and cold,
Swisssh! blustered the South Wind, burning and bold.

The pirate’s poor ship was spinning round and round
And the crews’ ears buzzed with the rush of sound.
“I’m going to be sick,” moaned Blacktarn yuckily.
“I’ll look after you,” said Big Bob pluckily.
“Eeeehow!’” blew the East Wind, “these Lemon Seas are mine,
I’m the wind to rule over this lemony brine.”
“Rubbish,” whooshed the West wind, “it’s me they need,
To bring them the rain, it’s obvious indeed.”
“Oh no,” niggled the North Wind, “oh no, no, no,
The Lemon Seas need me to bring them ice and snow.”
“Shusssh,” blew the South, “what’s needed is my breeze,
To bring the breath of warmth to the lovely Lemon Seas.”

The pirate’s ship tilted from side to side,
The crew fell on the deck and began to slide.
They clutched at the ropes and the yardarm and the sails,
Rakesh the mate grabbed at the rails,
Stowaway Fay tied herself to the mast,
Tim Parrot perched on her shoulder and held on fast.
It was the worst of storms the Lemon Seas had ever known.
“We’ll be blown to bits and pieces,” cried Blacktarn with a groan.
The ship tilted one way and the mast almost snapped
And then tipped the other as the great sails flapped.

The North Wind blew hailstones that clattered on the deck
And the West Wind whirled rain that poured down Blacktarn’s neck.
The East Wind blew a fog that hid them all from view
Till the South scorched it away, “Phew, phew, phew.”
“We’ll drown, we’ll drown,” moaned the terrified crew.
But all of a sudden the sea began to glow,
And a magical figure surged up from below.
Sea horses danced and sea nymphs sang
And all on its own, the ship’s bell rang.
For Neptune himself appeared on the scene.
He shook his trident which glittered gold and green.
For he was very angry and his face was very stern.
The Winds went silent and looked down in concern.
“What do you think you’re doing, blowing like fools
Over some stupid argument about which wind rules?”
“Puff,” muttered the West wind in great alarm,
“We didn’t really mean to do any harm.”
“I didn’t start it,” stuttered the East wind in a hurry.
“Nor me,” whinged the South, “I just blew a little flurry.”
“No, no,” fluttered the North, “it was only just in fun,
We didn’t really mean any harm to be done.”

“It’s just not good enough,” Neptune told them in a rage,
“You’re causing problems for sailors at every stage.
Ships are lying stranded in oceans far and near
Because you rowdy lot are all quarrelling here.
There’s no wind for any ship to sail, not even the smallest,
Everyone is stuck from the littlest to the tallest.
Now you just stop huffing and listen to me,
I’ll have no more rows over who blows on the Lemon Sea.
For a quarter of the year, the West Wind will bring rain,
To make sure the Lemon Seas are full of water again.
Then the next quarter the North Wind shall blow
And sometimes, not too often, bring the sleet and the snow.
The quarter after that shall blow the breeze of the East
And in the final quarter, last but not least,
Shall come the South Wind with the heat of the sun,
So all winds shall have their turn when my will is done.”

“What a good idea,” cried Blacktarn and his crew,
While the Winds huffed and puffed and wondered what to do.
But they daren’t defy Neptune, the Emperor of the Sea,
So grumbling and rumbling, they had to agree.
“Good,” said Neptune, “I’m glad we’ve settled that,
Now I’ll board ship and see Blacktarn for a chat.
Let the South Wind stay now and the rest of you go.”

So the West and East and North roared away in a tornado
And set the ship reeling in the last awful storm.
But Neptune raised his trident and the South Wind blew warm
And calmed the angry seas till all was at peace
And the waves whispered with relief that the storm would cease.
“Now let’s have a party,” cried Neptune once aboard.
“How useful,” said Blacktarn, “to be friends with the Sea Lord.”
So they danced and sang all day and all night.
But when they awoke at the sun’s first light,
Neptune and his sea nymphs were nowhere to be seen.
“Was it a dream?” wondered Mick, “what did it all mean?”
“Never mind,” called Blacktarn, “I stopped those winds all blowing,
Now set sail crew, it’s time we were going.”

Note: The ‘Pirate Blacktarn’ poems were written in the early 1990s but were never submitted anywhere or shown to anyone. By lucky chance they were recently rescued from a floppy disc that had lain in the bottom of a box for almost thirty years. There are twelve poems in the series but no indication as to what order they were written in and the author no longer remembers. However, they seem to work well when read in any order. They all feature the same cast of characters, the eponymous pirate and his crew, including a stowaway and an intelligent parrot. The stories told by the poems are set on a fictional body of water named the Lemon Sea. (Dug up by Rhys Hughes from the bottom of an abandoned treasure chest).

Jay Nicholls was born in England and graduated with a degree in English Literature. She has worked in academia for many years in various student support roles, including counselling and careers. She has written poetry most of her life but has rarely submitted it for publication.

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL

Categories
Pirate Poems

Pirate Blacktarn Finds Treasure Island

By Jay Nicholls

PIRATE BLACKTARN FINDS TREASURE ISLAND


Pirate Blacktarn was searching for treasure,
The thought of gold filled him with pleasure. 
An old grey pirate had given him a map
Of a route to follow without a mishap,
To a secret island with a secret cove 
Where buried deep was a huge treasure trove. 

After a long, long sail, land came into view.  
“That’s it! Treasure Island! Come on you crew,”
Blacktarn called in excitement as they rowed ashore, 
Right, let’s get digging and soon we won’t be poor.”

The crew began to dig and dig and dig
Till the hole they made was very, very big. 
They dug all day in the fierce hot sun, 
“Phew,” grumbled Mick, “this is no fun.”

Blacktarn watched from the shade of a tree. 
“Think of all those riches, all that gold for me.”
The crew were exhausted and wanted a rest. 
“A rest,” cried Blacktarn, “Good heavens, you jest!
“You keep digging, there’s something I’ve seen. 
Look over there, something shiny and green.” 
It’s emeralds I know and maybe rubies too. 
Quick, dig faster, hurry up you crew.”

But they only found a bottle of old, green glass. 
“Huh,” said the crew, “this is just a farce.”  
 “Well keep on digging, this treasure’s buried deep,”
Blacktarn said sternly. “You haven’t time to sleep.”

Then Fay saw a glint, just a hint of gold. 
“This is it,” cried Blacktarn, “here’s wealth untold.” 
But when they dug deeper, all that they found 
Was a bright brass button but nothing else around. 

Blacktarn stamped and stomped with rage,
“Dig deeper still, treasure’s the next stage.”
They dug and dug till they were aching and tired 
And even the tips of their noses perspired.

“Keep thinking of treasure,” said Blacktarn happily. 
“Are you sure it exists?” asked Bosun Mick snappily.

Still they dug and they saw something white 
So they dug even deeper and had a big fright. 
There lay a skull, sunk in the sand
And lying close by, a skeletal hand. 

“That’s it,” said the crew, “we’re not digging any more,
The treasure map’s no good, that’s for sure.”
“Nonsense,” said Blacktarn, “it’s from a very nice chap.
“Exactly a year ago, he gave me this map.”

“Wait a minute.” said Mick, “What’s the date today?”
“It’s April the first,” said Stowaway Fay. 
The crew all groaned, then started to laugh, 
“April Fool, Captain, you’re a dunce and a half.
There never was any treasure at all.” 
But poor, sad Blacktarn started to bawl. 

“Never mind Captain, it’s no use crying,
Let’s have a feast, with some fish we’ve caught for frying,” 
Said Bosun Mick and Rakesh the Mate. 
“Then we’ll start dancing, so make sure you’re not late.”
So deep into the night they danced under the moon
And ate and drank and sang, till the following noon. 

“I’ve never really cared much about treasure,” 
Said Blacktarn merrily, lazing at leisure. 
“Tomorrow we’ll leave, for we’ve the Lemon Seas to travel
And lots of strange adventures still to unravel.” 

Note: The ‘Pirate Blacktarn’ poems were written in the early 1990s but were never submitted anywhere or shown to anyone. By lucky chance they were recently rescued from a floppy disc that had lain in the bottom of a box for almost thirty years. There are twelve poems in the series but no indication as to what order they were written in and the author no longer remembers. However, they seem to work well when read in any order. They all feature the same cast of characters, the eponymous pirate and his crew, including a stowaway and an intelligent parrot. The stories told by the poems are set on a fictional body of water named the Lemon Sea. (Dug up by Rhys Hughes from the bottom of an abandoned treasure chest).

Jay Nicholls was born in England and graduated with a degree in English Literature. She has worked in academia for many years in various student support roles, including counselling and careers. She has written poetry most of her life but has rarely submitted it for publication.

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL

Categories
Pirate Poems

Pirate Blacktarn Cleans the Ship

PIRATE BLACKTARN CLEANS THE SHIP


Pirate Blacktarn, Terror of the Lemon Seas 
Was feeling cross because he’d lost his keys. 
“This is a most untidy ship,” he grumbled,
As he tripped on a rope and staggered and stumbled. 
“This ship must be tidied,” he shouted aloud,
“I want a smart, clean ship, so I can feel proud.
I want lots of space where I can put my feet. 
The deck should be spotless and shiny and neat.” 

Bosun Mick was sleeping soundly in his hammock
But when Blacktarn said “Clean,” he fell out in shock.
Rakesh the mate was strumming his guitar
And singing a song about lands from afar.
“Cleaning,” he hummed, “No, I don’t think so.
Cleaning? I don’t like that idea, no.”

“But Captain,” said Fay, “your cabin below,
Is the untidiest place on the ship, I know.” 
Big Bob the Cook was feeding the mouse
On sea snails and eel’s cheese, to eat in her house. 
“You’re making crumbs,” said Blacktarn, annoyed. 
“Crumbs,” said Bob, “are things you can’t avoid.” 

“That’s not the point,” said Blacktarn in a huff. 
“I want this ship to be clean enough
For Neptune himself to eat off the deck,
I want no more dirt, not a single speck.”

The crew all sighed, feeling very sad, 
“Our poor Captain’s gone completely mad.
You don’t clean pirate ships, they’re meant to be grimy,
A little bit grubby and a little bit slimy.”

But fearsome Blacktarn wouldn’t let them rest,
He was determined Neptune must be impressed. 
So Rakesh the mate began a cleaning song, 
And they sang as they swept all the dirt along.
“YO HO HO! This is a sad, sad, day,
WOE WOE WOE! We must clean the dirt away. 
YO HO HO! This is hard, hard work,
WOE WOE WOE! Our Captain’s gone berserk.”
Parrot Tim lurked on top of the mast
Till Blacktarn noticed and he flew away fast. 

Then Pirate Blacktarn began to tidy his cabin
But all he really did was dump things in the bin.
So Big Bob the Cook came to sort it all out 
And worked and worked till it was clean beyond doubt.
Everyone swept and dusted and polished
While the seagulls watched, utterly astonished. 

Then in the evening, when they could clean no more,
A huge wave came with a great wild roar
And swished and swashed all over the deck 
And rinsed off the dirt, to the very last speck.
And then the sea turned red and then it turned gold
And they saw all the sea nymphs, lovely to behold. 
And Neptune appeared, surrounded by light. 
“What a fine, tidy vessel,” he said, very polite. 
“Now we must celebrate this cleanest of ships,
How about some crab cake and seaweed chips?”

“Good idea, we’ll start cooking,” agreed all the crew.
“Include us,” called the sea nymphs,” we’re joining you.”

So they ate and danced and sang and had a lot of fun
And forgot about the cleaning they’d all just done. 
It wasn’t till the moon left the early morning sky
That Neptune and the sea nymphs waved them goodbye. 
And then the sun rose and gleamed very bright
And shone on the shambles they’d made in the night. 

“What a disaster! Look at all the mess and murk!
We’ve ruined all yesterday’s hard, hard work,
Now we’ll have to clean all over again.”
The sorry crew groaned at the thought of such a strain. 
“Nonsense,” said Blacktarn, “that would be a pain.
Pirate ships are meant to be a little bit grimy,
A little bit grubby and a little bit slimy. 

Now come on crew, don’t start dawdling and dusting.
Let’s set sail before this ship starts rusting.”

Note: The ‘Pirate Blacktarn’ poems were written in the early 1990s but were never submitted anywhere or shown to anyone. By lucky chance they were recently rescued from a floppy disc that had lain in the bottom of a box for almost thirty years. There are twelve poems in the series but no indication as to what order they were written in and the author no longer remembers. However, they seem to work well when read in any order. They all feature the same cast of characters, the eponymous pirate and his crew, including a stowaway and an intelligent parrot. The stories told by the poems are set on a fictional body of water named the Lemon Sea. (Dug up by Rhys Hughes from the bottom of an abandoned treasure chest).

Jay Nicholls was born in England and graduated with a degree in English Literature. She has worked in academia for many years in various student support roles, including counselling and careers. She has written poetry most of her life but has rarely submitted it for publication.

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL

Categories
Pirate Poems

The Pirate & the Pirate Queen

By Jay Nicholls

The Pirate and the Pirate Queen

Pirate Blacktarn quaked with fear
For his deadly enemy was near.
Tim Parrot saw her, out on the waves,
With her dreadful ship and her crew of slaves.
“Oh help, oh fear, what shall we do?”
Blacktarn muttered to his anxious crew.
“The Pirate Queen is on her way,
This is a woeful, miserable day.”

“Our Captain is such a terrible wimp.
Even his whiskers have gone all limp,”
Thought Stowaway Fay, who cared not a bean,
“Who is this fearsome Pirate Queen?” 

The Pirate Queen’s hair was fiery red,
She waved a cutlass around her head. 
She was tall and strong and brave and bold
And her crew all did as they were told. 
The sails of her ship were the colour of blood. 
Across the sea they watched her scud. 

“She’s coming, she’s coming,” the crew all cried. 
Pirate Blacktarn went off to hide. 
Tim Parrot flew to the top of the mast. 
“Quick,” said Mick, “we must get away fast.” 

But the Pirate Queen’s ship was faster by far.
They heard her crew laugh, “Harr harr! Harr harr!”
Soon, very soon, she drew alongside.
Across ships jumped the Queen in one great stride.
“All aboard! All aboard!” her fierce crew roared.
And onto Blacktarn’s ship they stormed,
Over the decks the ruffians swarmed.
Till even brave Fay felt fear and panic
And into a tar barrel she jumped dead quick. 
The tar glooped around her, all sticky and thick.
But there she lay hiding, watching the mayhem
And everyone wondered what would become of them. 

The baddies tied up the crew and swilled all the grog 
And went looking for Blacktarn, who lay like a log
Under the table, flat on his belly
His eyes tight shut, quivering like jelly.
“Yo ho ho,” said the baddies, to the Captain’s alarm,
“Don’t worry Blacktarn, we don’t mean you no harm,
We just plan to hang you up from the yardarm.”

They dragged him on deck, all of a swagger 
But one by one, they started to stagger.
They’d drunk far too much grog
And their brains were in a fog
But they held on to Blacktarn as they tottered around
“Here he is,” they shouted with a fierce sound. 
The Pirate Queen swished her cutlass about
Then raised it high to give Blacktarn a clout.
“No, no!” cried Fay, with a wild shout 
And from her barrel she leapt right out.

She was covered in tar, from head to toe 
As she stood repeating, “No, no, no, no!”
She looked so sticky and strange and weird
That the enemy crew were all afeared. 
“A demon, a monster, a sea devil’s here!
Get away quick, before it comes near!”
Their fuddled brains were dreadfully scared 
And they raced to their ship as fast as they dared.

“Come back you cowards,” the Pirate Queen roared.
But at that very second, Tim Parrot soared
Down from the mast and pecked at her head
And even the Queen jumped back in dread.
“Come away Queen, from that terrible ship,”
Called the enemy crew, “quick, give them the slip.”
The Pirate Queen turned and reluctantly ran.
“Come on,” yelled her crew, “fast as you can!” 
So back she turned and set sail at once.
“She’s gone, she’s gone,” cheered Fay in response. 
“We’re free again now, the Pirate Queen’s beat.
Quick, let’s get our crew back on their feet.” 

Tim flew to the crew and pecked at their knots 
Till all were untied and rubbing at sore spots. 
“Get up Captain,” said Mick, all happy and cheerful. 
Blacktarn stared at Fay, so scared he was tearful. 
For brave Fay was still covered in tar and dirt,
So they turned on the hosepipe and gave her a squirt
And swilled her down till at last she was clean,
Chanting, “We’ve got rid of the Pirate Queen!” 

“That’s better,” said Fay, smiling happily. 
“Oh,” said Blacktarn, “it’s Fay I see. 
It’s Fay! It’s Fay!” and he jumped up at last, 
While the enemy Queen sailed away fast
And only a glimpse of a blood red sail 
Told of an adventure to make a sailor quail. 

“I handled that well,” said Blacktarn with glee, 
Come on crew, let’s get sailing across the Lemon Sea.”

Note: The ‘Pirate Blacktarn’ poems were written in the early 1990s but were never submitted anywhere or shown to anyone. By lucky chance they were recently rescued from a floppy disc that had lain in the bottom of a box for almost thirty years. There are twelve poems in the series but no indication as to what order they were written in and the author no longer remembers. However, they seem to work well when read in any order. They all feature the same cast of characters, the eponymous pirate and his crew, including a stowaway and an intelligent parrot. The stories told by the poems are set on a fictional body of water named the Lemon Sea. (Dug up by Rhys Hughes from the bottom of an abandoned treasure chest).

Jay Nicholls was born in England and graduated with a degree in English Literature. She has worked in academia for many years in various student support roles, including counselling and careers. She has written poetry most of her life but has rarely submitted it for publication.

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL

Categories
Pirate Poems

Pirate Blacktarn gets Lost

A strange tale in verse by Jay Nicholls

Pirate Blacktarn, terror of the Lemon Seas 
Shivered in an icy breeze. 
“This is odd,” he muttered crossly,
“Suddenly I’m feeling chilly.”

“This is weird,” the crew agreed.
Big Bob grumbled, “it’s cold indeed.”
Colder it grew as the days went past.
The North Wind blew with an icy blast.
Blacktarn stayed in his cabin by the fire,
Piling the coals up higher and higher.
Poor Tim Parrot could hardly speak,
For a giant icicle hung from his beak. 

“This is dreadful,” groaned all the crew. 
The tips of their noses had turned pale blue. 
Then a monstrous iceberg passed them by
With a jagged tip nearly scraping the sky.
Blacktarn stayed in his cabin, very snug 
Where the roaring fire made a cosy fug.

“What’s happened” wondered the frozen crew,
The Lemon Sea’s turned an icy hue.”

Then Stowaway Fay jumped up suddenly
And emptied out her mug of tea.
She tied it fast to the end of a rope
And dropped it into the sea, in hope.
Back she hauled it and started to drink.
But the taste of the water made her think.
It was chilly and strange and salty to savour,
Not a hint of lemon was in its flavour.

“I knew it,” she cried, though her voice was hoarse
“Our daft Captain’s set the wrong course!
Of navigation he hasn’t a notion,
We’re adrift in the Arctic Ocean!”

At this the crew grew very mad.
“Our daft Captain is really bad.”
Below decks they charged with an angry roar 
And banged on Blacktarn’s cabin door. 
Blacktarn pretended he didn’t hear,
He hid in the cupboard, quaking with fear.

“Silly Captain, you’ve read the chart wrong,
Now take us back where we belong.”
“It’s not my fault,” he squeaked through the door,
“I’ve never read a sea chart before.”
The crew let out a mighty groan.
“Typical, we might have known.”
“Well,” said Fay, “we’ll read the chart.
Hand it over, let’s make a start.”

Blacktarn pushed it under the door
And the crew spread it out across the floor. 
“We go north, no east, no nor’,nor’ west.”
“No,” said Fay, “south is best.”
But which way was south? No one knew
Until through the door Tim Parrot flew.
The fire began melting his frozen beak
And at last poor Tim was able to speak.
“This way’s south, just follow me,
I can guide you back to safety.”

Just ahead of the ship he flew,
Hoping to find the waters they knew. 
At long, long last, they smelled lemon in the air.
“Hurrah, hurrah, we’re nearly there.”

Then out came Blacktarn, onto the deck,
“Just come to give the sea chart a check,
Now that we’re back in the Lemon Seas at large.
Of course with a captain like me in charge
You know you really can’t fare badly,
Come on crew, keep sailing across the Lemon Sea.”


Note: 
The ‘Pirate Blacktarn’ poems were written in the early 1990s but were never submitted anywhere or shown to anyone. By lucky chance they were recently rescued from a floppy disc that had lain in the bottom of a box for almost thirty years. There are twelve poems in the series but no indication as to what order they were written in and the author no longer remembers. However, they seem to work well when read in any order. They all feature the same cast of characters, the eponymous pirate and his crew, including a stowaway and an intelligent parrot. The stories told by the poems are set on a fictional body of water named the Lemon Sea. (Dug up by Rhys Hughes from the bottom of an abandoned treasure chest).

Jay Nicholls was born in England and graduated with a degree in English Literature. She has worked in academia for many years in various student support roles, including counselling and careers. She has written poetry most of her life but has rarely submitted it for publication.

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL

Categories
Pirate Poems

Pirate Blacktarn meets the Siren

A strange tale in verse by Jay Nicholls

PIRATE BLACKTARN MEETS THE SIREN

Pirate Blacktarn was sailing around
When all of a sudden, he heard a sweet sound,
A marvellous melody, wafting on the sea.
“Let’s go and see what that sound can be.”
“No you can’t,” said Tim Parrot anxiously,
“That’s the Siren’s song, turn back quickly.”

“Nonsense Tim, don’t be such a bore
Full sail ahead, I want to hear more.”

“No, no,” said Tim, “the Siren’s song’s a trap.
She’ll sing and tell tales till you doze and nap.
And at last you’ll fall asleep and never wake again.
Don’t you know the Siren makes statues of men?”

“Rubbish, don’t make a fuss, we’re brave and tough
And we’re not afraid of Sirens,” said Blacktarn in a huff.

So they sailed at speed to the Siren’s shores
Following her enchanted music’s lures.
“Welcome,” called the Siren as they finally came near,
“I have a tale or two, perhaps you’d like to hear?”

Her hair was shining silver and her eyes were glinting green,
The most amazing creature they’d ever seen.
Her lilting, laughing voice was rich and sweet as honey.
Mysterious and serious, fantastical and funny.

“Don’t listen,” cried Tim, flapping his wings with worry.
“Oh be quiet Tim, we’re not in a hurry,
“We can surely stay for just a little while.
Pleased to meet you Siren,” said Blacktarn with a smile.

Then the Siren gave them all a potion to drink
And they drank and drank and forgot to think.

“I see you pirates have come a long, long way,
You must stay here and rest,” they heard the Siren say.
Then she told them tales of the people of Mer
And of sunken ships full of long-lost treasure,
And the terrible battles of the squids and the whales
And the shining sea fire that never ever fails,
And the undersea caves that glitter with diamonds
And the eels that weave through the waving fern fronds,
And the ghosts of dead pirates all shivering and cold
Still seeking their hoards of silver and gold.

Their heads began to nod and their eyes began to close
And one by one they fell into a deep enchanted doze.
They hardly knew if they were waking or dreaming
For all was hazy and magical seeming.
Blacktarn’s mouth opened wider and wider
And he didn’t even notice when in jumped a spider.

“Wake up! Wake up!” cried Tim in agitation,
But the pirates were lost in their imagination.
“Time for drastic action,” thought Tim, very worried,
And away to his friends the seagulls, he hurried.

“Help me, please help me, I don’t know what to do,
The Siren’s enchanted Blacktarn and all his crew.”

Then the Lord of the Seagulls held a meeting of his flock,
They all gathered together on his great grey rock.
They didn’t like the Siren, she turned birds into stone
And wore necklaces and rings made of seagulls’ bones.

“What we’ll do is hold a seagull’s chorus,”
The Great Gull decided, “and we’ll make such a fuss
That the Siren’s voice will be silenced and unheard,
Then the pirates will wake,” announced the Great Bird.
The gulls all agreed this was a very good idea
For a certain sort of seagull screech is hideous to hear.
So away they flew to the Siren’s shores
And saw the pirates and heard their snores.
The Great Gull himself let out a wild cry
Then the seagull chorus screamed through the sky.
The din they made echoed round and round
Till the Siren’s voice was completely drowned.

“Wake up Blacktarn,” called all the birds,
“Wake up, don’t listen to the Siren’s words.
Wake up Mick and Bob, wake Stowaway Fay
Wake, if you want to live another day.”

Tim went round pecking at the dozy crew.
“Wake up Captain and Rakesh and you and you.”
Then the crew stopped hearing the Siren’s voice.
They only heard the gulls, they didn’t have a choice.
“I must have been napping,” said Bob opening his eyes,
“I’ve had some strange dreams,” said Mick in surprise.

Then they stared at the Siren in horror and dismay
She’d turned purple with rage, now she couldn’t get her way.
She frothed at the mouth and her eyes went red
And writhing snakes twisted round her head.

“Run,” yelled Fay and at top speed they fled,
And didn’t dare stop, they were so filled with dread.
At last they reached the ship and sighed with relief.
That was an adventure quite beyond belief!”

“I wish I could remember the stories she told,
 I wanted to hear those magic tales unfold,”
Said Stowaway Fay, with a rather sad sigh.
“Me too,” said Bob. “Yes” said Mick, “so did I.”
“You be grateful you haven’t been turned to stone,”
Said Parrot Tim crossly, “then you’d really moan.
If it wasn’t for the help of the gulls of the air
You’d be trapped forever in the Siren’s snare.”

“Nonsense,” said Blacktarn, “we were dozing a while,
We weren’t caught up in the Siren’s guile.
I told you no Siren would get the better of me,
Now come on crew, get sailing, across the Lemon Sea.”

.

Note: The ‘Pirate Blacktarn’ poems were written in the early 1990s but were never submitted anywhere or shown to anyone. By lucky chance they were recently rescued from a floppy disc that had lain in the bottom of a box for almost thirty years. There are twelve poems in the series but no indication as to what order they were written in and the author no longer remembers. However, they seem to work well when read in any order. They all feature the same cast of characters, the eponymous pirate and his crew, including a stowaway and an intelligent parrot. The stories told by the poems are set on a fictional body of water named the Lemon Sea. (Dug up by Rhys Hughes from the bottom of an abandoned treasure chest).

Jay Nicholls was born in England and graduated with a degree in English Literature. She has worked in academia for many years in various student support roles, including counselling and careers. She has written poetry most of her life but has rarely submitted it for publication.

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL

Categories
Pirate Poems

Pirate Blacktarn and the Rainbow

A strange tale in verse by Jay Nicholls

Pirate Blacktarn was sick of the weather.

His big green hat with its red parrot feather

Was all sodden and wet and soggy and droopy

With the rain that kept falling and driving them loopy.

“I’m tired of this weather,” he grumbled again,

“All it does is rain, rain, rain.”

“Never mind Captain,” called Mick with a shout,

“Look over there, the sun’s coming out.”

“And look beyond,” cried Fay with joy,

“There’s a rainbow shining. Rainbow ahoy.”

The rainbow shone red and orange and gold,

Blue, violet and indigo and green and bold.

“What a wonderful rainbow,” the crew all cried.

“Humph!” said Blacktarn, “I’d rather it dried.

But wait a minute, there’s a tale I know.

Now what is it that lies at the end of a rainbow?

Gold! Yes of course, a crock of fine gold.

Below that rainbow there’s wealth untold.

Well come on crew, turn the ship,

Start to steer for the rainbow’s tip.”

“But Captain,” said Bob, “we can’t reach the end of a rainbow.”

“Of course we can,” said Blacktarn, “come on, let’s go.

I’ll be the richest pirate on all the Lemon Sea,

I’ll eat chocolate for breakfast, dinner and tea,

I’ll wear ten gold rings in each of my ears,

And wear cloth-of-gold trousers for years and years.”

“Well I think we should have some of this gold too,”

Said Bosun Mick to the rest of the crew.

“Well, maybe I’ll let you have a coin or so,”

Said Pirate Blacktarn as he paced to and fro.

But the crew felt annoyed and muttered and mumbled.

“It’s not at all right,” they sulked and grumbled,

“We do the work, why should Blacktarn have it all?

All he ever does is growl and bawl.

But first we must find this mysterious rainbow.

It’s very odd how it seems to come and go.”

All day they searched for the rainbow far and near.

But when they thought they were close, it seemed to disappear.

And when they reached the place where the rainbow should be,

There was nothing to be seen anywhere on the sea.

Everyone thought they knew the best course to take.

And each yelled at the others, “THAT way, for goodness sake!”

“Steer to starboard!” “No, to port!”

“No you fool, it’s the other way I thought.”

So they all grew crosser and crosser and then began to shout.

Until at last a horrible fight broke out.

And everyone joined in, with fierce kicks and punches.

And poor Tim’s feathers were pulled out in bunches.

But at last they grew weary and bruised and battered

And their heads were hurting and their clothes were tattered.

Then they heard a strange sound wafting over the sea.

“What’s that?” they asked, feeling rather panicky.

“It’s the people of Mer,” said Fay feeling sad,

“They’re laughing at us for being so silly and bad.

And do you know what’s happened now?

All the time we’ve been quarrelling and making such a row,

The sun’s gone down and the rainbow’s vanished.”

“Oh no,” cried Blacktarn, “my dreams of wealth are banished.”

“I’m very sorry,” said Big Bob, the cook.

“So am I,” said Rakesh with a shamefaced look.

“I didn’t really mean to pull out your feathers Tim,”

Said Bosun Mick, holding out a hand to him.

“And I wasn’t really trying to peck off your nose,”

Said Tim with a sigh, “or even gnaw your toes.”

Then they cleaned each other’s cuts and rubbed each other’s bruises.

And then they agreed that they’d all been losers.

“But look at our poor Captain,” cried Rakesh, “over there.”

For Blacktarn huddled by the stern, muttering, “It’s not fair.”

And he looked very miserable and gloomy and dejected

For all his hopes of gold hadn’t gone as he’d expected.

“Serves you right,” said a voice, “for being much too greedy.”

And Neptune himself rose from the deeps of the sea.

“We’re feeling very sorry,” said Stowaway Fay.

“So I should think,” said Neptune, “what a way to spend a day!”

But Big Bob the cook baked a great big cake,

The very best that he could possibly make,

And Blacktarn had the biggest piece with a nice cup of tea.

And Rakesh sang a song to try to make him happy,

Until at last he smiled again and seemed to cheer up,

While Neptune reminded him, as he took a cup,

“You can never find the end of a magical rainbow,

As every good sailor on the Lemon Sea should know.”

“Well of course I knew that,” said Blacktarn cheerfully,

“I was just testing the crew here, you see.

But now we’ve steered a long way off course.

It’s time we set sail again, to catch the salt-wind’s force.”

.

Note: The ‘Pirate Blacktarn’ poems were written in the early 1990s but were never submitted anywhere or shown to anyone. By lucky chance they were recently rescued from a floppy disc that had lain in the bottom of a box for almost thirty years. There are twelve poems in the series but no indication as to what order they were written in and the author no longer remembers. However, they seem to work well when read in any order. They all feature the same cast of characters, the eponymous pirate and his crew, including a stowaway and an intelligent parrot. The stories told by the poems are set on a fictional body of water named the Lemon Sea. (Dug up by Rhys Hughes from the bottom of an abandoned treasure chest).

Jay Nicholls was born in England and graduated with a degree in English Literature. She has worked in academia for many years in various student support roles, including counselling and careers. She has written poetry most of her life but has rarely submitted it for publication.

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL