The Wind at Our Back
When out on the seas you’ll hear many a thing,
Like the waves, the sailors, and the shanties they sing.
Speaking of song, might there be sirens who lure?
Or perhaps they are warning us, it’s hard to be sure.
What we do know is there’s a sense that you’re free,
Regardless of whether you are over or under the sea.
This ship that we’re on is truly a sight,
The sails and the cannon all speak of her might.
A sturdier frame you’d be hard pressed to find.
It’s the sort of creation that speaks to the mind:
This will take you out where you want to go,
With the wind at your back you shall never go slow.
The sailors are weathered and calloused and strong,
They give off the sense things could never go wrong.
But what are they doing, lined up at the side?
They are starting to sing, their shapes swelling with pride.
The shanty flows out, gliding over the waves,
And all around them it changes how everything behaves.
The gulls slow down, keeping pace with the ship,
Even the other sailors put a hand on their hip.
And slowly but surely something rises from the deep.
Did the song reach down and stir them from their sleep?
One by one three heads pop up from the sea,
It’s a trio of merfolk, drawn close by their curiosity.
As if they’re entranced, much closer they float.
Keeping to a gentle swim as they approach the boat.
Before they know it there is suddenly a shout,
They are right up by the side as the harpoons fly out.
Two are speared, the waters stained by their blood.
One gets away, he managed to scud.
The sailors head down and retrieve their catch,
Their ship has been fitted with a convenient hatch.
Merfolk are not much for eating, but their parts sell well.
Whether it’s right or wrong, it’s best to not dwell.
Every one on the crew is a seasoned buccaneer,
And the name of our ship is known to cause fear.
Whenever another will see our dread sail,
There’s a very high chance their face will go pale.
On the captain’s shoulder is the place where I be,
Yo ho yo ho, it’s a parrot’s life for me.