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Eileen Mahoney

In ocean wastes no poppies blow,

No crosses stand in ordered row,

…There young hearts sleep… beneath the wave…

The Spirited, the good, the brave,

But stars a constant vigil keep,

 

For them who lie beneath the deep.

‘Tis true you cannot kneel in prayer

On a certain spot and think. “He’s there.”

But you can to the ocean go…

See whitecaps marching row on row;

Know one for him will always ride

In and out… with every tide.

And when your span of life has passed,

He’ll meet you at the “Captain’s Mast.”

And they who mourn on distant shore

For sailors who’ll come home no more,

Can dry their tears and pray for these

Who rest beneath the heaving seas…

For stars that shine and winds that blow

And whitecaps marching row on row.

And they can never lonely be

For when they lived… They chose the sea.

 

Mike Denny

REMEMBERING FEBRUARY 18

PK
The Main Body, large, vulnerable and slow
A perfect target for the Dark One below
The Frigates, agile, nimble and fast
There to see that no danger gets past
Continually cruising up and then down
They turn specifically at the end of each run
In a maneuver performed many times before
But this time in the planning – one fatal flaw
At short range the PK passes under her bow
Nothing Main Body can do about it now
They collide – one goes home dead slow
The other one plummets 200 cables below
While celebrating the miracle of those that survived
We must never forget those brave souls that died.

 

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Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am diamond glints of snow;
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush;
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds encircled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.

 

Henry F Lyte
There is in the lone, lone sea
A spot unmark’d but holy ;
For there the gallant and the free
In his ocean-bed lies lowly.

Down, down, beneath the deep
That oft in triumph bore him.
He sleeps a sound and peaceful sleep
With the wild waves dashing o’er him.

 

Richard John Scarr

I lie at rest– among the best.
And so– you’ll understand my pride.
While fighting for a justly cause.
Among the best– I died!

I gave my all without restraint.
And now– with duty done.
I lie at peace without complaint.
And apologise to none!

For you– I gave all my tomorrows.
I gave my life in freedom’s name.
Though time will heal– and dim all sorrow.
Spare me a thought now and again.

That’s all I ask. No debt is due.
No bargain ever made.
Though liberty is never cheap.
The price was freely paid.

So take with love the gift I leave.
And never let it go!
I leave Peace and Freedom in your keeping.
It is the greatest gift I can bestow!

 

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

 

Robert Louis Stevenson

UNDER the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you ‘grave for me:

Here he lies where he long’d to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

 

Henry van Dyke

I am standing by the seashore. 
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze 
and starts for the blue ocean. 
She is an object of beauty and strength, 
and I stand and watch 
until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud 
just where the sun and sky come down to mingle with each other. 

Then someone at my side says, ‘There she goes! 
Gone where? Gone from my sight – that is all. 

She is just as large in mast and hull and spar 
as she was when she left my side 
and just as able to bear her load of living freight 
to the places of destination. 
Her diminished size is in me, not in her. 

And just at the moment when someone at my side says, 
‘There she goes! ‘ , 
there are other eyes watching her coming, 
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout : 
‘Here she comes!’

 

John Masefield

I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.
And the wheels kick and the winds song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the sea again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; 
All I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, 
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the seagulls crying.

I must go down to the sea again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whales way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow rover,
And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trips over.

 

Jennifer Hickok 
The storm has been raging for so long now
Pouring rain, crashing thunder, howling wind
Beating down on this lonely ship
Searching for a place to call home 

There was a time; it seems so long ago
The sun shone brightly in the clear blue sky
Looking up from the bow into forever
A gentle breeze, cotton candy clouds 

But the storm slowly moved in
A few scattered showers and thunderstorms
Days of downpour, flashes of lightning
With shelter so hard to find 

Rainbows still shone, beacons of hope
In the unlikeliest places
Vibrant against a backdrop of gray
A glimpse at the best of times 

As the years passed by
The storms changed, getting worse
Getting better, and fading away
But they’d left their mark 

A vessel is forever changed
When touched that way
And although you can rebuild
The damage has been done 

Horrible storms had been forecast
For the not so distant future
But they wouldn’t hit this ship
Not again, no more damage would be done 

The ship will be protected now
Lost no more, tossed about no longer
Safe in a harbor to forever call home