Returning From Orca Bay

Hey ho! Pull to port, pull to port!
Hey ho! We’re on our way home!
Hey ho! Turn starboard, turn starboard!
Hey ho! Our journey’s soon done!

The hold’s filled with fish
And the jerky’s near gone
Brody’s got scurvy and
Then we lost poor Ol’ Tom
To a wrist wrap’t in coil
Net weight’d with salmon
Cold waves lifted him high
Yet he ne’er spoke a word
Though no hope of rescue

Hey ho! Pull to port, pull to port!
Hey ho! We’re on our way home!
Hey ho! Turn starboard, turn starboard!
Hey ho! Our journey’s soon done!

We miss our wives and our children
Land ho!
We miss our dogs and dry land
We miss warm meals freshly made and an ale
And sun-bleach’d clean sheets for each man

Hey ho! Pull to port, pull to port!
Hey ho! We’re on our way home!
Hey ho! Turn starboard, turn starboard!
Hey ho! Our journey’s soon done!

We’re men of tough dignity
Rough hands and hard stares
Gone too long from our families and mates
We’re men of real faith
And living our duty
Providing, filling up their plates

Hey ho! Pull to port, pull to port!
Hey ho! We’re on our way home!
Hey ho! Turn starboard, turn starboard!
Hey ho! Our journey’s soon done!


tara caribou | ©2023

20 Comments on “Returning From Orca Bay

  1. love it – thank goodness we don’t use larboard anymore! i remember ‘port’ ‘left’ ‘red’ are all the short words, ‘starboard’, ‘right’, ‘green’ are all the long words – which works well if you know whether you are entering a river or a harbour, so you know which side of the marker is deep water … as i remember it. many years since i was a sailor, and then of small craft not fishing vessels … (yeah i know, larboard is still shorter than starboard, but only just !).

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I was a kid my dad would always use the terms port & starboard, no matter what we were doing (driving, giving directions, etc). He never worked fishing vessels, but on motor vessels like landing craft almost all the years I knew him.

      Like

  2. How long have people been venturing out on seas to pull sustenance from the water with hardship and danger? Probably longer than we can know. Thanks for a beautiful evocation of that ancient and present way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Robert. Yes, it’s a different way of living for sure. I have so much respect for the men (and women) who choose to live this. What a hard (yet fulfilling) life!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, Tara, for the poignant and beautiful poem!
    It reminds me of all great masterpieces of literature, such as among many, The Old Man and the Sea,
    “But man is not made for defeat, he said, ‘a man can be destroyed but not defeated”

    Ernest Hemingway

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh that’s awesome Eric! I’m sure you have some great memories to share. Maybe you’ll write a few ‘shorts’ about it?! (Hint, hint)

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Sircharlesthepoet

Poetry by Charles Joseph

Rum and Robots

We Survived and Arrived - Now as Warriors We Thrive

Robert Charboneau.

Writer and Artist

living document

a collection of short poetry from an autistic mind

Anonymously Hal

Poetry, Photography, and Thoughts

FRANKENSKIES

The Lies in the Skies Exposed

Writer In Retrospect

"When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am..." --Maya Angelou

The Tigress Awakens

Welcome to my tiny corner of the universe filled with poems that I have written.

ED A. MURRAY

Author | Freelance Writer | Blogger

singlemomlife

livingforthemoon

Better Letters

Butterwell's Blog

my life as a piece of string

... from a silent space

%d bloggers like this: