12 June 2007

The Great Ship

This poem originally appeared in RogueProjectLeader #7 (March 2006). I hope you enjoy it (and I'll add a few background notes to the Comments section).

The Great Ship
The great ship went down
on the day it set sail
while the Captain and First Mate
stood fast by the rail.

'Twas an iceberg they hit
and the damage was vast.
Oh, the great ship went down
while the Captain stood fast.

He'd seen the 'berg coming.
He knew it was there.
For the sun, it was shining,
and the sea winds were fair.

But he'd laid his trajectory
and plotted his course.
So the ship shot ahead
like a riderless horse.

Well the iceberg, it shattered
the great ship's port side.
It sliced through the hull
and opened it wide.

"We have a plan,"
said the Captain unblinking.
"And it cannot be changed,"
said the First Mate unthinking.

So the great ship, it sank
while the Captain stood fast.
He believed all his planning
was certain to last.

As the great ship slipped under
the cold ocean blue
The Captain took comfort -
to the plan he'd been true.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Some background, if you're curious.

I wrote this poem in a small notebook, on an airplane.

The first like was originally "The great ship went down, but continued to sail." In my original plan, the ship was going to continue sailing underwater, because the Captain was in denial, etc. But that didn't work out.

I didn't intend this to be a political poem, and the "great ship" doesn't represent any particular entity (though some people thought it was about the current administration). I was just poking fun at any inflexible, bureaucratic battleship that can't respond to changing environments.

I used this style because my poetry usually doesn't rhyme and usually doesn't have any particular meter, etc. I wanted to see if I could do it, and I wanted to try something different.

I hope you enjoyed it!