On an old battlewagon, a long time ago,
    which had sailed under Dewey, quite stately and slow,

    there was once a commander who was such a sure loser
    that he couldn’t distinguish canoes from a cruiser;

    he would never take sailings that called for much working,
    for his consummate talents were welshing and shirking,

    and whenever the admiral would order him forth,
    he would back to the south and then fill to the north.

    All his shipmates would wonder, would always ask why
    the Navy held fast to this valueless guy,

    yet, although he could not navigate in a slip,
    he lost nary a billet, though many a ship,

    for his charm was pervasive, the hardy corrective
    for the failings that rendered him feckless, defective.

    And that’s why the Navy has layers of rank:
    to cover commanders who turtled and sank.

  2. Oh what sheer joy to read! The lilting rhyme like lapping waves & the story enchanting . Each word moving ghe poem forward to the excellently satisfying end. Terrific language throughout so nautical. Dewey is laughing somewhere!

  3. The Visitor

    We think he comes from the west
    after sundown slipping over and under fences
    crossing the creek where he steps on stones
    algaed half dry in late August drought

    believe he hikes through heavy grasses
    beneath banks of rough leaf dogwood
    heavier now for fruiting pearls
    soon disappeared down gullets of gorging finches

    it seems he also comes hungry lank and blown
    in on the wind as he travels countless fields
    to gain the melon patch rounding orbs
    beckoning beacons in the moonlight
    where he shuffles now bent with looking
    through the maze of yellow leaves

    rolling one or two between lean fingers
    nails long untrimmed lifting to smell blossom ends
    and savor their heady aroma orange autumn
    filling his nostrils as his stomach clenches
    in anticipation of a first bite as he frees
    a stem from vine having selected

    the most choice wrapped in its netting
    ignores steps moving downtrail as
    deer home in on crescents of okra
    which he’s sampled but has little use for
    tumbling his melon now like a soccer ball
    toward the goal where he squats

    in wet grass to feast and then
    hands clasped on swollen belly
    he naps beneath the stars before he begins
    his solitary trek back to the old hackberry
    three fields over that he calls home
    never divulged and so secret
    none can follow his meandering way back

    he settles in to remember last night’s moonlight
    and starshine as he licks lips and knuckles
    for last bits fingering his mask, spine
    fitting into the nubbly bark stubbled face
    and whiskers twitching with his perfect smile.

  4. Pingback: Poetic Bloomings Character Study – Plumb-Lines

  5. The photo that goes with this one is at https://wp.me/p7ofDB-1tc

    Above From Below

    A blackbird lands on the ground. It looks,
    not at the ground, but at the grass, and
    hears a worm slipping through the roots.

    Not roots, but slipping in the deep scent of
    grubs and worms and maggots, in rotting
    peace that swims and ripens into perfume,

    from where I hear my own rot and ripe
    playing sing-songs with sulphurous roots.
    Not with roots, but with palettes of wind,

    fallen flocks of flying leaves into which
    a blackbird hears a worm slip through
    soil. It stops, still as a stave, and looks.

    Its beak agile as light, quicker than a worm.
    A worm for the chorus of hungry chicks.

  6. Dog Park Romance

    Her dog chased
    his around the dog
    run. She called to her
    chocolate Lab to come.
    He did not. He called for
    his beagle. The beagle
    blew him off. They both
    laughed and a conversation
    was born. He was instantly
    smitten with this funny,
    intelligent girl. She was late
    for an appointment, and succeeded
    getting her dog leashed, as she dashed
    off. He felt a loss. Never got her
    number. He doggedly returned
    to the spot they met, but did not
    see her. He questioned dog park
    regulars to no avail.
    Ah, he would put an ad
    in the local paper. Maybe
    she would see it. Several days
    later, he received an email
    from her. Seems she was
    smitten as well. He canvassed
    his options; a lovely painting

  7. Pingback: Rewritten Character Study – Plumb-Lines

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