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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Jeddah – 1977

Finally,
A Middle East Port.
An exotic place.
We'd been late,
Delayed
Out of Suez,
We'd rushed
Down the
Red Sea,
To be on time.
All for this.
Anchored in,
Jeddah roadstead,
I've never seen so many
Ships.
Of course,
I'm still young,
But they
Stretch so far,
We're so far out,
We hardly
See land.

The jetties
Are in there,
Somewhere,
In the haze of
Dust.
We send a boat
Ashore
With the XO.
Give him a good
Chart,
A compass,
A Course,
A radio,
Or we may
Never see him,
Again.
We follow him,
In the big eyes,
Two foot long
Binocs,
Until he's
A dot.

The dot returns,
Good news!
No liberty to be
Granted.
They're glad we're
Here,
They think,
But they'd prefer
No sailors in
Their town.
Makes sense;
We'd prefer that,
Too.
All that dust,
On our blues,
You know.

We can't see Jeddah,
But,
Reports suggest
A paradise of
Permissiveness.
No need to build
Your building,
Plumb.
It's optional.
Tired?
Sit down,
Wherever you are,
Just curl up,
Snooze.
It's a different
Place.

Why is it
So crowded?
The Saudis have
Been buying everything.
Everything but
New piers,
For the last
Three years,
Ever since they,
Got real rich,
Instead of just
Rich.
They forgot
To build piers,
To unload
The stuff.

The American
Consulate,
Invites us to
A goat grab.
Yum.
But they want us,
To smuggle
Booze ashore.
They've got none.
Yeah,
Let's kick this
Cruise off with
An international
Incident.
Or,
Let's save our
Energy,
For the next
Middle Eastern
Paradise.
We can sight see,
On deck,
Eyeball liberty.
First priority cargo
Passes.
A small ship,
Bound right for
The pier.
No waiting,
Main deck crowded
With camels.
So,
We can't,
Get ashore,
But
They bring
The atmosphere,
To us.
Jeddah,
How many ways
Could you spell,
“Jewel of The
Red Sea?”
If there
Were one.

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