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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Midwatch

Inside,
There's silence,
We're steaming
Independently,
No radio,
Not even a radar contact
Is announced,
There's no sign
Of the moon,
On the bridge wing,
The sounds of the night
Are different,
The bow throws
The seas aside
With a rough hiss,
There seems to be
A rhythm to it,
Then it's broken,
Then it's back,
Then it's broken again,
There's just enough
Of a sea,
To give the ship
Some motion,
But not so much,
That you can't
Set down,
Those cheap cardboard
Coffee cups,
The ones you have to
Double up.
The single gas turbine
Gives a soft,
Steady whine,
In these modern times,
There are no more
On watch
In engineering,
Than on the bridge,
A man from
The steam world,
Would be amazed.
The chart says:
“Straight on 'til dawn,”
A wonderful smell says
“Request permission
To come on the bridge,”
The cook brings
Fresh donuts,
All things have pluses,
Even the midwatch,
It's 0300,
Only forty-five minutes
To go.

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