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Friday, May 6, 2011

Running At Full Power

Sometimes,
The routine,
Economical,
Mandated,
Sixteen knots,
Will not do.
You are directed
To proceed,
At max sustained speed.
And so,
The steam world
Comes alive.
Suddenly,
There are no
Silent spaces.
Every boiler
Is hot,
Every burner
Is in,
Every feed pump
Is on line,
Every fuel pump
Is busy.
Fuel
Is constantly
Transferred.
Everywhere,
There is
Noise,
And heat,
Plenty of heat,
We're makin' lots.
Every topside space,
That lives near
A forced draft blower,
Knows about it,
Because nothing is
Off the line.
That's the way it
Should be,
That's the way,
She was built
To run.
Four boilers,
Superheat,
Two engines,
Two shafts,
Nothing in
Reserve.

Come off watch,
Dead tired,
Climb all the way up,
Up to the fantail,
Nose bleed country,
See the stern lookout,
Look up at
The stacks,
See that heat.
The air shimmers,
It shakes and shivers
As it shoots skyward,
Dyed a faint brown,
In the
Economy haze.
The whole ship
Shakes up here,
You really feel it.
All from the fire,
And the steam that
We make.

Turn around,
That rooster tail,
Is taller than
You are.
Maybe
That's enough
Fresh air.
The guys
Who live up here,
Think we're making
Lots of noise,
They oughta be in
Bravo one,
To hear those
Two boilers
Roar.
THAT'S noise,
AND heat.

Still,
The special effects
Up here,
Are enough
For them.
You want full power?
It's hard work for us,
It's extra watches,
It's no time
For maintenance,
It's our time,
To shine.

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