"Tall Ships..."  Poem

"Tall Ships..." Poem

A Poem by Chris

A friend asked me to write about "Tall Ships".  I'm sure he wasn't thinking it would stump me in ANY way.  I've wandered the decks of many of them - "Tall Ships" in many ports AND on several continents.  The USS Constellation an AWESOME example of its time and the 'fighting trim' of our Navy.  Home ported for display at Baltimore Maryland - its open to the public for walking and remembering.


In New York City The 1976 Bicentennial included an awesome PARADE of Tall Ships brought together for one specific function - to demonstrate to the world the continuing capabilities of their crews and the support given by their various Government sponsors.  I - like many others watched this via television broadcasts.

Bicentennial Tall Ships Parade 1976 - New York City


I didn't write a new poem... instead I decided to take this one from the end of Chapter One of a book I never published.  It was PENNED a while back but I really think it is most apropos to the intent Laury wanted.

“Tall Ships…”


You ever seen a REAL "Tall Ship"?
how about up close and personal -
physically walking the decks
running your hands along the lines and cables -
feeling the tautness of the sinews
-for ships ARE alive you know,
feeling real wood beneath your feet -
rock-solid, dependable - beyond question,
such a feel of permanence they have.

Actually hear the creaks

and groans of a tired soul - settling somehow,

somewhere - just out of sight

but not out of hearing -

and not always as old as you'd think.


...And the masts thrusting skyward -

So very, very tall,

and the smaller you are - the taller THEY are,

bigger than life somehow,

strong and seemingly invincible,


sometimes bare and stark

the visible scars from untold, unknown moments

marking them - marring them, personalizing them

with a realness,

as if painted across the sky

unmoving immutable beautiful and

seeming so impervious to the vagaries

of time or of ANY 'wind' there could ever be...

...And sometimes the masts are so full -

bearing an impossible load

they actually curve, somehow bend -

and I THINK of the majesty that something

so PHYSICALLY imposing can somehow find

that EXTRA strength within

to give that lil bit more,

that lil bit necessary

to keep from shattering -

from splintering under the stress of doing

what they - afterall - MUST.


I never knew my dad,

wished I did

he WAS my tall ship

and like me

and so many others

he foundered during the storms

and vanished in the seamless sea...

...such is life -

You know?


I don't hate tears, or fear them - mine or anyone else's ~ and yes I well up at times and so do you.  Our emotions are real and strong and important to share - because they are US - an integral part OF us, as we are without masks or guile.  Sometimes tears are our de-fence to a self-perceived uncaring world and as we let them out we open ourselves and BREAK the damn walls that kept us so far away from what we really wanted... company along our way.




© 2012 Chris

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Author's Note

Another day

My Review

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A revisit here. I went to visit the USS North Carolina two weeks ago. Her main deck... wood. Those big guns surrounded by wood. Magnificent.
A thought. Like the mighty mast that finds a way to bend, because it must to continue to remain in one piece... so can our tears be. A strong strength to remain the us that we are. Us, finding a way to bend and continue in one piece.
You continue to give me pause for thoughts, my friend.

Posted 8 Years Ago


8 Years Ago

I'm glad you came by Mike...good thoughts...shared
I love the tall ships.. I raiely pass up a chance to be on one.. but I love all the ships.. I had to pass up a chance to sail from Astoria to Portland on one of the ships of the fleet for the Rose Festival.. it broke my heart.. dang..

Posted 8 Years Ago

I had the opportunity to walk a tall ship..they are quite something...so many stories yet to be told when one only takes the time to look, touch, and listen..

Posted 9 Years Ago

Chris thanks for sharing of your beautiful poem. You made me smile :) .

Posted 9 Years Ago

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Chris, you make me smile :) awesome writing, sir!

Posted 9 Years Ago

Made me stop and remember all the tall ships I had explored as a tourist in ports wherever they were docked. Majestic and each conjuring up images as I read of their voyages. Polished brass along with ropes,planks of floorboard and whispers of ghost-like voices of the men who sailed them long ago. A beautiful read, Chris not only of the ships but of humanity and emotions.

Posted 9 Years Ago

Why would anyone ever challenge you to write? You master each challenge with heights that even the tallest ship will never reach.

Posted 9 Years Ago

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another day, another beautiful write, may your sails be full of the breath of life and your heart upon a calm sea, with the day's journey spread before you like a thanksgiving feast in a far away new world. (hopefully the Indians won't scalp you)

Posted 9 Years Ago

You took me back to sea again, Chris. You are right, all ships live. You can feel them breathe. I worked in the bowels of one sometimes not seeing actual sunlight for weeks at a time. I learned to have a huge respect for all ships.
Then you brought me back with your last thought. Being alone is okay at times... but not forever. We all need the company. Glad you are a friend...
Another day... yes... another day.

Posted 9 Years Ago

Very impressed by this write, very intriguing.
I love this write.

Posted 9 Years Ago

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23 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on August 17, 2011
Last Updated on June 20, 2012
Tags: Poetry, Writing, CHris



Lansing, MI

"Life is a terminal disease." All the doctors have basically told me so. "Life is an adventure... Pain, well you deal. Thanks for being here. 06/21/2020 I'm back and working on. I've been.. more..


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