The Captain's Hammer

'The Captain's Hammer'



I've come to tell a tale or three 

Of lonely nights on the open sea,
Of wine and water and songs and ale
Of a warm hearted girl 
before we set sail.


Our ship was new, it had just been built
Painted in blue, and touched with gilt,

A master's hand had shaped her curves 
She was a beauty to see, and a joy to serve.


I was younger than I am now, 
My beard was still red
And my back unbowed 
My heart held no fear of beast or man
That swam in the sea or walked on land.


My captain was the quiet sort, 
He went home to his wife
While we were at port. 
He never drank or fought or swore, 
Was never tempted by the harbor whores

He was calm, aye, until we broke his command

Calm even then, he would seize your hand, 
And with a big black hammer
That hung at his waist, 
He'd drive a spike through your palm
And into the mast.


Many sailors since then I have met

Will look on my scars with fear and respect

For I defied him, and more than twice 
And all but once, I felt the spike.


Many years had passed 
And time collects it's toll, 
For I had been made first mate, 
While he had been made old. 
He was still strong of will,

But lesser somehow
Black turned white 
Was the hair on his brow 
The big iron hammer 
Still hung by his side, 
Symbol of his command, 
And of his pride.


Sunk was the first ship, the second was new
With elegant lines, but an unproven crew 
The plans had been followed, but for a change, 
At the captains request, 
The old mast remained.


There came a day of clouds and rain
Our lady bucked and rolled on the waves 
And as the storm howled about us, 
The old mast was bent and strained.


To the man in the rigging I called

"Ship the sales!"

As the mast cracked and groaned, 
For if the timber did not break
She'd roll to port, 
And every mothers son would drown.


But the captain turned
Caught in a mindless rage, 
His roar louder than the wind and waves
'Belay that! Or I'll have your hand'! 
As he lifted the hammer of his command.


I knew that if he had his way, 
Every soul aboard 
Would be swept to the waves
So when next the lightning flashed
In the instant the thunder crashed, 
i put all my force behind a blow, 
And split his chin down to the bone. 
I took up the hammer, 
Which now was mine
And drove the spike through his hand
Deep ino the pine.


As the wind subsided and the storm withdrew, 
I gazed around, and in my heart I knew
That this was my hammer, 
This was my ship,

And these were my crew.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

I started writing this at work when I was bored, no idea where the inspiration came from - I'm not even that big a fan of nautical themes.

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Incompl's picture

I really like it!

 I think this one is really great, it's amazing that you aren't even really into these types of themes, you seem to be a natrual writing them. I loved the end.

Let your teeth show

SequencedLife's picture

hey thanks. i'd like to turn

hey thanks. i'd like to turn it into some sort of song, but i have no idea how lol

"Sanity is not a binary state." - Me