wordsout from Cafe Church poems by Charles Jobson   home



The log of the Defiance

I hope we make Spanish Town by midday.
Tensions high on sweated brows—
the men need a break
and I’m one of them. 

Valuable cargoes perhaps—
rum, batched in straw
not for our use,
for the higher classes only.

On the bridge
optically keen telescope
looking out for the first sight of port—
we can’t wait to get there.

When the sea thunders through
your tiny mind relapses.
Much better to watch from the shore—
yes, leave it to the sea gulls— 

Suddenly—slate grey roofs and palm trees
like a prayer answered.
The ship makes for the quay,
happy forest of masts.

There’s no loved ones waiting.
We make do,
glad to step on solid ground,
ready for a glass and fresh vittels.


Image of the watercolour "The Defiance firing her guns" by Kate Mahoney.