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Felix LeRoy Perry

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The Old Sailor
by Felix LeRoy Perry
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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Gordon Pinsent a famed Canadian actor, playright and author, who also hailed from the East Coast was often fond of doing one man narrations, this one came to me and I thought how perfect it would be for him. It is a bit long but it is captures a lifetime in a few pages...hope you like



The Old Sailor


‘Tis a heavy fog hovers over the outer bank today

Shroud-like, to cover the storm to come perhaps

Aye… if I were a betting man I’d give odds

those seas will claim back one of their own

before the day is over



there sails John Dempsey’s schooner Perceval

just passed the Owl’s Head Light

flash of white and then he just seemed to disappear

must be headed up the coast to his sister's place in  Lunenburg



that old tramp steamer "Maggie’s Dream"

that was moored down at the government wharf so long

must have slipped her lines sometime in the night

an empty berth always somehow makes me feel sad



can you not smell the brine and rotted fish in the air?

some city folk don't like that smell but to me

it's like a desert tease whetting me appetite

to have me feet on a rolling deck again




Ya know, I once knew every inch of this coast line

quite a joke now... they say I have alls heiemers

sometimes can’t even remember Mother’s name

let alone Skipper a boat through St John;s narrows



Mother brings me cup of Tetley’s steeped tea now and again

sweetened with a big spoon of sugar

and cooled with a dollop of Carnation canned milk

after forty years she knows now just  how I likes it



the damp seems to aggervate me old bones

could ya be so kind as to ask Mother for a blanket

she knows the ones I likes best

somethin to wrap around these old arty ritis knees


wasn’t always like that though, ya know 

aye, I reckin it was near on forty years

I spent sailing out past the Egg Island buoy

was but a foolish lad of fourteen…but

at fourteen you became a a man back then,

without a doubt



there goes Bobby John in his old Dodge pickup

fine load of lobster traps in the bed

sure wish me and mother could have had us another son

man needs a child to pass on his legacy to


did you hear that…kinda mournful isn’t it?

that was the Devil’s Island fog horn

eerie for sure, gives a man a chill like no other


it minds me of the fall Nor'wester of ‘64

four boats ran aground and beat to pieces

on Little Thumbcap Reef in a storm


fourteen fine young  men perished in the breakers that night

one of them was our only boy William

never did find the body

buried an empty box full of memories instead



look there, that little cove over the North of the harbor

by God it’s Art and Alex Dobbin in a pair of dories

old fools must have been out after a feed of mackerel

or mayhap illegal lobster pots out around the point


sure wish these old bones would take me with them

out on the water one last time though


but I'll be there soon enough I reckon

Mother helped me writ down instructions for me dust

They'll scatter me out there with my boy's ghost

out to frolliick with the mermaids off Devils Island



I see the sun is almost ready to call it a day

Mother will soon be fetching me in as well

so I’ll bid ye good day young man

give me best to the boys down on the wharf…









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Reviewed by Sheila Roy 10/5/2010
It's sad when someone can't have their passion. I guess as writers, we know that all too well. A heart-string tale for sure. Hugs,
Reviewed by Kathleen McDonald 10/4/2010
A wonderful work Fee

Reviewed by Regis Auffray 10/3/2010
Gordon Pinsent is a Canadian icon whom I like very much as an actor and this is a perfect fit, Fee. Thanks for sharing. Love and peace,

Reviewed by Cela Shearer 9/29/2010
What a well-written piece and a joy to read.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Russo 9/29/2010
This piece has heart, sentiment, nostalgia,wonderful visuals and even sound. A bit of melancholy rounds it out, as well. Well-written, thoughtful piece. ~Elizabeth
Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan 9/29/2010
this is truly a well written piece-one of your best, i think
Reviewed by Ch'erie de Perrot 9/28/2010
Without Question a most fine write, to commemorate a Man who is of such essence as you give tribute too. As always thoroughly enjoyed, well done dear friend.
Reviewed by Karen Palumbo 9/28/2010
Fee, I have heard him do readings and he has the voice of an Angel. He captures the soul from beginning to end, one of my favorites! Fee, forgive me, but I can hear him clearly reciting this golden masterpiece. A story like no other that brings me to tears for the emotions of another time, another place, that is no more...

Be always safe,
Reviewed by Victoria's Poetry & Voices of Muse 9/28/2010
I love the story Fee
but also I love how you
"slang" the true speech!
I can hear him

Gulls & Shores
Reviewed by Richard King 9/28/2010
Well done Fee. Very entertaining. It's too bad a body can't read with his eyes closed. This one made me want to lay my head back and dream along with it. Thanks Dick.
Reviewed by Annabel Sheila 9/28/2010
And I can imagine him reading this one, Fee....great story!

Reviewed by Christine Tsen 9/28/2010
You have hidden talents! This was like drifting into a story beyond language, so intricate and yet simple because you took me in and out of it with such amazing skill.
Reviewed by Christine Alwin 9/28/2010
What a journey Fee, this was a most enjoyable read, even dropped a tear or two~ (wtg)
Reviewed by Ed Matlack 9/28/2010
Never heard of the guy, but now that I have, I enjoyed the read...e
Reviewed by Carole Mathys 9/28/2010
This is a wonderful sea tale and I too can hear Gordon reading it...but I also keep seeing Spencer Tracy reading this as well. Splendid write, Fee.

Reviewed by Amber Moonstone 9/28/2010
Fee, this is remarkable! It could be in a movie, I can just hear Gordon reciting your words...You simply never fail to amaze me.

Much peace, love and light,
Reviewed by neerja gandhi 9/28/2010
ahhh..great story..the Mother part best,so caring..i wish for a cuppa tea...ummmm
Reviewed by D Johnson 9/28/2010
A wonderful captured the reader as you remembered all those yesterdays...well done.

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