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Michael A Gibbs

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Two Ships Upon a Southern Sea
by Michael A Gibbs

Thursday, January 11, 2007
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Michael A Gibbs
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           >> View all 73

Another voyage of the late 1700s.


Two ships upon a southern sea,

their sails afire with early sun.

Each judging what the other be;

if friend or nay—to fight or run.


The gentle swells and easy wind,

the creak of oak and cry of gulls,

Spoke not at all of bloody end—

of life undone and splintered hulls.


A British brig and rigged for war,

now coming ‘round to close the mile

Twixt her and whom she did abhor

                for being such a rebel vile.


“American,” her colors said—

a rattlesnake, “Don’t Tread On Me,”

A sloop that might have easy fled

                but hauled her wind, now westerly. 


A bow gun spoke, an English threat,

                and water plumed abaft the beam.

The Yank now fixed in silhouette—

                her filling sails in morning’s gleam.


She was the Rogue—had thirty guns—

                fourteen per side—one fore, one aft.

Her burden was but ninety tons—

                a lively sloop of shallow draft.


Old England’s pride, the Diligent,

                with helm alee to meet the fight—

 Her colors up to represent

                her king and all his glory bright.


The Continental Navy men,

                the bravest souls upon the sea,

Ran out their guns and fired and then

                Reloaded for the liberty


Of those ashore who must defend

                a nation’s right to stand alone

Against constraints that can’t amend

                indignities sent from the throne.


And so, the ships now side by side

threw shot and chain across the swells

‘Til pride and fury burned and died

                Upon a sea of grim farewells.


Beneath the bloodied brine and wrecks

                The vessels settled to their graves—

The shredded sails and splintered decks

                Forever gone below the waves.


Two ships upon a southern sea—

each judging what the other be.



M. Gibbs



























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Reviewed by Mitzi Jackson 1/12/2007
as one said stunning
it had the feel of
old school romace even if it was war
very nicely done
Reviewed by Joyce Hale 1/12/2007
Michael, this is stunning! It has adventure, history, patriotism, courage, outrage and wasteful grief. I could see the pictures you painted in words, and they were vivid and colorful. An excellent write!!!

Peace. Joyce
Reviewed by J. Allen Wilson 1/11/2007
enjoyed this historical piece..done with class.
Reviewed by Jane Rodway 1/11/2007
This is excellent and so well-written. The action comes alive to the reader and your rhythm doesn't miss a step-i also like your classic style, it is refreshing when done nowadays-makes the reader als want to read more of your work.
Reviewed by Chantilly Lace (Reader) 1/11/2007
Wonderful write
Reviewed by Joyce Devenish 1/11/2007
Excellent. I love it. Best wishes Joyce

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