Once upon the ocean blue

came a story just for you

'bout the bloody buccaneers

who sailed the Main in yesteryears.

There was peg-leg Cap'n Flatt

swashed his buckle - tipped his hat

hair and beard were all in curls

he was loved by all the girls.

Then we have dear Bos'n Brown

known as "Killer" in the town

Brown was bald and small and lean

and he was known for being mean.

The Cap'n's crew was boisterous:

"A pirate's life is fine with us!"

They took to fighting happily

pillaging upon the sea:

"Yo ho ho and a bloody sword

we're gonna steal the good King's horde

we'll sack his crews - sink his ships

and drink his wine with salty lips!"

You should have heard the stories told;

chasing - fighting - chests of gold,

feats of boldness on the sea

where men are mighty; men are free!

All of London town was cheering

at each tale that they were hearing,

in every pub- the welcome mat

was always out for Cap'n Flatt.

Sailing day was quite a fete-

dancing, parties in the street;

sails billowed- out to sea

with Jolly Roger flying free.

And in the town, they breathed a sigh;

they knew they'd see him bye-and-bye

with tales of daring and new tunes

and piles and piles of gold dubloons.

So Cap'n Flatt put out to sea

to seek his fabled destiny-

a story lived, as we shall see

in a way, quite differently.

Then for months and weeks and days

they plied the tossing ocean ways:

"Red sky at night - sailor's delight,

red sky in the morning - sailors take warning!"

On a bright and misty day

they dropped anchor in a bay

where lay a town much loved by men,

where all the sailors came to play.

Ships from England- ships from France;

all King's sailors come to dance,

to lose their gold at games of cards

and pay to hear the songs of bards.

Brothels owned by Bos'n Brown

did brisk business in this town

and Cap'n Flatt's own gambling clubs

raked in the gold- as did the pubs.

You've heard of Blackbeard, so I'm told,

this is where he got his gold,

and Cap'n Hook, all the while,

played his dancing crocodile,

prancing in a pinafore

with gold in piles upon the floor.

Up above the town did fly

the Jolly Roger, there, on high

to bring the sailors- grand marquee

proclaiming: "Here is pleasure's spree!"

Weeks and weeks- transporting gold

Cap'n Flatt filled up his hold

'til his ship was laden down

and set to sail for London town.

Going back - they made up stories,

fabricated pirate glories,

songs to thrill both me and you

and not a word of it was true.

Spare me all those dirty looks

just toss away your history books

for every tale of bloody glory-

just a made-up "pirate" story.

But - if you're good - someday I'll tell

location where this island dwells

still run by kin of Flatt and Brown,

a "genuine ole pirate town."


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Sentinel Poetry #32