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My Pied Noir
The Otaio


Poems of New Zealand Shipping
This page was last updated on Saturday, 02 August 2014 12:17:06 AM

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The Otaio

Oh! Morpheus may thy arms tarry to embrace me this balmy night,
So that the thoughts that scurry in mind be there still in morn.
Vague visions of faces of limber youth, now so long out of sight,
Be mine to tell to a chosen few for whom the ensuing years are worn.

 The pale northern sun’s zenith has run it’s full calendar course since
A handful renewed our memories of an age gone by, two score years and ten.
Others too, of another generation, stood side by side and drank a toast
To a ship that was our home in stormy seas, the placid waters of Aden.

‘Twas  not only the shipboard life, hard work as well as games, that
Made us men.  My silent tears, shed far from sight of scorning eyes,
Ceased to fall as bonds of friendship sprang up, and nothing was scant
For us in those days of yore.  ‘Twere as if each day we won a prize.

The Grim Reaper’s scythe is still held high aloft and steady.
But until his visit we have no regrets of times we spent together. 
The only word that springs to mind today is pride that we were ready
To share and spend some fleeting hours, a year ago, and now forever.

Harry Simpson June 2009