Three for Barbary Joe (for NaPoWriMo, Day 3)

With rum and a dog
and Barbary Joe,
we set sail with a
Yo, ho, ho!

’Mid following wind
and isinglass seas,
we played on the pipe
and we took our ease.

Oh, one for the rum
and one for the dog
and one for Barbary Joe,
Yo ho!

’Twas first watch when
the storm blowed in,
and we set to work
with a clattering din.

Oh, one for the rum
and one for the dog
and one for Barbary Joe,
Yo ho!

The wind, she howled,
and the dog, he leapt,
as Barb’ry o’er the bow
was swept.

The rum went, too,
and down she sank,
and that was the last
that any of us drank.

Oh, one for the rum
and one for the dog
and one for Barbary Joe,
Yo ho!

Now, I’ve been dry
for many a year,
so I’ll sit by your fire
and have some cheer.

Give me one for the rum
and two for the dog
and three for Barbary Joe,

NaPoWriMo, Day 3 prompt: Write a sea chantey. To be honest, this one filled me with a little bit of dread when I first saw it. But it turned out to be pretty fun. The name “Barbary Joe” came into my head while I was cleaning this morning, and then most of the chantey wrote itself while I was walking to pick up my son at preschool. I’m guessing that motion helps when writing a chantey. Yo ho!

Also, many thanks to David J. Bauman (aka The Dad Poet) for his kind words about my Cummings-inspired poem from NaPoWriMo, Day 1. David is a great and very original poet himself, and he also does much to spotlight other poets’ work — particularly in sound. Plus, he’s funny. The same post where I’m mentioned also praises my poet-blogging buddy Jennifer Bullis. Her poems reveal a steady confidence and a fierce intelligence at work — and at play. One of the best things about NaPoWriMo is hopping around and visiting a lot of blogs — I urge you stop by and visit both David and Jennifer!


15 thoughts on “Three for Barbary Joe (for NaPoWriMo, Day 3)

  1. Can I just say how maddening it is that everything you write seems to write itself?

    I’m just kidding. It is fun when pen hits paper, and you are in that zone and everything just works.

    I love your work!

  2. Excellent! I found the same thing–I just accepted the first idea and the first name that came into my head and–voila!–the thing was on paper pretty quick. (Not sayin’ it’s any good, mind you!) This was a fun prompt!

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