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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Writer’s Skill/Craft (04/22/10)

TITLE: Aboard the Writer's Craft
By Dusti (Bramlage) Zarse


The chill wind crooned a mournful tune
As o’er the brackish deep
It swept, unleashing wretched wails,
While near the shore did sleep
The author of its misery
High in the castle keep.

Billowing like hoary knolls
The livid waves did swell
And crash upon the jagged coast
With icy drops that fell
Like shards upon the craggy rocks—
An omen and a knell.

Out from a depthless, restless stay
In fabled slumberland
The boatswain of the Writer’s Craft—
Still anchored in the sand
Beneath the briny, bounding main—
Awoke from sleep, unplanned.

“Blimey!” howled the lurid, fat,
And grisly, buccaneer,
For from the berth above his own,
In shallow light did peer
A powder monkey’s frightened face,
And in his eye, a tear.

“We’re cursed and fated, doomed to die!”
Bemoaned the youthful lad.
“A pox upon that writing fiend,
That slimy mackerel shad,
That scurvy swine, that meddling eel,
That dreadful, squalid cad!”

The boatswain hastened from his berth,
And staggered out the door,
But pitched the rolling ship so fierce,
He fell right to the floor,
And flew his wig right overboard,
From whence it washed ashore!

“Cap’n! Quick!” the boatswain yelled.
Into the room he flew,
And got a-walloped smartly by
The captain’s buckled shoe!
“Avast, foul fiend!” the captain yelled.
Then, “Oh. It’s only you.”

His hand to head, the boatswain rubbed
The quickly forming knot
And swiftly told the captain of
The writer’s loathsome plot
To dash them all to smithereens—
Below the sea they’d rot.

The crew, upon the captain’s charge,
Did lower to the sea
A flimsy rowboat full of men,
Replete with bravery,
To breach the shoreline’s castle keep
A writer for to see.

“Unhand me, brutes!” the writer cried
When, woken from his sleep,
He found a motley crew of men
High in his castle keep,
All snarling cruelly, for they had
A vengeance they would reap.

Down the shore and to the ship
With Jolly Roger high
The angry pirates hauled the man
Who, trying not to cry,
Did blow his nose upon his sleeve,
Beseeching not to die.

“There be the bilge rat scallywag!”
The seething captain sneered
When through his wooden spyglass long
The captain pirate peered
The rowboat with his motley crew,
As toward the ship it steered.

By Jacob’s ladder, dangled low,
The hands climbed ‘board the ship
And threw the writer to the deck.
“This ain’t no pleasure trip!
Ere long the hempen jig you’ll dance!”
Came loud a merry quip.

The captain yanked the writer to
His trembling, quaking feet
And thrust him to his quarters, where
He told him, “Take a seat.”
The writer’s ag'ed head was gray—
Around his eyes, crow’s feet.

“We’ve fought this battle many times.”
The captain poured a drink
And shoved it to the writer’s hands.
“It’s time to mend, I think,
This feud that runs between us still,
So I can catch a wink.”

“You started it,” the writer hissed.
“You bought this curs'ed fate!
You sent your scurvy, currish men
To break right through my gate
And steal me blind by taking all
My gold pieces of eight!”

“Expected you, you scoundrel rogue,
A pirate not to steal?”
The captain’s laugh rang low and deep—
A harsh and robust peal.
“You should not have, thus, written us
To be so very real.”

The captain shoved a quill and scroll
Into the writer’s fist,
As outside on the briny deep
And in the salty mist
The waves did curl and billow roll
And cause the ship to list.

“Quell the sea!” “Give back my gold!”
So squabbled both the men.
They bickered, quarreled, battled and
Raised quite a raucous din,
Until the captain’s cutlass came
Beneath the writer’s chin.

The moonlight gleamed with brilliant rays
Upon the briny deep,
When to the scroll a quill was put
To lull the sea to sleep.
Then sluggish men, a writer took,
Back to his castle keep.

But ‘fore they went back to the sea,
A few doubloons they seized,
Along with several bags of loot.
The writer was not pleased.
And when they took his chest of jewels
The writer gasped and wheezed.

“I’ll get revenge,” he fiercely growled,
The pirates out of sight.
“I’ll show them all! I think I’ll put
Into tomorrow night,
A wicked gale of terror wind.
A hurricane, I’ll write!”


“Do not repay anyone evil for evil.” Romans 12:17

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/29/10
This painted a vivid picture for me.
Beth LaBuff 04/29/10
This is masterful on so many levels! You've painted with words an amazing story. I love your ending! Wonderful writin! ...and I tip my hat to you!
Marilyn Schnepp 04/29/10
Although brilliant, this type of poetic prose is not exactly my 'cup of tea' - so was much too long for me; but I do KNOW that this is a Masterpiece for those who dig this Old Enlish type stuff. So I'll add my "Kudos" along with those who love it, for after all, it is a very skillful craft!
Beth LaBuff 05/06/10
Dusti, I am still in awe of your talent with this superb poem... congrats on your ribbon!