Scurvy Jones

When I was 16 I was assigned to write a poem in my language arts class.  I was complaining to my mom about how I didn’t want to write a “stupid poem” to which she replied, “It doesn’t have to be serious.”  This truth liberated all of the rhyming comedy that had been stored up in me for the past 16 years, and unstopped a deep well of desire to write “stupid poems” (serious ones) which I do relatively frequently now.

This is the “not serious” poem I wrote then.

Scurvy Jones

  • While working at the dock one day,
  • I noticed certain ship at bay.
  • Not any ship, this one I seen-
  • a pirate ship, yes, swift and mean.
  • The captain anchored ship at port,
  • his crew to leave, he did exhort.
  • They stepped into a little dinghy
  • and rowed up to the wharfy-thingy.
  • There, their boat they did secure
  • so they could walk upon the shore.

  • The captain’s face we could not see-
  • ferocious we knew it must be.
  • His clothes instead we looked upon.
  • They were, we think, from time long gone.
  • For instead of richest clothing
  • he wore (we saw with deepest loathing)
  • scuzzy boots as never polished,
  • a coat whose patches were abolished!
  • Then, to our apparent awe
  • the hat upon his head we saw.
  • So very garishly it tilted,
  • the feather in it very wilted.
  • And perched upon the topmost crag,
  • a bird, not green, but black as slag.

  • Then, to take our breath away
  • he turned his face away from bay.
  • Women fainted right and left!
  • (His chin – it had a handsome cleft)
  • and those whose hearts not easily fluttered
  • Stood astounded, stared, and muttered!
  • For not mean, this face we saw
  • but nice, quite nice, with fuzzy jaw.
  • Not a pirate’s face, not that!
  • A gentleman’s underneath his hat.

  • Of his softness we were thinking
  • when, (our minds changed in a winking!)
  • stomping boots he heeled about,
  • roguishly he gave a shout!
  • “Aaaarrrgh!  I’m Scurvy Jones!” he said.
  • Our hearts, they sunk as bricks of lead.
  • No man of breed, this pirate cap’n,
  • just a pirate, as pirates happen.
  • His occupation: loot and plunder.
  • Our mental visions sent asunder.

  • With his much unhandsome yell
  • maidens’ aspirations fell.
  • No more were those sweet hearts aflutter,
  • no more did those awed voices mutter.
  • The crowd at that did all disperse,
  • the captain left with crew and curse.
  • No more to be seen again
  • that handsomest of pirate men.
  • Some speculate where he next landed,
  • but as for me, I sit quite candid
  • knowing he’ll not be seen again
  • by us who thought him a Gentleman.



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