"To Prove His Worth"


Dawn moves ever closer now, the ship sails from the bay
Into the ocean, heading east, to face the coming day
The early morning mists caress the ship with gentle hands
And touch the figure standing proud, his gaze on distant lands
The swells roll underneath him as he stands upon the bow
The salty fog curls round him and across his noble brow
Weather-beaten features, etched by time and years at sea
Stern and strong, unyielding to the death, a sailor, he
His hands are gnarled, yet strong as iron, calloused in their grip
To hold on line or cable, and they'll never, ever slip
His muscles thick and corded, and his body squat and low
Yet moves with easy grace to match the rocking to and fro
The morning breaks, the sun rises to drive away the night
And with the darkness, goes the mist, under the piercing light
The ocean stretches forth ahead, a vast expanse of blue
And far horizons beckon, holding promises anew
A lonely way to live, some say, a sailor's life must be
And though they'd get a laugh from him, he wouldn't disagree
For months on end, far out to sea, his ship's his only home
And for a yard, he has the tossing waves capped white with foam
For though he has a pretty girl to meet in every port
The ocean is the only woman that he'll ever court
He loves the freedom of the sea, a passion far from chaste
And when he dies, he'll sink into her cold and deep embrace
He reads the pattern of the sea, and of the cloudy sky
They both give out their secrets to his watchful, practiced eye
Experience has taught him how to read the wind and wave
And knowledge turns the weather from the master to the slave
A dark smudge at the edge of sight belies a brewing storm
A smile flashes on his lips, his eyes intense and warm
A challenge, then, from Neptune, Master of the Raging Main
To test this ship that dares to sail His watery domain
Adrenaline flows through his limbs, his body whole and hale
He leaps into action to ward his ship against the gale
This is why he sails the seas, the goal of mortal men
To pit his will against the gods, and prove his worth again

written by MM3 James Kimbrough, who is stationed onboard USS CLEVELAND.
BMC Tim Broderick (Gator) a frequent posted on the Goatlocker, until his deployment,
asked that it be posted on the Goatlocker.