Tall-Masted Ships

By Michael Pendragon

When the salty west wind casts its spray to my lips

And the summer sun breaks on the lea

Take me down to the sea where the tall-masted ships

Bring their seafaring shanties to me


Give me topsails and topmasts and riggings to trim

Be they brigantine, schooner or barque

And the uncharted waters where clipper ships skim

Over squid, kraken, mermaid and shark


Let them whisk me away like a kite in the breeze

Or a handful of billowing sand

To the ends of the earth where the coconut trees

Spread their leaves o’er the sun-battered land


Let me ride the typhoons with sailors of yore

Stake my life on toss of the dice

Let me fly with the waves as they rush to the shore

Where the winds smell of Orient spice


Give me black strap and grog and the wide open sea

And a tankard of overproof rum

O the vagabond sea! where a man can live free

Till the end of his journey is come



Michael Pendragon is an American writer, poet, editor, best known for having published a pair of literary magazines: “Penny Dreadful” and “Songs of Innocence & Experience” (1996-2005).  His writings have appeared in “The Romantics Quarterly,” “The Dream Zone,” “Masque Noir,” “Event Horizon,” “Frisson,” “Terror Tales,” “The Roswell Review,” “Raintown Review,” “The Cat-Bird Seat,” “Scarlet Literary Magazine,” and “Boston Poetry Magazine.”  A collection of his poetry, “Into the Night,” was published in 2010.

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