A LULLABY FOR THE STOWAWAYS

A lullaby for the exposed stowaways, the very least the First Mate could do
In the safety of his quarterdeck cabin, away from the attentions of the rest of the crew
Outward bound from Havana, on a paddle steamer under auxiliary sail
Keeps an even keel in a big sea, keeps a straight line in the face of a gale
Black tea, bully beef and oat biscuits, from the galley were all he could filch
She stuffs it down as if there’s no tomorrow, nods, says, ‘It has to be better than zilch’
The babe at her breast falls asleep now, Brahms soft cradle song works once again
By candlelight and eerie shadows, to the restless creak of the hull under strain
He asks the girl for her story, what took her from her plantation to here
Yet a reticence quite overwhelms her, she just responds, ‘I had to disappear’
Port of Rotterdam bound and a new old life, ‘You won’t tell The Master you’ve hidden us away?’
He draws on his clay pipe, thinking out loud, ‘I’ll do my level best to keep him at bay
Try best you can to keep the child quiet, and just leave whatever else up to me’
She takes his words of comfort at face value, rests her fate in the hands of a cruel sea
Sea serpents, two weeks and a full moon later, at harbour side she seeks out a new hiding place
Now disguised as an Ordinary Seaman, her babe tucked up safe and sound in her travelling suitcase
On the bank of the Nieuwe Maas river, the First Mate kisses his charges farewell
A respectful peck on the cheek for the fine lady, a tearful smacker upon the brow of her little girl
A hurriedly arranged a coach-and-four awaits her, she a blue blood white princess so brave
And at last sanctuary for her girl child, fathered by her lost lover, a callously murdered black slave

Should my latest book take your fancy it can be purchased from AMAZON in PAPERBACK form or on regular KINDLE as well as for FREE on KINDLE UNLIMITED. To access, click on the picture below.

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27 thoughts on “A LULLABY FOR THE STOWAWAYS

    1. My thanks, Liz. As we good folk cannot stand racism, so many white people still see skin colour, not humans. A few years back the Jehovah’s Witnesses stood at my front door asking what I thought about Jesus. I answered, ‘A black bloke’. Their reply, ‘No, Jesus could never have been black’. Plainly, I didn’t bother to answer, I just shut the door, shaking my head.

      1. It certainly is. In a way, it’s a blessing that he is no longer alive to see the mess the world is in right now. He worked his entire life for peace, civil rights, and the end of poverty.

    1. My thanks, young Ms. S. As we all know, racism is vile, yet so many white morons think it a way of life. The older I get, the more I actively defend the rights of every decent human no matter what colour they are. I hope all is well with you and yours, and at last…thanks to George…the Kindle edition of yours I got a while back is now, at last, on my laptop. It was on my mobile and reading a mobile is not my thing, what with me being an old fool. I’ll be reading it any time now.

      1. Mike too kind xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxThank you. Seriously racism is vile and the worst for me is the eye-opener you sometimes get about people you have known for a while —always privileged white morons — who suddenly show this side You honesty wonder if you knew them at all. Let’s just say that after a birthday party meal we were invited to last year, the Christmas card list was a lot smaller!!!

      2. True, young Ms S, those who were once friends are no longer on my lists also. Here’s a ‘good’ one. My son was up in North London the other week, staying with friends…good friends…when a tearful young Asian girl banged on the front door begging to be allowed in. The poor kid, her job delivering pizzas, when out in the street three fat white blokes got out of their white van and called her all name under the sun; told her to f++k off to where she came from, as well as threatening her…I say no more on that. When son and mate went outside to check out where the white trash were, they’d gone. What a world we live in.

      3. Mike, I don’t know the world we live in any more actually. That is was a birthday lunch for a family member and it was all their friends at it…they are heavy on friends, unlike us, who deliberately only have a small handful. Anyway it was awful and this was one of their oldest friend’s–now long gone– husband. My mr nearly got in arammy with him cos his racial bigotry was bad enough but then it extended to religious and my man is a catholic. I actually felt dreadful pulling him aside and saying ‘Can it, cos this isn’t our birthday do. But we are getting our coats and leaving.’ that is something I would never actually do in terms of telling someone to shut it. But it a sa special birthday and I thought we will be the ones who get the blame for ruining it. and it is not our birthday do. it then left me thinking that when we are not present, cos we are seldom are actually, we don’t like many of these people, what is discussed? Cos that twat obviously felt comfie enough to open his mouth in that way. And the joke??? See that family member whose party it was?? Well their mother was white but her mother was black and like his mother he is very racist.

      4. Right-wing politics and callous racism are two things that make my blood boil…the two I’d fight over. Good luck to your old man, I’d have done the self-same thing. Catholic or not telling the racists what he/she thinks of them, those who are vile get all they deserve. Thinking about it, save for the Jehovah Witnesses banging my front door, uninvited, I’ve never had a bust up with the religious, nor them with my atheism. Over the years I’ve had a bundle of mates of various religions…especially so back in my cricketing days. Jolly good chaps the lot of them. Religion and/or atheism are matters of personal choice, and who am I to diss someone’s choice. A lot of aggressive atheists don’t seem to have got their minds around the word, ‘choice’. There, we’ve changed the world…maybe.

  1. Spot on, Mike! You would not believe the venom I’ve overheared. I hate criminals, bullies etc. of any origin or colour. Well, the things they do.

      1. Nice to read you ccomment Mike, thanks. I’m not too well, Cataracts, glaucoma, scaades, peripheral neuropathy, arthritis, duodenal ulcer, getting over the stroke mind you, deaf as a post, using sticks or a walker, but I won’t go on. Hahahaha!
        Hope you’re coping mate.

      2. Life is a pain in the arse, I find. Age, a curse; breathing a privilege; walking sticks a worthy weapon. That aside, I’m fine, old chap. Good to hear from you.

  2. Especially poignant after watching last week’s supreme court nomination hearings of Ketanji Brown Jackson here in the states. Will the racism ever go away, Mike?

    And what a great rendition of somewhere… xo

    1. Sorry to be so late replying, Pam. I think we can all dream that one day racism will go away, in reality…unless we actively take in what the old song, ‘Melting Pot’ said, namely, ‘What we need is a great big melting pot
      Big enough enough enough to take
      The world and all its got And keep it stirring for a hundred years or more
      And turn out coffee coloured people by the score’…it’ll always be there. Best wishes, Mike aka TOF

  3. How sad, yet hopeful, your piece is, TOF.
    Seems the world has not been a nice place for most.
    Thank you for your continuing compassion with your writing!
    SO, I have the book.
    First…I do my taxes… then I read. I really hate tax time. I find it taxing.
    xx

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