For Bess

There was an old man from Penzance
who stopped in a momentary trance
before he could move
his world was askew
which left him with stains on his pants

Trust me! And no that’s not my one shoot for this week, I just had to get it out of my system!

Today’s artwork provided by James Rainford

For Bess

There were once paper edges
yellowed, where sea met sky
humbled low men sailed
unchartered expanses
lost, bones carrion to sirens
stripped blanche two hundred leagues down

ark sailed, on vast new seas
chasing ghosts of dysentery
death despair,
where’s Wally?
working for the red head bitch
all for the love of Bess
wide eyed at the spoils of Madre de Dios.

Elusive El dorado
so near but yet so far
his breeches bursting, Bess
a hard task master awaiting news
of nothing.

Look at him now, eyes glassed
perched upon, proudly;
the man who put the new world
in its place,
offered a humble potato
as his saving grace.

Based on the life of Sir Walter Raleigh British Renaissance explorer. Link your poem up to One Shoot Sunday over at one stop poetry


18 responses to “For Bess

  1. Ok here’s another clue to who this might be. Didn’t think about the explorer angle. I thought it was a dude from the reformation. Nice one shoot response.
    Bess, Bess, Bess.

  2. bursting breeches batman…i rather like the limerick…but that bess, she sure cooks a mean potato if you know what i am saying…el dorado, why dont you come to your senses….sorry i feel rather discombobulated this morning…where did i leave my coffee….

  3. Great building in the first few stanzas with the description, and then straight into some definitive narration. I love this period in history, and poor Wally did get quite a hard time from his red-headed Autocrat. Great ‘flight’ of the imagination, and a pretty decent limerick, I might add. ;_)

  4. potatoes aren’t that bad…no…? lol
    cool story you’ve woven here shan… hope you’re enjoying the weekend

    • The story makes me laugh, Raleigh was banished from court for secretly marrying his pregnant wife Bess, but the “other” Bess had her eye on him, and sent him onto the sea to find wealth. No gold, but potatoes he found lol

  5. This is great. I read it twice, both before and after your history lesson, an it works equally as well in both cases, and the final stanza works differently, but both to, I think diminish Sir Walter in either personal or historical terms. I like the bouyant word play and rhythm that fit so nautical a tale. Excellent!

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