The Ballad of the Doldrums

The ballad of the doldrums

A sailing ship with canvas set
becalmed en route for Indies,
Spanish captain failed to get
even the slightest windies.

His cargo, bound for Western lands,
horses for Jamaica,
was needed by plantation hands
to help the sugar maker.

Hungry horses ate the food
and drank a lot of water.
Starving sailors roundly booed:
‘Cap’n, do what you oughtta.’

To lighten ship so breeze could blow
them to their destination,
desparate captain began to throw
equines off in frustration.

Plantation owners were not pleased,
they thought it was a trick
to deprive them of their wealth and ease;
it made them feel quite sick.

Ever since that dreadful time,
in the windless ocean,
in memory of Spanish crime
they cry out with emotion.

Latitudes thirty to thirty-five north
where winds forsake their courses
this doldrum ocean shall henceforth
be named Latitudes, Horses’.

 For dVerse Poets Pub.  Not a new piece of doggerel, but I’m in the Doldrums!   


All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
This entry was posted in formal poetry, Poems, really bad poem and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to The Ballad of the Doldrums

  1. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) says:

    Oh, this is so good!


  2. Eha says:

    When the doldrums came about . . . was it always just the horses . . . ? When one thinks we know routinely fly over the POSH area . . .!


  3. Love the words you chose in this poem and the use of the Spanish horses. Fun read.


  4. Susan Chast says:

    I wouldn’t put anything past those old merchants and their ships. What didn’t they throw overboard? This ballad should lift you out and over the doldrums for some smooth sailing.


  5. claudia says:

    oh i think on every sailship they could tell just thousands of stories…funny ones and not so funny ones…glad you gave the ballad a try and hope you’re getting out of the doldrum soon..


  6. Very good and clever… I actually thought a little bit of “rhyme of an ancient Mariner” in your lines… very very good..


  7. Tony Maude says:

    Very cleverly done – love some of the rhymes Indies/windies and water/oughter are brilliant … smiles.
    On a more serious note, while the story this is based on is apocryphal, slave ships did on occasion dump their human cargo overboard, usually because of outbreaks of disease.

    Finally – I hope the doldrums pass soon for you and that you’ll soon be back up to speed.


  8. Awe Viv I am sorry that you are in the doldrums. We haven’t connected for a bit. There are some stanzas there that had me laughing outloud!


  9. colonialist says:

    Love it!

    In doggerel you set your courses
    To relate sad tale of horses –
    Maybe better you should tell
    This one all in horserell?


  10. Very well done, poor horsies though. I’m sorry that you’re in the doldrums. A nice tarte aux pommes from the local patisserie could perhaps lift the mood?


  11. Mary says:

    This made me laugh aloud, Viv!! Priceless.


  12. ManicDdaily says:

    Ha– it is so very clever and funny, well, except for the poor horses–but such great rhymes and rhythms. Well done. Thanks so much, Viv. k.


  13. Your write does woo you all the way to the end.
    Rhyming is done well. Liked the story line too


  14. I love this! But is it a true story? I can’t take any more animal cruelty today.


  15. hypercryptical says:

    Erm, happy smile!


  16. hypercryptical says:

    A pleasure to read Viv – and I just love the ‘windies’ too, it bringing a big happen smile to my face.
    Anna :o]


  17. aprille says:

    Once you start, it seems hard to stop. Love the ‘windies’ and the ‘oughter’. I added your comment to my post as you emphasized an important point.


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