“Fire in the hole!”
By which, he means,
The great oaffing fat man
With jowls of a goaler and head of a Dick:
“The ship’s a-sinking,
Jump!”

But the frost bit
Bowels of the great
Oceanliner, festooning its spires
And whipping up wind in its lungs,
Upset the great god
Of the Greeks.

So still at the port,
Lock-jawed and gagged
By the dyspeptic skin of the sea,
Rolled dozens of shipmates half-mad
On the imminent wake
Of their doom.

Until at the last,
Curtained tire of day,
There came a loud whisper
From Rome’s own Poseidon commanding:
The end of this nonsense
For still.

The sailors awoke,
In their own vomit smiling
And raucously cheering their captain!
‘Til at eve they convened on the bow of the ship
Drinking rum for defeating
The rain.

All night they carous’d,
For Bacchus, for Zeus, for the sea!
Half-naked, and limp from the drink, they kept on
With bellowing hymns and dances on pegs, on the stern,
One candle yet lighting
The dark.

But oh for the champions!
If one stout’d mate had not hobbled
From deck-mast to galley wearing his drink
And fumbling for casks of the rich, toxic wine
The candle would burn
Yet a-bright.

Though as Zeus
Had commanded, and Bacchus
Concurred, the flood of the fire escaped!
And knelt the great skiff from knuckle to nave
In a belly of hungering
Sea.