The Sailors of Ulm

for Tim Dalling

Put out to sea, my broken comrades,
Unfurl the torn and tattered hearts
Tattooed upon our fading colours,
For though the seas have all run dry
And our boats burned, and all our charts
Forgot, we’ll get there by and by.

Run up the sail, my heartsick comrades,
The tide has turned, all hands on deck,
Let all who sail this lunar ocean
Recall the faithful crew who drowned
Inside the bleached whale of our wreck
When, rudderless, we ran aground.

Don’t rock the boat, ignoble comrades,
Or we might end up in the drink.
Our course is set. On the horizon
The sun is setting. On the quay
The rats are cheering as we sink
Beneath the sands. We’re all at sea.




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