To Be Underway
I feel like I am such a disgrace,
So take me away from this awful place.
Among my shipmates, I am just a face,
As I walk through the ship without any grace.
As I stand outside for my daily smoke,
And have in my hand a can of coke,
I think of the people I will choke
Next time I’m told “Set condition yoke.”
I cannot stand to be underway.
People around me are turning gay.
Right now to God I think I’ll pray
Before I drown myself today.
There was a shipmate of mine in my shop who was very short. I made the following for him. He read it and liked it.
Once on top a midnight ocean, as I pondered, so uncheery.
Over so much work to do that has made me so damn dreery.
While in my rack I’d lye, suddenly there came a stomping,
As if someone were gently walking, walking on my berthing floor.
“It is a shipmate”, I figured, “walking on this berthing floor-
I should ignore it and start to snore.”
So discretely I remember it was in the late November,
And all the dead shipmates brought their ghost to this berthing floor.
Impatiently I awaited tomorrow; invainly I had sought some sorrow
From the herpes I had borrowed-borrowed from a Singapore whore-
For all the working women behind the glass walls of Singapore-
Nameless hereon and evermore.
On my rack’s walls, I was certain, had pulled down a blue curtain
That frightened me with scary thoughts I had never thought before;
My heart stood still, as I scratched myself, repeating,
“It is some herpes from that Singapore whore-
Some herpes that came back from that Singapore whore-
Hopefully this and nothing more.”
I could not stand it any longer, as my mind had grown so stronger,
“Who is it?” I muttered, “Your name I do implore;
But the fact is I needed a crapping, and then so gently you came stomping,
And so quietly you would be stomping, stomping on my berthing floor,
I was awake and I heard you, heard you stomping on my berthing floor.”
And so I opened my rack’s curtain, even though I should ignore;
Quiet and dark, and nothing more.
Deep into the berthing, caring, long I laid there, awake and staring,
Thinking thoughts no shipmate should ever think before;
The silence stopped and I heard a walking, and then someone gently talking,
And the only words I heard spoken were the whispered words, “Dirty floor!”
And so I whispered back to the stranger, the words said to me-“Dirty floor?
Only this and nothing more?”
Going to sleep as I’m first turning, my stomach gave such a churning,
And soon again I heard a stomping much more louder than before.
“A skate,” said I, “just a skate and that is all:
Let me check it out so this noise I can explore-
Let me get my clothes on, so this noise I can explore-
It is a shipmate saying ‘dirty floor'”-
This I thought, and nothing more.
Then I hesitate, in the shadows, while I fidget.
In the distance I see a midget-
A very tiny midget standing on my berthing floor-
Standing on my berthing floor, so far from me and by the door,
Then sat down and said the words “Dirty floor”.
“How strange”, I thought. So this I went to explore.
Then I came closer and started to fidget-
Fidget more and more, and then quote the midget, “Dirty floor!”
“Tell me your name, I do implore,
You evil midget from a foreign shore!”
Quote the midget, “Dirty floor!”
“Why,” I wondered, “why does this midget not answer?”
Though his response had little meaning, telling me to do a chore;
I cannot help to be thinking, what ship I knew that was not clinking,
Was cursed so much with a midget from a foreign shore?
Cursed so much to have a midget from a foreign shore,
With a name he gives as “Dirty floor.”
And the midget, standing lonely by the berthing door, said only
Those words, as if his purpose in those words he did contour.
Nothing else would he say, this midget from a foreign shore-
So I then asked the lonely midget, “Have you ever come before?-
Come before, you lonely midget, have you come from a foreign shore?”
Then the midget said, “Dirty floor.”
Bedazzled at his quietness stopping and his dip he would be dropping,
“Doubtful”, I said, “what you speak should not be spoken
While my shipmates are sleeping, sleeping on this berthing floor-
So late at night and after taps you come to speak words not spoken,
If you do not leave, you will be chokin’-chokin’ here and evermore-
For saying the words, ‘Dirty floor’.”
But the midget would stay, standing, as if to me he would be handing,
Handing a thought–but of what, I would not know nor would ignore
Then I grab a seat near the midget, thinking where he would be landing
On this boat if he were a midget from a foreign shore.
As I look upon his eyes, beyond those glasses, and without surprise,
I see a midget so sad as he cries, as if he misses his foreign shore.
“Then why?” I ask, “Why do you mutter ‘dirty floor’?”
So I sit, in my head guessing, with many faces I was expressing,
To the midget who won’t stop standing on this berthing floor;
This and more I continued thinking, as my eyes kept on blinking.
To the midget I would be bickering, While a rack light kept on flickering,
And so I kept on bickering, with this light that would not stop flickering,
Flickering as its light would show the dirty floor.
I could’ve sworn the air grew thicker, and my stomach would get sicker.
“Intruder!” I cried, “You are an intruder on this berthing floor!
Who has sent you? You will leave-leave through that berthing door-
You will leave and never come back-ever again or ever more!
Quote the midget, “Dirty floor!”
“Stowaway!” I said, “unwanted thing from a foreign shore,
Whoever sent you, you need to tell me-I implore!
Or to Hell I will send you-to the middle of the Earth’s core!
What is the land from which you come-tell me! I implore!”
Yet he stands, so undaunted, with a look as if he’s haunted-
haunted from the memories of his life upon a foreign shore.
Quote the midget, “Dirty floor.”
“Stowaway!” I said, “unwanted thing from a foreign shore,
Whoever sent you, you need to tell me-I implore!”
He does not answer, and I need not take this anymore-
I need to scratch the herpes I got from Singapore-
From the woman whom I hired, with a face that looked so tired,
Whom gave me herpes when I went to visit the dirty whore-
This dirty whore who gave me herpes when I visited Singapore.
Quote the midget, “Dirty floor.”
“Friend or shipmate?” I asked the midget, while I gave a noticeable fidget.
“You will not give me a simple reply, and for this you will simply die-
Die or depart this ship and return to your foreign shore!
Leave at once-turn around and depart through the berthing door!
Quote the midget, “Dirty floor.”
And the midget, never moving, still standing, still standing
In this dark-covered living quarters, right next to the berthing door-
Right beside the berthing door and at the end of my berthing’s floor.
And then the berthing door would open, while my mind would be copin’,
And a flashlight shined in to reveal this midget from a foreign shore-
Oh, it was only Koontz-only him and nothing more.
Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”
Out To Sea
Here I find myself, once again,
Out to sea on a ship full of men.
I like to get away, but not like this,
As I think of the people I will miss.
It’s not so bad, when you think of it twice-
The sea is sad, but sometimes nice.
This life for me will not suffice.
I feel like I’m with a bunch of mice.
I have swam along with many planks,
But never when the water’s rough.
I’ve worked my way up the ranks,
And work’s been hard, but I’ve been tough.
Once on top a midnight ocean,
While I pondered, in commosion,
How my mind had reached this notion
To be shallow with emotion.
Why was I here? What was I doing?
They say my country I was serving.
My mind had been in endless yearning
For a life of different learning.
A hard-working sailor I’d become-
A grumpy drunk who’d drink too much rum.
No one back home to think of me-
No wife, no kids, no family.
I drink to numb this lonely pain
That has driven me insane.
A bullet I shall buy and a gun I shall rent,
To take my life, end the pain, and never repent.
It’s 7:15 and I muster with the LCPO,
Standing next to May in the far back row.
“Attention to quarters!” Someone says so loud,
As senior walks up and addresses the crowd.
“Any U/A’s?” Senior asks everyone.
Thankfully, my shop only has one-
The shitbag mother fucker who’s name is Lujan,
Running late cuz his ride was at The Bon.
Muster’s over, and I’m in 8&10 A/C
For cleaning stations, as lonely as can be.
It’s 8:45-I’m in the shop with the LPO,
And he tells me the A-Div office I must go.
“Be there at 9-you’re on the working party,
And senior will be there, so don’t be tardy!
He needed one 3rd-don’t take it to the heart-
That’s what it said on the tiger team chart.”
I go to the office and it’s 9 o’clock,
So on the A-Div door I knock.
I walk in and see senior taking a seat
With shipmates all around, looking really beat.
“We’re all going to be cleaning the spaces,
Starting with the number one to four aces,
So quit poubting and make some fucking happy faces!
I own your asses for the next three weeks,
So fuck with me and see as my temper peaks.”
The man with the gold and the star on his collar,
Says so loud, as he starts to hollar.
“Ramirez and Allen, you’re my right hand men.”
Senior is done, quarters is over, and it’s almost ten.
As we all leave to check out ace number one,
We knows the next few weeks will be a lot of fun.
Ramirez tells us to start to high dust-
“It must get done, and so it’s a must-
Cleaning this for insurv is very essential!”
I swear this dude’s got lifer potential.
But he ain’t bad, cuz he’s a Cali residential.
It’s now 11:00 and I hear the bell,
So I change and go to Taco Bell.
I know I’m not supposed to leave the ship,
But no one ever gives me any lip.
It’s 1300 and I’m back in the space,
Big ol’ smile all across everyone’s face,
Wishin’ I was in my car, bumpin’ some base.
I’m off work and I give Lujan a ride home,
But first he runs his hair through a comb.
A few days of the same shit goes by,
And I’m not appreciated, as hard as I try.
It’s now Wednesday, the middle of the week,
And Ramirez’s temper is about to peak.
“If this shit ain’t done I’m up shit creak!”
This team is so fucking boring I wanna leave,
And the purpose of this shit I can’t conceive-
I’m so sick and tired I’m about to heave.”
“Finishing up this space you will achieve-
By the end of the day, you better believe.”
Ramirez tells us, as if we want to listen-
I think senior’s ass he wants to be kissin’.
I’m cleaning ace two now, early in the morn-
Really fucking tired, cuz I stayed up watching porn.
Nored starts rapping to pass the time-
He’s pretty damn good at spittin’ some rhyme.
“I’ve got ten fat bitches working for me.”
He says to himself, proud as can be.
A week goes by and we start ace three,
And our hard work Senior starts to see-
Even from the restricted guy Bendele,
One lucky ass dude leavin’ the Navy.
The following one is my least favorite because it’s full of cussing and says some pretty gross stuff (be warned about that).
The AC&R Shop
Right after muster with the 1st class Horning,
Cleaning stations goes down in the morning.
After we wake from a thirty minute nap,
We go to the shop and see May snap.
“I’m sick and tired of this shit!”
May does say as he throws a fit.
“I’ve been up all night doing PMS,
And I’m gonna kill Cletus and make a mess!”
“Senior Chief Perkins is who you’ll see,”
Peschong tells May, hesitantly.
“If you don’t shut up and sit your ass down!”
So May does, with a big ol’ frown.
And so we had quarters, once again,
With the 1st class Horning and a bunch of men,
And don’t forget about Garry, the one female,
In charge of supply and the f*cking crel.
Well, aside from all that,
Horning has quarters and sure likes to chat,
Rambling for hours, going on and on,
While Leverett sleeps and dreams of Pokemon.
“Shut the f*ck up!” People wanna say,
But nobody does, day after day.
Well, I think it’s lunchtime now,
So we all leave and go eat chow.
It’s 1300 and lunchtime’s over—
Where the f*ck is the A.M.O. rover?
Central’s been calling for about an hour,
Trying to get the A/C on power.
We searched all over to find this guy.
His name is Lujan and he doesn’t try.
He’s a shitbag worker who doesn’t give a f*ck,
Slacking off and testing his luck.
I walk around to 9 A/C,
And on the deckplates, what do i see?
Lujan’s ass, sleeping so soundly.
“Wake the f*ck up!” And he stands beside me.
“Go see Horning, in the f*cking shop!”
And so he does, and he makes him mop
So late at night so he doesn’t sleep.
“To hell with Horning! F*ck that creep!”
Mid-afternoon finally rolls around,
And these lost gauges i finally found—
So this shit can be ready for inpection survey,
So Horning can lay off, and finally be okay.
It about rolls toward the end of the day,
And i leave to go eat dinner with May.
We talk about work, and what we did today.
Right after dinner, we continued our job,
And went to the shop to talk to Rob.
“You better finish up those lollipops today.”
Rob looks at us and starts to say.
“Shut the f*ck up and mind your own.”
May tells him as he starts to moan.
“We got a whole lot of shit to do,
So get off our back—you have no clue.”
May and I are starting to leave,
But as we walk away, someone pulls our sleeve.
It’s f*cking cletus, the work center sup.,
Sitting on his ass and eating some soup.
“I know you two are doing your best,
But before you leave and take a night’s rest,
I’m gonna need you to finish your PMS.
“But i got a lot of gauges in need of calibratin’,
And then I’m going to bed and masturbatin’,
So you better lay off, you f*cking bitch,
And you better not go to Horning and snitch.
I’m gonna finish my job and hit my rack,
And make-up all this sleep that I lack.
Koontz walks in and takes a dip—
Puts it in his mouth, under his lip.
“Where the f*ck is Cajic?” He says so loud,
Looking real short, but standing proud.
“Haven’t seen him in about an hour—
I think he went to go and take a shower.”
It’s after taps and it’s time to turn in—
My job is done, and the day’s a fin.
An hour passes and it’s time to wake up.
I got the mid so i grab my coffee cup.
I head to Central, but first i have a smoke—
A Marlboro red and a can of coke.
I’m about to stand watch with the 3rd class Claire.
I’m now in Central and she isn’t even there.
“Where is she? She’s f*cking late!”
Cajic tells me he doesn’t want to wait.
She just walks in, looking real tired.
“If i were your boss, i’d get you fired!”
Cajic gives a turnover and walks away.
Then Cletus walks in and tells me to wake May.
“He’s got PMS he needs to get done!”
So to his rack i go and run—
Waking him up just isn’t no fun:
“Who the f*ck does he think he is?
He needs to mind his own f*cking biz!”
“He’s the work center sup.—2nd class cletus,
Trying to take over and f*cking lead us.”
“This is nothing but a f*cking joke!
I’m going to make this mother f*cker choke!
Damn, he makes me so f*cking mad!
Thinking he can be my f*cking dad!”
After my readings, i go to aft A/C,
And i see Hay, happy as can be.
Big ol’ grin all across his face—
Looks like he’s about to tear up this place,
And then he flips out and starts throwing chairs—
The look on his face shows he’s free of cares.
He laughs out loud and loses his mind.
I tell him to smoke so he can unwind.
“If Cletus and i were each other’s cellmate,
I’d f*ck him in his ass and call him Kate.
I’d pass him around and call him number one—
He’ll be my bitch and we’ll have some fun.”
As watch goes on, i do another round—
Passing through the ship so free of sound.
As the days pass by, i feel so bound,
Stuck in this place like a f*cking hound.
Garry made me do another paper log,
Treating me like I’m a f*cking dog.
Making me do readings while she sits on her ass,
Eating a lot of candy and passing gas.
“When i get off watch, I’m gonna wash my feet,
For the first time in years, and then i’ll go eat.”
As soon as May relieves us, I go to sleep,
And a few hours later, I hear a beep.
I’m still very tired, but it’s okay—
We’re supposed to pull into S.D. today.
The shop is clean and everyone’s happy.
We’ve been working hard and look very snappy.
The lights turn off and people start to dance,
Putting on music and making a trance.
Kelson gets up and starts to bust a move—
Not a bad dancer—that he can prove.
Claire gets up and tries it out,
And the guys get up and start to shout.
We all just try to root her on,
Even though her dancing makes us yawn.
A little while later, we hold quarters,
And we are warned not to cross the borders.
We’re finally allowed to leave the ship—
People in a hurry as they almost trip.
Well, that’s about a day in the navy life—
Out to sea and away from the wife.
Morale goes down and you get in fights,
As Uncle Sam takes a hold of your rights.
Do i want to stay in? No, f*ck you.
Being a civilian’s what i want to do.
It’s been a long day, and i think it’s time
For me to leave cuz I’ve run outta rhyme.
I was inspired to write the following poem after I convinced a shipmate of mine I was abducted by aliens.
I need to say a story I’ve never confessed-
About my past, and how i was a test.
It’s a true story that’s made me feel so cold-
It happened when i was twelve years old.
In middle of the night, i heard a sound-
as if creatures were lurking, so unbound,
And so i look up, and what do i see?
Aliens standing right next to me-
I tried so hard, but i couldn’t fight-
These creatures lurking in the middle of the night,
Whom i could see in very plain sight,
Even though there wasn’t much light.
Man, this shit just didn’t seem right.
If you were me, what would you do?
You’d be like me and have no clue-
Ten alien creatures standing around you.
Trust me-this story i say is true.
This is something I’ve kept inside-
These feelings through the years i’d hide.
Their faces had an interesting feature.
Could this be a godly creature?
I remember crying, but they did not care-
All they did was look and stare.
Why me? It didn’t seem fair.
To experience something so rare
That gave me the most frightening scare.
“Go away,” I’d try to say,
But they wrapped me up and carried me away-
Something i remember to this day.
I couldn’t understand what they’d try to say,
But I always looked to god and pray.
I saw a spaceship, and a beam of light,
And then I passed out from such great fright.
What seemed like a moment, I’d awaken-
From this world i have been taken!
I was in a white room strapped to a table,
feeling like i was caged in a stable.
What the hell was this all about?
The idea of aliens i’d no longer doubt.
There was a device mounted above my bed,
and cables strapping down my body and head.
I couldn’t move, and could barely look around,
In this room so free of sound.
There was a hallway to my left and three doors,
One that led to an elevator that went to other floors.
And one of which was very small and had my clothes,
And whenever someone comes in, I’d remain froze.
Every time i had a chance, I’d close my eyes and doze.
Man, this shit really blows.
My only time to get away was when i sleep,
and when i did, I’d dream so deep,
Wishing the next day, i would wake
Inside my house beside the lake.
In front of me, there was a window where creatures passed by,
and sometimes they’d stop and look, while in this bed I’d lie.
Every time I tried, I could not cry-
Days passed on and my eyes would dry.
I remember wishing that I would die.
My heart would grow cold, and fill with frost,
As my hope of going home had been lost.
I prayed to the lord to take me away,
while i was tortured, day after day.
The main entrance was a door to the right,
where these creatures would enter, day and night.
Throughout all this, experiments would be done,
and my skin turned white from lack of food and sun.
I remember for about a week, i saw many creatures,
Tall, short, and mostly thin, with many different features.
I think they were visitors to the ship,
And i think i was halfway through the trip.
If my memory serves me right and I remember,
This was toward the end of December.
I think this trip was all about me,
And being shown to their people for a fee,
Or perhaps this show was free.
I realized then i was part of a zoo,
And this was something that probably wasn’t new.
During the long trip back home,
I was unstrapped and allowed to roam.
My body was bruised, cut, and beaten,
And it had been months since i’d eaten.
I was fed through tubes inserted into my side,
And my waist was extracted through tubes so wide.
The aliens would study my every move,
As human intelligence i would prove.
They would remain behind the glass,
Sometimes few or in a mass.
One day, as i was sitting down,
With my face having a big ol’ frown,
I heard an interesting sound-
A door I seen open, and my clothes had been found.
I got dressed, excited as can be,
Thinking i might finally be set free.
I regained energy, and i gave a shout,
And moments later, i passed out.
When i came to, i thought i was dead-
I was back home in my bed.
I soon realized i had not passed,
But instead I made it home, at last.
It was the morning, right after dawn-
When i looked at the date, three months had gone.
When my family would awaken,
they didn’t realize i’d been taken.
Either way, i was glad to be home-
Free from a prison and allowed to roam.
I am troubled for life from this-
This incident had taken away my bliss.
These words I say have all been true-
so please understand, it could’ve been you.