Poetry – Key West

An Area of High Pressure Over Key West

CharacterThere’s a great deal of pressure down here.
Oh it’s seems like to you that we’re all without care,
with the sun and the sand and all the skin, bare.
But there’s a great deal of pressure down here.

Oh the charter boat captains they put out to sea,
and the kayak adventures to uncharted key,
and the artists are painting the coconut palms,
and the wind on your face, so refreshing and calm,
and the curator stands in the door of his shop,
and the steel drum band never intending to stop,
and the reggae musicians in all of the bars
start at nine in the morning to play their guitars,
and the tourists on Duval, in neon pink shorts,
they expect us to be unique character sorts.

So there’s a great deal of pressure down here.
We wouldn’t admit it, we just wouldn’t dare,
it doesn’t just happen, this atmosphere rare.
We braid our hair long and we watch what we wear.
We work to be characters, unlike anywhere
else that you go, lest you should compare,
and find The Keys lacking, it does not seem fair.
There’s a great deal of pressure down here.


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He Died in the Keys

Oh he died in his sleep in the Florida Keys,
and he died with a rum in his hand,
and his face is caressed by a tropical breeze,
and his toes by the warmth of the sand.

Were they memories or just fantasies
as he smells all the tourists so tanned,
and he hears the cavorting of grey manatees
to the tune of a steel drum band.

As the dolphins escort him and play as they please
while the wings of the cormorants fanned
from the red channel marks to his port that he sees
as he tries to escape from the land.

And the marlin, they jump under coconut trees,
while the Pilar she moves ahead slow.
Oh he died in his sleep in the Florida Keys,
while his wife was out shoveling snow.


The Greatest Pirate

Train TrestleBring her into the wind, my boys,
she’ll soon be abaft the beam.
Then fire the cannons,
and loosen the sails,
and listen while maidens scream.

Swing from the yardarms, onto her deck,
and see what her treasures are worth.
The talk in the port
will be, Captain Maurice,
“The greatest pirate on earth.”

Smoke disappears, he sits in his den,
no treasure, no mainsheet to splice.
As he looks through his glass,
from the couch he commands,
“Hon, can you bring me more ice?”


The Greatest Pirate first published in Boomer Café (here)

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