Our Ship of State is Listing

Our ship of state is listing hard to starboard.
Too much cargo shifted to the right.
As officers dissemble, we get worried;
Not land or help are anywhere in sight.

The captain twirls coins between his fingers
Demanding berries, choosing who to blame.
The boatswain’s on his knees up on the prow
Trying not to hear; he says he’s praying.

Our mast with flame atop leans hard aside,
And hot air rising fails to fill the sails
As dark tides pull our foundering vessel backwards
And constant waves swamp valiant trys to bail.

A mutiny could haul the ballast back still,
‘Fore pirates plunder all of it away;
The rats whose greedy chewing loosed the cargo
Would likely jump to find another day.

She’s a sturdy boat–good bones, we say.
Designed and built to keep us safe and sound.
But we need more than boasts of flag and cannon:
A crew that will not run our ship aground.

Robert Rack

One thought on “Our Ship of State is Listing”

  1. Well said Bob, and very Dutch I must say, not so much the stately ship, but the sailing part..
    There is a Dutch saying: the shore will turn the ship. Which means: either something else will stop all this, or it is a shipwreck.. (of course in Holland there are many ships..perhaps in the US there are many states possible)


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