7 December 2012

For Katie by Paul Ferlitsch

For Katie by Paul Ferlitsch (22)


On the ocean, on the high seas

Were the captain and his crew

Sailing eastwards, months at sea now.

Sought a beauty fine and true


Through the waters, naked lovely

Swam the girl who was the prize.

‘O to catch her! Ageless treasure!’

Said the sailors between sighs


And then at long last, and with a net cast

That water nymph was brought on board.

As he chained the pretty haul

The captain shouted rum for all


Straight below deck, bundled under

To the specially designed cage.

Went she freely, and with smiles

For what is jail without age?


But from that first day, from the onset

The ship saw problems grow most grave;

The sailors maddened, captain sightless.

Vessel crushed beneath a wave


The cage bars rusted from the salt

The sailors’ skeletons did not mind

Out she swam away without a worry

O my darling, dreadful sorry.




In a café, by a market

Sits the same girl, finely dressed

Besieged by standard would-be suitors

She is clearly unimpressed.


Spurns she one man, too persistent

Says to hell, his affections, send.

He walks out and jumps in traffic

“Fare thee well…” and meets his end


Then another, and a third

So many as to be absurd.

But such constancy in decline!

I resolved to make that darling mine.


Went we places, different beaches

And whispered lovely things and more

And robbed a bank! The cashiers bound

Blew the safe and out the door.


Until one day, awful Sunday

She resolved to swim the sea

And Lord knows I am no swimmer!

Therefore she was lost to me.


How I missed her! How I missed her!

Would that I could swim through time.

O my darling, dreadful sorry

Would that I had kept you mine.




In the paper, five months later

Read a story from the horn.

Innocents freed and villains vanquished

She the picture, could have sworn


Went to Algiers, joined the legion

Gave my word to fight for France

Volunteered against those pirates

Gave it thought and took the chance.


Marched we at them, my battalion

Paid to stop the Bandit King.

‘Onward!’ to cheering men I said

‘We’ve been tasked to take his head!’


And all that time I, although searching,

Never found the girl I sought.

Until one day in a canyon;

The pirates trapped, the battle fought.


We were many, and far stronger

Yet one by one my men did die!

But the culprit was apparent;

A wrathful beauty fighting nigh.


Cartridge necklace, coloured sabre

In terms of heads she made it rain!

Dropped my rife, when I saw her

Knew I’d not need it again.


Final meeting of our eyes,

As she split me at the waist

O my darling, dreadful sorry!

Would that we could have embraced.