Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Crossing three oceans


Bethlehem Steel Corp Sparrows Point Plant Ore Pier is a United States port facility located in Sparrows Point, Maryland. 
It specializes in the Receipt of miscellaneous dry-bulk materials including pelletized ore.. 

Piraeus, Miaoulis Coast,
and as the sailors
                 [use to do most,
repeating the old same scene,
I had to bribe the go-between,
(a weird, undesirable person,
                                   [a creep),
in order....
             [to get a job on a ship.

The bastard suggested
                  [a smuggling vessel,
a truly bloody dangerous hassle.

I refused and he became angry
he looked like
                 [a spanked monkey..

It was time to put my foot down….
I said there are more creeps around,
he finally receded this pimp, this clown,
and proposed a T2*
                            [tanker in Cape Town… .

I had to choose a penalty... to be drown?
or picked up and imprisoned?
in both cases...
           [not what I envisioned....

Contraband means..... jail,
and the explosion
    [of a tanker means wail..

I preferred the tanker, the risk of fire ..
The contact with the loved ones
                          [only by phone wire…
The flammable oil intolerable smell…..
The cell of sea, like every prison cell ..

By the next day I was already passing
                               [the Cape of Good Hope.

Crossing three oceans, and from port to port,
finally we tied up the first mooring rope,
at the dock of “Sparrow’s point ",

Late that night, I said to myself,
                                         [not any more.
No more fear,
            [and dangerous trips.
No more traveling and risks,
the end of stormy seas,
                   [the end of ships ...

Within hours I had fallen in love,
and this justifies
                      [my decision above.
I saw for the first time
                 New York City, the beauty,
seemed an aloof chick,
                           [one that was snooty.

        [a really great temptation ...
Disregarding the immigration,
I gave up the boat,
and without having even a coat,
between rain and snow,
and with many precautions in row,
I found myself in the arms of
                           [my beloved city..

Quickly I realized
                    [that I was not a kitty,
nor was there a hug as in my tale.

As always,
          I had all the time on my tail
the curse of seafarers, and my bad luck…
This love ended quickly,
                          [and also my last buck..

The immigration questioning
                                          [was brief,
in the process I felt like I was a thief.....

The officers did not believe
       [I had fallen in love with a queen
The queen of the cities that I had seen.


* Following World War II, there wasn't much need for the Liberty and Victory hulls, as there were already bigger and better cargo ships plying the trade more efficiently. But on the other hand, we had developed a profound thirst for petroleum products. Automobiles were being produced for the public again. Air travel had become a standard. All this required gasoline, diesel, and lubricating oils. We had to have a way of getting it here, and to the rest of the world. To meet that end, the Maritime Commission, after much lobbying by the petroleum and shipping industries, allowed the sale of the T2 tankers it had built for the war.


* Extract from "The Broken Mooring Line", an experiential
poetic work // page c24 // e-mail: pmataragas@yahoo.com //
Texts and Narration: Odysseus Heavilayias - ROTTERDAM //
Language adjustments and text adaptation: Kellene G Safis - CHICAGO//
Digital adaptation and text editing: Cathy Rapakoulia Mataraga - PIRAEUS


the tales of a Greek Sailor

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