The Wreck of the Armstrong Custer

October 15, 2013 at 7:01 pm (Poetry) (, , , , , , , )

The Wreck of The Armstrong Custer




It was a ship whose name most ship captains often laughed to scorn

named by an oil executive whose ancestor died at Little Big Horn.

This ship often sailed into Vancouver’s port

a tanker they called the Floating Fort.




This tanker carried oil to China and Hong Kong

where it sold for billions not a pittance of a song.



While in port absorbing oil from a pipeline

the captain went for a walk in autumn sunshine.



Through trails and trees he walked

while squirrels frolicked and seagulls squawked

and there in the clearing he stumbled upon a totem pole

where thunderbird rose with the sky as his goal.



The captain looked at the ancient artifact

while removing a cigarette from its pack

he lit a light with his match

and from his fingers did dispatch

without bothering to put it out

soon fire covered the ground about.




The totem pole burned to the ground

and thunderbird perished without sound.

The captain walked on without a care

only ancient spirits did despair.





Days later out on the high seas of the Pacific Ocean

the tanker Custer was tossed to and fro with great commotion

and swooping down from the skies

with great ferocious cries

a huge black bird with vast wing span

picked the ship up like a girl with a fan

and soared into the heavens like a bat out of Hell

and from its beak dropped the ship into the ocean swell.




That was the end of the Armstrong Custer

a ship whose end came without much bluster.

When other ships came upon the wreck

there with his feet nailed to the deck

was the captain now skull and bones

having come face to face with Davy Jones

he had entered that gentleman’s locker without much stealth

in his hands clutched a pack that said

Cigarettes are hazardous to your health.





-A narrative poem

  written by Christopher

  Tuesday October 15th



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