When you’re wet and cold in freezing rain,

A lookout aloft – some foggy shipping lane

You wish you knew who on earth to blame

For making you a seaman


When hurricane winds tear at your hair

Icy rain – you curse in despair

Cold spray stinging – you just don’t care

Whether you go to your God a seaman


Where there is water, water everywhere

Horizon stretching from here to there

The only company are the stars who dare

To look down and mock a seaman


When you’re woken in the middle of night

To stand watch till bleary twilight

Waiting for horizon to glow alight

It’s your lot in life – you’re a seaman


When weekends pass and you’re still working

In port, at sea – no rest, no shirking

Sundays are just Mondays lurking

To jibe and taunt a seaman


When you work below amid throbbing noise

In such cacophony – can’t hear your voice

Heat of machinery, sweat of the boys

It is because you’re a seaman


When sea pirates attack and hound

Coast Guard and port officials confound

When stowaways and smugglers abound

Curse the life of a seaman


Christmas and Easter slip by at sea

On Diwali you’re not where you should be

Missing celebrations with the family

Rue the life of a seaman


But if you love the whiff of fresh sea breeze

The gentle roll of waves at ease

The tranquil sunrise yonder east

Perhaps you’re born to be a seaman…


If you enjoy the warm camaraderie

Of a few good men from other countries

Braving loneliness and dangers at sea

Then yes…….

You’ll spend your life a seaman!

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Beetashok Chatterjee
Beetashok Chatterjee is a seaman by profession. This old sea dog is also a wannabe poet/writer, avid reader, music lover, movie buff, cricket enthusiast and a restless spirit.
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