Carter’s Salty Bard pirate poetry project

The Salty Bard: Up in Smoke
By Craig Parmelee Carter, BeachWrites ( 2017, 48 pp., paperback $8.95, Kindle edition $3.99.

Reviewed by Nim Marsh
For Points East

I enjoy poetry of the sea. Within arm’s reach of my desk is a copy of John Masefield’s “Salt Water Poems and Ballads.” At those times when deadlines hang heavily over my head, or when the ever-recalcitrant computer is acting out, it’s oddly soothing to turn to “Sing a Song o’ Shipwreck” or “Cape Horn Gospel II” while savoring the accompanying Chas. Pears illustrations.

Fetching Along columnist David Buckman periodically responds to my email messages in haiku-like doggerel – not as disciplined as the “five-seven-five” syllabic structure, but every bit as economical, caring and fun. His latest, in response to my new vessel (given to me by Piero Biancani, the subject of the March/April editorial):

A peapod.
How sweet.
They cut the water like a knife.
And carry along between strokes.
There’s a certain art to them.
Lucky you.

Which brings us – in a long, roundabout coastal cruiser’s kind of way – to “Up in Smoke,” a collection of poems, both serious and whimsical, by Points East author Craig Carter.

The serious (from “Sailor’s Dream”):

The sailor longs to put to sea
His way is lost when bound by land
Indifferent to the earthly cares
The madness of the social mill.

The whimsical (from “The Docks”):

The marina babe on the yacht’s foredeck,
    Will make the captain bend his neck.
Later, when the day is through,
    She’ll join him for a drink or two.
She’ll have no spouse, but boyfriends many,
    She’ll never need to earn a penny.
When the captain sees he’s been a fool,
    She’ll find another at the pool.

And Craig even offers haiku (from “Cruiser Haiku”):

Bluewater sailboat
Full keel heavy displacement
One restless skipper.

Ya gotta love it. I know I do.
Nim Marsh is Points East’s editor and resident daydreamer.

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