Poetry By Chuck



This adventure poem should be read while listening to

Yanni's "Song for Antarctica."... to set the mood.

Author Notes:  This is the story of a whaling ship which will not return from the Arctic Wastes which it enters.   It takes place in the late 1800's and the story is continued in my poem Dog Town, which takes place in Dogtown, Massachusetts.   I wrote this long before I read the true story of the Ship "Endurance".  Which is one heck of a Adventure book and all true.   I wrote this from the aspect of a young man just setting out on his first voyage with a seasoned crew surrounding him.  These are his reflections....


Free Music | Free Song For Antarctica ringtone at EZ-Tracks.com


Now enter the grave of the damned....



Damned Are We

North we’re bound our fortunes to seek,
with sails tightened and timber creak.

Our keels strong as is our will,
we’ve an ocean to cross and whales to kill.

Tis, not a voyage for the landlubbing meek.
Tis, whalin’ we’ll be and their blubber we seek.





We must be bold and cautious in our quest,
keeping a sharp watch from the crows nest.

Dangers and obstacles, and hazards abound,
storms, reefs, and running aground.

Fear will never alter our course,
greed drives us, a more powerful force.

The pilots sextant will mirror the star,
and Polaris to guide us a beacon from afar.

For each pound of flesh, each gallon of oil,
we intend to shed whales blood til the oceans boil.

A full hole means a full coffer,
an equal share the Captain’s offer.

“The Sea!” “The Sea!”, We plod on course,
and slowly we enter the ice burgs source.

But where are the whales we came to kill,
nary a one only the frost of winters deep chill.

Up up to the shores of the sunless sea
and the inky black of midnight day.

Where sunshine is something we may never see
and the cold and ice hold chilling sway.

Here a shroud of snow extracts a travelers fee
and Natures tempest buries the brave.

Deeper and deeper, so deep our bones start to freeze,
the cold pours in and our muscles seize.

“Too Far!” “Too Far!” We realized today.
Greed has driven us too far to save!

Now, damned are we to an icy grave
by a wind so cold it steals our breath away.

For now we are becalmed in a solid sea,
the likes of which, I hope, you’ll never see.


From hell itself the wind doth blow
stabbing at us across the frozen ice flows.

“Please God!” “Open a fissure for me!”
“Split the ice as far as the open sea!”

Or if thou willith its here we will die
an entire ship of frozen corpses, my mates and I.

No fire will burn nor lantern long light
these frozen expanses cloaked in the Devils night.

The riggin’s alight with St Elmo’s fire
casting a pall on our situation dire.

The temperature has plummeted below the scale
without the sun none shall live to tell the tale.

“Oh Lord!” “Why have thou forsaken me
and abandoned us all in this unforgiving sea?”

Now the end is near I feel its icy touch.
“Please God!” “Stop our suffering, is it asking so much?”

“Will future explorers discover our frozen bait,
will they then share a similar fate.”

“Or will an Indian Summer brings us to rot
and Polar Bears and Flies gnaw us to naught.”

“Will our lost souls howl in the wind
enticing others towards the same end.”

An eternity afloat above the briny blue
encased in a frozen sarcophagus, preserved like new.

“Travelers!” “Beware our frozen tomb.”
For to visit is to stay, your life ended too soon.

The ice splits and shifts over an angry sea
then freezes, trapping all,



Author's Questions/Comments
Long before I heard of the ship Endurance, which suffered such a fate, I wrote this poem over a period of two years.  I hope it provides a measure of insight into the horror that can be experienced at Mother Nature's whim....

*(If your interested in reading more about this story, visit this link for the book:  www.anitadiamant.com/newfiction.htm   )


Keel    -   the main beam of a ship.  
Coffer  -   the place where, usually the Captain kept his gold.
Landlubbing   -   Slang for people who live and work on land.
Crow's Nest   -   Small circular platform mounted high on a mast.
Mast  -   the tall timbers which support the sails of a ship.
Sextant   -   used to guide the direction taken by comparing readings from the stars.
Midnight Day   -   the Arctic experiences 6 months constant daylight and 6 months night.
St Elmo's Fire   -   a very unusual static electricity discharge that causes a faint greenish glow in the rigging of a ship at sea.  Often the cause of superstition and religious "damned are we" kind of reactions.

The constant motion of the Polar Ice Cap, due to storms at sea, which causes it to break and fracture, would prevent a frozen vessel from ever being discovered instead it would grind such a vessel into bits and consume it, but its certainly a good story ending.




Comments from Poets:

ChrisRobin on Jan 04, 2004, 2:42 p.m. 
Leaving little footprints in hearts 2682 critiques, 0 poems. said:
Verdict: A masterpiece
Dear me, this is indeed outstanding over all, the imagery you paint, the thoughts are vivid. Words are beyond my praise. A master piece, could well be a true classic in many years yet to come. Sincerely.  


Autumn Falls on Jan 04, 2004, 3:28 p.m. 
- I shall live forever, or die trying! - 1355 critiques, 107 poems. said:
I really like the originality of this poem... and yes, nature can be very violent and can change many things...

On these lines...
“To Far!” “To Far!” We realized today.
Greed has driven us to far to save!
I think you mean "Too Far!" "Too Far!" and "us too far to save!"
“Or will an Indian Summer brings us to rot
and Polar Bears and Flies gnaw us to not.”
When you said "us to not", did you mean "us to naught." meaning nothing?  Great write.


twistedpisces on Jan 05, 2004, 8:57 
The pain means u r alive & the tears mean you care 865 critiques, 291 poems. said:
Verdict: Wonderful
You are a very gifted story writer and poet. The flow of this piece and the story it tells as well as the images that it offers are astounding. My favorite part is,

“Too Far!” “Too Far!” We realized today.
Greed has driven us to far to save!

That line turns the whole tide of the poem. That line also sums up a lot in relation to the world and the way that we as people interact in it today. Always pushing the envelope. One day we shall undoubtedly go too far.

Thank you for sharing this piece with us. A Great write.



 RainbowQueen on Jan 05, 2004, 4:41 p.m. 
Enjoy life. You never know when it will end! 528 critiques, 105 poems. said:
Yes, mother nature is a strong willed force to be respected. I loved the imagery of your poem, and indeed, it kept me fasinated throughout it to the very end. Very well written.  


Lo Justin on Jan 06, 2004 
I 1461 critiques, 30 poems. said:
Verdict: very well done
Good job! Oh it's scary to think what can happen in Nature. And it speaks of man's desire to attain, and plunder the seas, greed, and the price that they had to pay. Very good work. I hope to read more from you. Thoughts: "discover our wake" I like wake, but "bait" might fit, since then they will likely suffer a similar "fate". Your call. I hope you have the time to give me some comments as well.  


 Chuck Johnson on Jan 06, 2004 
Just fade away. 567 critiques, 147 poems. Currently online. said:
That is cute! lol. I like it. I will put it in. Our frozen bait... lol. Great thought. Thank you for it. Chuck.  


Deja Vu on Jan 06, 2004 
Booga booga booga! shrugs? what else to write? 301 critiques, 50 poems. said:
Verdict: good job
Interesting... it hints at tales from the bible, Moby Dick, and the Cremation of Sam Mgee. Well written, with man's common themes of greed and inability to take responsibility for their own actions... (yes, I'm critiquing, not commenting... sorry, I do that a lot). Hmmm. I'd give this a 7 1/2. Good job.  


brad-the-bard on Jan 14, 2004, 3:35 
The generous critic fanned the poet's fire. 158 critiques, 12 poems. said:
I like the moral story behind this poem. One can lift one's finger and warn about greed and the love for money but a little story like this do much more to bring this point across.


 Almighty Aphrodite on Jan 27, 2004, 7:12 p.m. 
Love, Incarnated 10309 critiques, 310 poems. said:
Mother Nature can indeed be brutal when she feels infringed on; and karma can come back and kick your ass when you think you're getting away with a wrongdoing. Greed can drive men (and I'm not saying that in a gender-specific manner) to their very destruction. And that's the story that glows so well in this...

I never heard of the basis of the poem (the ship Endurance), but I'll accept it because you did such a fantastic job on the writing. Good luck to you, and thanks for entering.

Many blessings,

Raven Aurora   


Ghost on Feb 12, 2004, 3:55 p.m. 
Love Is An Excercise In Futility 143 critiques, 37 poems. said:
Once again, wow! You certainly have quite a talent for rhyming,an ability I've ever personally possessed. And if there is thing I like reading about more than Atlantis or lost civilizations, it's the sea. Great job!



SilentMisery on May 27, 2004, 8:46 p.m. 
424 critiques, 19 poems. said:
Verdict: greatness
I really really like this. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I'm so speechless. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . I'm in awe. Well it really is great. . . great write. . . . great piece of work. . . great overall. . . . great. . . . great. . . . . . great. . . . . . . great. . . . . . . great. . . . . . . . . Well you get my point. Keep writing (It saved my life and could one day save yours!) Never quit writing!!  (Great!!!. . . . . . . . . . . . .)  


Snafferu on May 27, 2004, 8:50 p.m. 
I love an ice cold beer on a hot day 2131 critiques, 97 poems. said:
This is great but I think you mean Our timber's creak don't you?
But other than this I saw no other mistakes in the write sir
So keep up the good work


 Touchof1der on Jul 20, 2004, 11:16 p.m. 
Seduce my mind and you can have my body 16134 critiques, 257 poems. (moderator) said:
Two years in the writing...Wow! That took a lot of time, thought, dedication and concentration. I'm a big fan of Yanni myself. I'm don't recall the song you spoke of here but I can certainly imagine the tune going through your head as you wrote this. This was very informative. i like that. It's like getting a history lesson you enjoy because it's so animated and takes you along on the adventure. Great job Chuck!   


NeonLightDaydream on Jul 21, 2004, 1:17 
All You Can Ever Learn Is What You Already Know 710 critiques, 52 poems. said:
i wasn't listening to the song.i don't even know that song.but your poem flows so well, it's really good...sorry for the short comment but my computer is making weird noises so i guess i should go.  


Morgana on Jul 21, 2004, 11:40 
1183 critiques, 11 poems. said:
Very nice write, the rhyming set a nice rhythm to it. Mother Nature is indeed a powerful force to contend with...thanks for posting this. (I haven't heard the song either, but your poem flows well without it in my opinion)



nikki4 on Jul 21, 2004, 12:00 
159 critiques, 60 poems. said:
go job nature is weird and scary but wonderful all the same thanks fo sharing it's gd  


TivioAngel on Jul 21, 2004, 12:13 
this is me...deal with it 715 critiques, 64 poems. said:
I loved this poem, about how greed can kill and the power of nature. People often think that we rule the world, but there are still those moments when nature can humble us and take the lives of many without any afterthought. Wonderul powerful poem. Muchas amor, Mandy  


 Chuck Johnson on Jul 21, 2004, 2:12 p.m. 
Just fade away. 567 critiques, 147 poems. Currently online. said:
The song is among his best. Its a very dramatic song which displays the intensity of his emotions when composing. His personal touch can be heard in its dark, deep, meanings and resounding waves of music. You would enjoy it.  


TheFlawedOne on Jul 21, 2004, 9:56 p.m. 
You can suck or you can shine. 5662 critiques, 292 poems. said:
Very good! I like this. Whereas I wouldn't want to be caught listening to Yanni, I quite like this, and wouldn't mind being caught reading this. It's very good. Two years is a very long time to write a poem.


 artis on Jul 21, 2004, 11:17 p.m. 
Art is and will be eternally revealing: 7714 critiques, 1265 poems. said:
in the frozen grip of the ice, lie the remnants of the brave now forever young in a dreamless sleep, until the thawing of the resurrection brings them to a place of wonder, that far exceeds what they sought int the blistering cold that cyrogenically enslaved their souls...Artis


jewnita on Aug 08, 2004, 3:14 p.m. 
Make a diffrence,touch somone you will c a change 9 critiques, 8 poems. said:
this is a cool poem you have a vivid look and it is really clear. keep writing


Pierre Richards on Aug 08, 2004, 3:22 p.m. 
Aut insanit homo, aut versus facit 1670 critiques, 106 poems. said:
Verdict: Excellent!
Such a death as the Endurance met, was one of the worst that man can ever find. Many a sailor found the icy tomb, explorer and whaler a like.
Excellent write!
I think you captured the feelings of the sailors about this ship very well!!!


 tieed on Aug 08, 2004, 3:28 p.m. 
Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths. 774 critiques, 55 poems. said:
Ummm....wow. Whaling is not a very much written about topic now a-days! I must say at first i was like..hmm this is strange he he but it's great! I loved it sooo much  It's long you know, but I think it adds to it because it makes a story. The way you describe the people slowly freezing to death is powerful. Great job.   


Empathy-eyes on Aug 08, 2004, 3:32 p.m. 
I descend from grace 1853 critiques, 121 poems. said:
Your poem painted a great image enough so that I didn't have to listen to the song! It was a truly beautiful moment I pondered upon for quite a while. Excellent job. Take care and thanks for sharing this.



Wildequill on Aug 08, 2004, 3:39 p.m. 
Blazing trails and chasing tails... 1139 critiques, 131 poems. said:
A herculean effort there Chuck - an epic in it's own right. I say it was two years well spent! I mean some people work on sewerage farms so they can have a two week holiday in Cleveland for goodness sakes.. Your command of the quill is admirable Captain...


Red Scorpion on Aug 08, 2004, 4:12 p.m. 
I'm a terrible person. 150 critiques, 7 poems. said:
Verdict: Cool!
Very nicely written... how greed is very bad.... lol I love the rhythm and the rhyming.... Keep up the great work!!!!!  


grayview on Sep 04, 2004, 12:22 
People are underrated 152 critiques, 63 poems. said:
Verdict: Good
Good write, nice rhyme . Very solid imagery and told in the narrative consistently. Very good.  


ElectroPudding on Sep 04, 2004, 12:32 
if you fear rejection, you'll never know acception 270 critiques, 0 poems. said:
This was an interesting, story-telling poem. it has my applause.
i dont know what to say, usually poems like this get "blah" for me by the end, but this held my interest. it's very well written. the background is perfect for it 
altogether it's a fantastic poem, great write!


Dreams of Sanity on Sep 04, 2004, 3:40 p.m. 
quod me nutrit me destruit 1487 critiques, 126 poems. said:
this is very well written. I like the story. The whole thing with dying because of greed says a lot about human nature. Great job on this.  


miamigirl on Sep 15, 2004, 2:50 p.m. 
717 critiques, 33 poems. said:
Verdict: An Epic
What a horrifying tale. This was a masterpiece! So well done, all with good flow and excellent rhyme. Greed will always get you in the end. Truly a terrific write.  


 Mark Rickerby on Sep 07, 2005, 12:27  
My karma ran over your dogma 2343 critiques, 87 poems. said:
Wow, what an epic! You told the story superbly. Interesting link and dictionary, too. What a miserable way to die. Those poor devils.

It's nice to see work that has obviously been labored over and perfected. Two years no less!

Great work, my friend.


P.S. Have you ever read any of Richard Halliburton's travel books? I think you'd enjoy them. High adventure in the golden age of travel. The only place to find them is on ebay, though. For some reason, he's been out of print for years.


 mistic moonlite on Sep 29, 2005, 6:11 p.m.  
Family&Friends,in world that you can trust 3757 critiques, 484 poems. Currently online. said:
Chuck,another excellent write here,I keep coming back for more and bless you for your work in these writes ..Lind  


 Chuck Johnson on Sep 29, 2005, 7:27 p.m. 
Just fade away. 567 critiques, 147 poems. Currently online. said:
This is really only half of the story. The second half is the story of the women left behind.... That story is contained in my poem Dog Town. I do think you will enjoy that heart breaking end to this often horrible plight suffered by so many seafaring men and women.  


 DK akaLunaticSerene on Oct 12, 2005, 6:12 p.m. 
You create your reality with your expectations. 445 critiques, 56 poems. said:
Verdict: Awesome!
I did find Yanni's Song of Antarctica and played it while reading! Truly enriched the experience! this was so very moving and made me feel the angst and gradual loss of hope, an excellent lesson in the wages of greed!!!