Poets’ Corner: Becalmed in Holmes Hole


Twenty eight restless kids peer out over the rails

but there’s no wind to fill Shenandoah’s sails

The bunks are made and clothes all put away

Everyone on board hopes we’ll sail today

No one likes the situation we are in

Even the crew’s patience wears thin

Several small hands scrub the deck clean and dry

and the Black Dog burgee is raised up high

Yet like Old Glory it just hangs straight down

and a thick, white fog covers the town

Two days in Holmes Hole is too long for me

but worse for 5th graders bound for the sea!

Ol’ Cap’n Bob keeps an eye to the sky

searching for signs that a change is nigh

He is first to notice the dense fog lifting

getting lighter and finer like flour Cook is sifting

All of a sudden, the sunlight breaks through

Cap’n Bob knows exactly what he must do.

“All hands!” he shouts to his novice crew

The children line up. Well, most of them do

They grab the lines making sure they aren’t caught

chanting while hauling the main sheets taut

Up go the sails. What a beautiful sight!

Knowing together we did it just right.

Now out of the Harbor and on into the Sound

Off to Tarpaulin Cove our great ship is bound!

Ruth Major, an oil painter and writer, is working on a collection of poems called “Islander.”