See him trudging up the gangway in his T-shirt and his jeans,
Vacation over, back to work after a while
Once he had a future when he was in his teens,
But he chucked it like it was going out of style
He keeps right on cursing for the better or the worse
Searching for a peace he’s never found
Never knowing how much money is lying in his purse
Or when again he’ll be homeward bound

He’s a sailor, he’s a boozer
He’s a gambler, he’s a loser
He’s a poet, a prophet and a problem when he’s drunk
He’s a real abomination
On the road to self-destruction
Trying to stay afloat when he knows he’s sunk…

He talks of the Titanic, Erika and Exxon Valdez
Nobody listens to him any more
He talks of wine, women, and the good old days
Of the sea songs he once sang ashore
His shipmates tolerate him like they would an old drunk
He sits alone often, out of sight
Cannot sleep much, often needs a sedative
To help him make it through the night

He’s a shipmate, he’s a preacher
He’s a misfit, he’s a teacher
He’s a loner, a smoker and a problem when he’s drunk
He’s riddled with addiction
His life’s an aberration
Trying to stay afloat when he knows he’s sunk…

He’s “been there, done that” in bedrooms and bars
He’s alive and kicking even today
Running from his demons and cursing all his stars
For losing all he loved along the way
He keeps right on bitching for the better or the worse
But all he ever gets is older and unsound
From the rocking of the cradle to the rolling of the hearse
The flying high was worth the falling down…

He’s a lover, he’s a father
He’s a husband, he’s a brother
Just an old sea dog, a rambler and a problem when he’s drunk
He’s a living contradiction
a little truth, a little fiction
Trying to stay afloat when he knows he’s sunk…

Written by 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.