Rhyme scheme of the ancient mariner


There’s no such thing as quals for poetry, but whoever stands the midwatch on New Year’s Day may want to brush up on their iambic pentameter.

Traditionally, the first entry in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day includes a poem about the ship. Some are more inspired than others but they all typically tag the bags of every detail and them some that anyone would want to know about the ship’s status. Keeping true their ties to the Navy, they’re packed with complex acronyms and punctuation you won’t find outside of the military, making them roll off the tongue as easily as one of e.e. cummings’ more unusual compositions.

If you need some inspiration, here’s one from the Destroyer Escort Sailors Association about the Jaccard in 1946:


Moore starboard side to the USS Davis DE 357, who
Is starboard side to the South side of Pier number two
In the harbour, the City and the Philippine Island called Cebu.

In use are all the lines from one through six,
By doubling two to five, securely she sticks.

Also in use are boiler number two and engineroom number, the same,
With the regular in-port watch as our goal to maintain.

Now the material condition is Baker “modified”,
To keep the ship afloat and save the Captain’s hide.

At forty minutes past midnight, aboard came Krizan, Andrew (n),
He is SV6, USNR, and twenty minutes overdue,
And 856-97-00 is his serial number, MoMM2c(T) his rate,
Now a prisoner at large, since liberty expired at 0015 this date.

AT 0050 Madison, James Morgan, 976-34-87, S1c, V6(SV) was back,
Overleave thirty-five minutes, hence a prisoner at large, aware of the fact.

C. W. Coble
Ensign, USNR


With that, post your own deck log poems in the comments below. See you next year.


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