The Way To Davy Jones Locker (On Dry Land)

The Way To Davy Jones Locker (Even On Dry Land)

Scull it all–
row row your boat,
never trusting
fate-willed float.

Bind your spine.
Cast off bend.
Steer your steeled keel
here to when.

Thresh the currents–
chop chop chop;
bail seeped null
without stop.

Flesh may melt;
bone holds on,
knotted digits
gripping yon.

Though waves are big
and we are small,
though even stars
hear orbits’ call,

locked in salt,
these oars we pull–
scuttled, scuttling,
sculling all.


Here’s a rather weird take on Margaret Bednar’s prompt on With Real Toads to write a skeletal poem or a poem inspired by skeletons/fossils.  Margaret has some great pictures on With Real Toads but the above is my own drawing.  All rights reserved. 

PS I have changed the title since first posting. 

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22 Comments on “The Way To Davy Jones Locker (On Dry Land)”

  1. brian miller Says:

    yo ho yo ho a pirates life for me…
    nice cadence to this one k…betcha theres more than a few skeltons
    in that locker…

  2. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    An excellent sea shanty! The rhythm is jolly but the content belies the good humour. We are all of us sculling the uncertain oceans, and attempting to remain afloat in desperate times.

  3. claudia Says:

    you know…the good thing about skeletons is that they cannot get sunburnt any more… cool pic k.

  4. I love the rhytmn of your poem and your charming illustration, too! 🙂

  5. This reads like a twisted shanty to me.. I wish to have it set to melody with a barrel of rhum

  6. Polly Says:

    Love the alliteration in those final two lines esp 🙂

  7. Karen S. Says:

    Very deep, and smooth delivery… it offers so much to ponder. We shall overcome. No wave too strong!

  8. grapeling Says:

    a skeletal rhyme: jump-rope skeletons, as it were ~

  9. Kim Nelson Says:

    Visions of Johnny Depp! 🙂

  10. Susan Says:

    Life feels like that sometimes, the sculling locked in place but moving to the rhythm and sound and passion just the same.

  11. Brendan Says:

    Wowser, loved it. The story of Davy Jones’ locker at the bottom of the sea (with its closet stuffed with the bones of drowned sailors) is such a metaphor for Going Down, as we all mortally must do. The fight to stay on the buoyant surface is incessant; we “bale seeped null” (“bail”?), pulling on the oars as we go down down down. Great lead pic, perfect poem for the challenge.

  12. vandana Says:

    Life’s journey and we have to keep rowing

  13. hedgewitch Says:

    Love the phrase Brendan quoted, and also the cadence, and the sense of how so much of our journey is merely rote labor–maybe because if we stop to think it is too overwhelming a trip, r maybe because we need those oars to hold on to. ‘..scuttled, scuttling and sculling a great combination as well as binding the spine, and so many other linguistic flourishes that prod thought and emotion into shape.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Hey Joy! Nice to see you! I am sculling rather wretchedly along over on this coast. Dry land dry land everywhere and not a spot to place anchor!


      On Tue, Aug 12, 2014 at 11:09 AM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  14. Marian Says:

    love it, especially the title and this:
    Flesh may melt;
    bone holds on.
    true, true.

  15. margaret Says:

    “scull it all” might become a new phrase for me. Thanks for participating and sorry it took me so long to make the rounds.

    Yes, this needs a bit of rum to go with it 🙂

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