Treasure Island

Terence G. Craddock

(Westport New Zealand)

A Ballard Of John Off His Face


when the drunk do fall
we could write many a tale,
about men standing tall
before the boys do fall;
thus this is one such story
about singing John drunk,
in all his beer gained glory;

John came home drunk as a skunk,
last night with a skin full, could not drink
a drop more, John could not at first open
his door; get into his room then for awhile,
there was silence in the gloom of his room,
John could not find soon, light switch in his room;

later the silence was shattered,
John sang up a concert in his room,
in fine jolly voice but,
there was no standing ovation;
suddenly was heard a loud thump,
as John fell from drunk pedestal,
of solitary solo performance floor fallen,
silence endured for lengthy break until;

John was again awake, into an encore,
yes the mighty forest giant,
the beautiful totara had fallen;
heartwood overbalanced, by sap wood,
to be left, for the termites;

the termites came blinking out,
of the woodwork raised their heads,
in dismay muttered to themselves,
each other; at this nighttime nasty,
thunder clap, then crawled back,
into beautified darkness of food walls;

theirs was not an enthusiastic reception,
there was no prolonged insect applause,
no termite heard, standing ovation;
nor any grand victory procession,
for John the Giant's less glorious,
no triumph, late night curtain fall;

in the morning Katheryn asked,
did I hear John in the night singing,
it was the John Fellow serenade;
would have been hard not to hear,
in the still silence of the night until,
his unexpected thunderclap fall;

yes I replied he seemed happy,
in his space off his face always,
leaves me amused inside smiling;
as John's voice sang on climbing,
up sweet steady scales yes last night,
John the railway worker was off the rails;

did I hear the thump did I hear John fall?
in the tiny wee small hours of the night,
when John's inebriated brain took flight,
alcohol foaming light flight caused his fall;
into the wall bounced off hit the floor,
then for a long time moved no more,
not even heard was a drunken snore;

did I pick John up no why?
he is big large very heavy,
would not be a pretty penny,
in that besotted blotto blind;
blitzed bombed boozy state,
and as common sense knows,
John was out from head to toes;

besides which why pick John up?
so he can fall once more, again fall
heavily to the floor, possibly again
and again, to wake in winter morn;
with more intense hung over head pain,
no John was down out to night cap count,
leave the man lie he can fall no further;

does Katheryn not know,
the fallen on the floor,
are safe can fall no further?
cannot collapsed upon the floor,
do damage to themselves,
or room, they reside in recline in;

in post midnight swoon wiser better,
to let them sleep it off during,
restorative night no harm was done;
honest John works hard by day is kind,
to everyone obviously desperately needed,
to ring out his mind, wash away some pesty;
problems of his days, that lurking nagging,
John could not, keep at safe bay?

I did not see John the next morning,
as he crawled back into daylight,
from comatose dreams not a peep,
was heard from his silent room;
he was off chasing hair of the dog?

Postscript: this poem was written,
on an envelope so I can mail it,
to him or simply slip it under his door;
dedicated to John, a kind honest hard
working, experienced kiwi railway worker;


Copyright © Terence George Craddock

Submitted: Saturday, May 03, 2014
Edited: Sunday, May 04, 2014

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Topic(s): Life

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Written in May 2014 on the 4.5.2014.
Topic: Drinking Alcohol

Comments about this poem (A Ballard Of John Off His Face by Terence G. Craddock )

Enter the verification code :

  • Terry Craddock (5/4/2014 2:00:00 AM)

    Hi Captain,

    thanks for the matey
    poem on me poem,
    let me know if you wish
    me to return the favour,

    but me poem would be
    written in rum for us both to savour,
    since last hearing from ye
    I has been off sailing the seven seas,

    been ship wrecked
    a time or two,
    tossed sudden about
    by stormy seas,

    weathered violent
    vicious exposed gales,
    survived to cast down tell
    me cursed salty sad tales,

    been dark betrayed
    by deceitful cut throats,
    a few I let swing
    upon me course ropes,

    others I sharp sword
    point run off de plank,
    left drowning behind
    in judgement seas,

    after I bought them bound low
    to sentence judgement knees,
    so be de fate of us pirates bold,
    still with so many stories to be told,

    fair ye well old salt captain
    may a fair wind be at ye back,
    a wide deep sea sail ready
    to be roamed before ye,

    time for us sailing further
    adventures to plunder,
    regards ye old salt mate
    Terenzio is off to reap his fate (Report) Reply

  • Captain Cur (5/3/2014 11:34:00 PM)

    John I like as long
    as he does not run train
    with inebriated brain
    or sing song.
    When John is dry
    after his short-fall
    or last call
    I would let him lie
    termites that poke
    may try old house rare
    but don't care
    unless John is oak
    and sweet as rye. (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

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