Summer’s at its end, no paths leading home,
memories haunt, hunger leads wherever he does roam.
The hazy starlight setting, the sun’s ready to rise.
A frightened little orphan wipes dreams from sleepy eyes.
Soon the bells will ring calling all’s return.
The timid sure to flounder, the hardy always earn.
Darting through the alleys, the bay comes in view.
Ships aplenty ply the piers promising something new.
Upon these docks seabirds feast,
sharing the waste with all other beast.
Flies swarm, rats persist and hungry dogs bark.
There are many unseen faces lurking in the dark.
Survivors all, as is he, sharing the spoils of a bountiful sea,
no masters’ switch or mothers’ screams when a life is free.
Two pockets and a mouth full will feed for a day.
Fancy cord or carved wood may even bring some pay.
Scavenging for a morsel, a meal comes in sight.
Tis crated fruits from afar, a taste of pure delight.
Brushing off the larvae and peeling rotted skin,
sweet sensations pass the lips, a smile grows within.
Then giggles gurgled from his blissful throat.
Till greed consumes and bellies bloat.
Euphoria swells and inhibitions subside.
The bustle begins there’s no need to hide.
While hunger had made his mind alert.
Gluttony now makes his body inert.
Guard lowered, feet slow to run,
this young boys’ journey’s now just begun.
Sailors seized the well fed thief.
Then shackled aboard to ease their grief,
a gift for the captain from his loyal crew.
A cabin boy’s needed, there’s much to do.
Soon underway and far from land,
the mate unlocks the orphans’ hand.
The boy then runs toward sun and air.
On deck he cries watching land disappear.
Formalities scant then forced to chores,
His long nights stowed behind locked doors.
They voyaged south where weather’s warm,
when the waters grew bumpy ahead of a storm.
The captain commanded his capable crew.
And the boy was forgotten with so much to do.
The bright sun fell with the dark rising sea.
Freedom escapes when nowhere to flee.
The howling winds and roaring waves,
called heroes and fools to watery graves.
The skipper stood bravely at his battered helm,
barking out orders to all in his realm.
He called for his servant to secure a line tight.
The boy climbed too high, falling into the night.
The bosons’ pipe blew and bells rang out,
muffling the sounds of the orphans last shout.
The boy sank fast with his final breath.
When suddenly snatched by the jaws of death.
In a cage of tooth and tongue for seat,
waiting was he to be something’s treat
Swimming as fast as ever she could,
the serpent’s intensions were soon understood.
Diving through darkness then leaps in the air.
A long journey had, till the weather was fair.
He awoke on a beach, the serpent close by.
Being baked in hot sand to be eaten and die.
Before he could run the beast came near.
She patted his head and said “Have no fear.”
She gazed into his scared little eyes.
Assuring him serpent myths were lies.
“We’re not all monsters or killers you see,
though maybe a few but certainly not me.”
“Serpents get angry when harpoons fly their way,
or when dragged ashore for a tasty fillet.
Bounties are had that pay by the pound,
riches await when a big serpents found.”
The new friends chatted the rest of the day.
They shared their pasts till no more to say.
Dozing they snuggled on a bed of soft leaf,
dreaming of a life without any grief.
Wakened to sunshine and breakfast pre-made.
The grinning pair feasted on greens in the shade.
Then time for a swim in their private lagoon.
They frolicked together till the rising full moon.
Days and weeks then years soon past,
the happy young boy was growing fast.
The pair traveled the oceans and faraway lands,
their life’s serene with no demands.
They ate and slept and played on a whim,
till the boy grew curious of others like him.
He asked many questions, to the serpent unknown,
her boy a young man, now twice grown.
His name, he had none, he could recall.
He was always called boy and that was all.
The serpent, a serpent, there’s no need for a name.
The boy called her mum just the same.
The wise serpent knew their time couldn’t last,
The boy’s now a man and still growing fast.
Mum was ashamed of keeping the boy,
to coddle and cuddle and treat like a toy.
They played together, she watched him grow,
all the time knowing he’d eventually go.
A plan was hatched she couldn’t admit.
If her boy found out he’d have a fit.
She would swim close to shore then into the bay.
She’d crash on the beach for her boy’s big payday.
A hero he’d be and rewarded a bounty vast.
But she had to be quick for her nerve to last.
The day was perfect and the sky was clear.
Boy was napping when land came near.
The plan underway, Mum turned the last bend.
The town grew closer, her life soon to end.
Flapping her flippers as fast as she could,
splashes seen as she knew they would.
With one last thrust she lunged for the land.
The boy awakened when thrown to the sand.
The town folk scattered, guards quick to arrive.
None had seen a serpent alive.
Bruised and battered the boy came to.
Quickly he knew what he had to do.
He knew his friend would have a plan.
The boy’s time was now to be a man
Fearlessly facing his many foes,
standing with mum to shield their arrows.
He called for the general to make a deal.
“Spare your feasts now for many a meal.
Or a battle we will have with much to lose.
Life or death sir is for you now to choose.”
The general perplexed requested his king.
A long hour past, mum started to sing.
The crowds joined in and fears were eased.
The deal was sealed and all were pleased.
The general was spared potential bloodshed.
The serpent was spared her intelligent head.
The boy made an admiral though a scant crew,
with a fleet of just one and we all know who.
His beloved town prospered, called the boy Beau.
Replacing the name he didn’t know.
Beau got married, had many a young.
The eldest’s in a band with a grand mum who sung.