Health and Efficiency on The High Seas
written by David C Johnson ©2018
“ All right, me hearties, it's time for Pilates”,
Barked health-conscious, Captain Blood.
For quite a few of his ugly crew
Used to violently eschew
Any form of physical jerks.
Which led to an inordinate slew
Of sub-standard piracy works.
However, with the aid of this daily routine
And personal counselling sessions,
Blood was glad to observe his store of gold
Increase and his gloominess lessen

Soon other pirates on the main
Noticed that time and again
Captain Blood and his now lithe crew
Seemed to easily outdo
Their own wheezing attempts to scale
Merchant ships to down their sails.
Once-feared, rival buccaneers
Found themselves the butt of sneers
Their unfit crews became bad news
To jades who used to bill and coo
And take them to their beds.

Before long, the rivals realised
Their crews needed exercise
And sought alternate systems
Scowling Blackbeard devised
Daily, morning Boxercise,
He also started to apply
'Though God knows why?
Because even sailing in a hooley
That tell-tale whiff of patchouli
Reached each intended prize
Well before his ship arrived

Captain Kidd, not to be out bid,
And feeling he was on the skids
Insisted on Tai Chi at dawn
And a diet based on Quorn
But his treasure would not grow
His team were fit, but much too slow
Tai Chi, you see, is slo-mo P.E.
Not ideal for piracy

Every morning Captain Morgan
Fed up with the sight of retching
Introduced intensive stretching
As well as brand-new active-wear
He was sure a trendy label
Was just the thing to enable
His crew's morale to build
And capture ships at will.
However, these ruffians
In their spruce new gear,
Shouted out as one: “ NO fear!”
We will not risk a stain or tear
To our lovely leisurewear

In no time, every rogue and ne'er-do-well
Had latched on to this fitness spell
And opened keep fit studios
From Tortuga to fair Curacao
Tempting all those privateers
With ways to boost their foul careers
Capoeira for corsairs
Boot camps for buccaneers
Zumba to a hornpipe beat
Taekwando for the fleet elite
Karate for that boarding party
In the end, these pirates
Did nought all day but train,
And that is why they roam no more
On the Spanish Main.

A quick dip for another Edward -Colston’s statue speaks

It was only a quick dip
No time to doff my coat and stole
No points for style in the dive
It was more of a victory roll
I had never seen the dock
From below its murky surface sheen
Its bottom muddy like my ships’
That the tide washed clean
On their way to the Channel
And Afrika’s shore
Loaded to the gunwales
With goods to buy more
Cargoes of misery and utter despair
But what wealth they did bring me
What a lifestyle so fair
Money beyond avarice’s dreams
Out of my hearing, the captives’ screams

It took the young not the merchants
To see through my spin
It was their ropes and effort
That dropped me in
I had been on that plinth
For over a century
Hoping that no-one
Would notice my sin

And the sound of my fall
Has circled the earth
Bristol again showing its worth
This city of sanctuary, this city of arts
This city of people from diverse parts
This City of Banksy and Massive Attack
This city of Brunel and railway tracks

I know Bristol’s not perfect by any means
But as a place to live. it gets in your genes
And if you leave it for good
I’m sure that you’ll find
That Bristol goes with you
Forever in mind

Written by David C Johnson©12th June 2020

Buried treasure
Written by David C Johnson ©2019
Any pirate, thief or bandit
Will face the problem of where to hide
His booty, loot or plunder
The pirate has to moor and land it
The thief has moments to decide
The bandit sticks it six feet under

This squirrel furtive by my window
Carries a nut stripped from my tree
He pauses in the bed of herbs
Deciding where to hide it
He turns his treasure lovingly
Between his two front paws
He gazes at its perfect form
He sniffs, licks and marvels at it
As if he seeks to memorise
Its oneness from all other nuts
The paradigm he won’t forget
Wherever it is buried

This herb bed will not do
He pouches nut in swollen cheek
And scampers off to find that spot
Where treasure’s safe and always found
His squirrel’s take on Camelot
Where in the Spring, as winter fades
That nut is waiting underground
For waking squirrels such as him
Who seek their booty safe and sound

I have been counting the bees
Written by David C Johnson ©21st July 2019
I have been counting the bees
On the loveliest of trees
In our garden
This is the hoheria
That we grew from seed
Brought home from New Zealand
Its cloudburst of white blossom
Is so amazingly profuse
That even the doziest of hoverflies
And bumbles
Will find it hard to miss
And yet we are missing some
Compared to years gone by
When the tree resonated
To the hum of myriad insects
Dining on its fragrant fare