Saturday, 19 January 2013

Advice to a young man

First published in Fishing News, 18th May, 2012

Advice to a Young Man
by Derrick Cranpole 
"The law says you must wear one
Whenever you go to sea.
That's the way it is my son
Put on your PFD."
The young man did as Daddy said
But his features then grew mottled
'Cos when he pulled it over his head
It felt like being throttled.
But Daddy was there with sound advice
He said "you stupid little runt
That Personal Floatation Device
You're wearing it back to front."
They had a laugh, then put it right
For it was not rocket science
Then they fished both day and night
With the law they were in compliance.
But alas, alas! The Law was an ass.
Mackerel jigging was their racket,
As a thousand mackerel hooks whizzed past,
Some pricked his new life jacket.
Back in the port they gave it a test
And the lad dived into the dock
Wearing the PFD pants and vest
He sank down like a rock.
Now though his PFD had actually inflated
Those many little pin pricks ensured that it deflated.
The men upon the quay could see the causes of his troubles
And the lifeboat crew located him by following the bubbles
"Well," the young man, who'd recovered, said
"Daddy, stuff that PFD
I'll be wearing a buoyant waistcoat
Next time we go to sea ..."

More tales from the sea can be had from A Woeful Tale, a collection of poems and illustrations by Derrick Cranpole's. It is available to buy online

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What They Said

"Over the years I have known a lobster fisherman from the South-East, a man fond of a bit of ironic, sometimes blunt poetry or ditties, particularly when he was infuriated by official policies on fishing." - Tom MacSweeney, Marine Times

"Referring to the fishing industry and maritime matters especially in the South East (it is) a mainly humorous comment on the maritime society of the area and its 'official regulators'." - CiarĂ¡n O Mullain, Marine Times

"Cranpole's wry observations and humorous anecdotes make the mind boggle, not because they are too fantastic, but because they are all too real." - The Skipper

"He deals with everyday experiences of sailors and of the issues concerning seamen from bad weather to the EU's common fishery policy. When not dealing with such serious matters, his poems are funny and light-hearted as are also the sketches used to illustrate the book. Here and there we even detected a touch of the Kiplings." - Books Ireland, March 2012.