Thursday, December 24, 2015

T'was the Night Before Christmas-Submarine Style

T'was the night before Christmas, and what no-one could see,
The men with the dolphins were under the sea.
Most of the crew was flat on their backs,
Snoring and dreaming all snug in their racks.

Those men on watch were making their rounds,
Some manning the planes or listening for sounds.
Back in maneuvering or down in the room,
They all hoped the oncoming watch would come soon.

I'd finished some PM's whose time was now due,
And hoped for some sleep, even an hour or two.
Against better judgment I took a short stroll,
And found myself wandering into control.

The Nav had the Conn, the COW was in place,
The COB had the Dive and a scowl on his face.
The helm and the planes were relaxed but aware,
The QM and ET were discussing a dare.

To comply with the orders the Nav told the Dive,
To bring the boat up with minimum rise.
The orders were given and soon they were there,
At periscope depth with a scope in the air.

The QM confirmed our position with care,
The broadcast was copied, we brought in some air.
The Nav on the scope let out a small cry,
He shook his head twice and rubbed at his eyes.

He looked once again to find what it was,
That interrupted his sweep and caused him to pause.
Try as he might there was nothing to see,
So down went the scope and us to the deep.

I asked what it was that caused his dismay,
He sheepishly said, "I'm embarrassed to say."
It could have been Northern Lights or a cloud,
Or a meteorite he wondered aloud.

But to tell you the truth I guess I must say,
Whatever it was it looked like a sleigh.
And though it passed quickly and never was clear,
I almost believe it was pulled by reindeer.

We laughed and teased him and I got up to go,
When our moment was broken by "Conn, Radio."
They told us a message was just coming in,
We looked at the depth gauge and started to grin.

"Radio, Conn, I feel safe to say,
Your attempt at a joke is too long delayed.
If it had been sooner it might have been neat,
But I doubt we're receiving at four-hundred feet."

"Conn, Radio, you can come down and see,
We're not playing games to any degree."
I headed aft with nothing better to do,
Surprised by the fact it was still coming through.

It stopped and was sent to control to be read,
The Nav read it slowly and scratched at his head.
Then again he began but this time aloud,
To those that now waited, a curious crowd.

"To you Denizens of the Deep and men of the sea,
Who risk your life daily so others stay free.
I rarely have seen you on this, my big night,
For far too often you are hidden from sight.

But purely by luck I saw you tonight,
As your scope coaxed the plankton to glow in the night.
And lucky for me I've finally won,
The chance to say thanks for all you have done.

I know that you miss your families at home,
And sometimes you feel as if you're alone.
But trust what I say and I'll do what's right,
I'll take something special to your families tonight.

Along with the gifts I'll take to your kin,
I'll visit their dreams and leave word within.
They'll hear of your love, and how you miss them,
I'll tell them that soon you'll be home again.

It might not be much I know that is true,
To thank you for all the things that you do.
But I'll do what I can, while you do what's right,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight."

By Sean Keck

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table,
At which he's fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for
peanuts anyway!

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid...

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
'Taxes drove me
to my doom...'

When he's gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Sales Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Forgive Me When I Whine, Red Foley

Today, upon a bus, 
I saw a girl with golden hair.
I envied her, she seemed so gay,
and wished I was as fair.

When suddenly she rose to leave, 
I saw her hobbled down the aisle.
She had one leg and wore a crutch.
And as she passed... a smile.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 legs, the world is mine

I stopped to buy some candy. 
The lad who sold it had such charm.
I talked with him, he seemed so glad.
If I were late, it'd do no harm.

And as I left, he said to me, 
"I thank you, you've been so kind.
It's nice to talk with folks like you. 
You see," he said, "I'm blind."
Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 eyes, the world is mine.

Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play.
He did not know what to do.

I stopped a moment and then I said,
"Why don't you join the others, dear?"
He looked ahead without a word.
And then I knew,
he couldn't hear.

Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 ears, the world is mine.
With feet to take me where I'd go.
With eyes to see the sunset's glow.
With ears to hear what I'd know.

Oh God, forgive me when I whine.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Beneath the Faded Word By Peter Thomas.

"It sat out in the shearing shed for 30 years or more,
With cobwebs, dust and binder twine, and sheep dung on the floor.
An old and rusted Lockwood kept its secrets from my eyes,
A cabin trunk of leather, there since 1945.
I asked my dad, who owned it and what we kept it for,
He replied, “It’s Uncle Basil’s, that he brought back from the war.
So don’t you bloody touch it, or I’ll tan your bloody hide!”
But that only made me more intrigued to see what was inside.
I wondered at its mysteries and the secrets that it hid,
Beneath the faded word “Tobruk” stencilled on the lid.
Near Wilcannia, where only hardy cattlemen will go,
Uncle Basil had a station, Baden Park, near Ivanhoe.
A strong and gentle man, who once rode the Birdsville Track
Just to prove he wasn’t hampered by the shrapnel in his back.
So I stood alone and weighed it up; which would I decide,
Should I leave the memories undisturbed, or take a look inside?
I knew I had to take a look to see what it’d hold.
Medals? Spoils from the war – silver, jewels or gold?
The old man went off fishin’ of a Sunday with Bob Gray,
So if I was gonna do it – that would have to be the day.
I started out determined – I was done by ten past two.
With half a broken hacksaw blade, I cut the padlock through,
But even as I opened it, the truth was plain and clear,
The old trunk held no gold or jewels, there was no treasure here .
A pile of letters tied with string, an old moth eaten flag,
A rusty metal helmet and mouldy webbing bag,
A cup made from a jam tin, an emu feathered hat,
And a newspaper clipping with the title “Desert Rat”,
Some photos of the pyramids – a rusty bayonet,
An IOU – Jack Carmody – two quid ( a two-up bet).
I folded out a faded map as the day began to wane,
Foreign places like Benghazi, Tobruk, El Alamein.
Then I came upon a satchel and a little leather book
And a photo of some young blokes – so I took a closer look.
It was 20 young recruits, their faces tanned and worn
From places like Cohuna, Moama and Bamawm.
Farmers, shearers, stockmen off to fight a noble war,
For the empire in a foreign land they’d never seen before.
And scrawled across the bottom, in writing rough and coarse,
Twenty names below the words, the Echuca Boys – Light Horse.
I turned the photo over, and there upon the back
Were words that sent a chill through me, and made my mouth go slack.
A solemn list of 20 – the fate of each the same.
Every one but Uncle Basil had a date beside their name,
Some said April ’43, some said June /July.
A record from our history, the date that each had died.
I turned back to the photo and looked in every face,
And written over each one was a month, a year, a place.
A grinning, sun-bronzed soldier’s face, each now with a name
Like November 1943 – the words El Alamein.
I wonder did they think, as they sailed across the foam,
That amongst them only one – Uncle Basil – would come home?
Recorded in that little book – I remember to this day –
A record of their actions and how each had passed away,
A mortar shell out on patrol; a sniper in the night;
A landmine took one’s legs off – he died before first light
. The death of each was brutal, the reality was stark.
Forty pages written there, I finished just on dark.
I slowly closed that record of the men who kept us free
And turned to see my father, standing silently.
He didn’t do his block as I expected that he would,
He just said, “Come on pack it up, I reckon that we should.”
So with loving care we packed away the treasures from the past,
When I came upon the photograph – it was put aside ‘till last –
And with new respect and love, I recorded there his fate.
Next to Uncle Basil I wrote April ’68.
Yeah, Dad and I we packed it up and put it back again
And wrapped it in a bit of tarp, to keep it from the rain.
We never spoke about it or discussed what I had read.
I reckon that was his way, to respect those men long dead.
There’s a statue of a digger in most every country town,
And a list of names of locals, who fought with great renown.
And now, when I go by, I remember what I read,
Sitting on the floor out there, in our old shearing shed.
And I think of Uncle Gordon, lost somewhere on Ambon,
Uncle Jack on the Kokoda and, in England, Uncle John.
I remember still that photo, with sadness and remorse,
That mob of grinning faces, the Echuca Boys – Light Horse.
In a cemetery near Ivanhoe lies a bloke who’s left his mark,
Basil Thomas, of Echuca, Tobruk and Baden park."

Found on

Brothers of the Phin


Chanced upon a sailor once with an emblem on his chest.
It appeared to be two angry sharks on a trash can for a rest.

His white hat was wrinkled and dirty;... his neckerchief tied too tight
 and he had only one eye open as he staggered through the night.

He was young and scrawny and wiry; with knuckles cracked and oozing.
I could tell from the way he looked and smelled he'd spent the night boozin'.

But as he pulled abreast, he squared his hat and said "Sir, do you have a light?
 I'm due back aboard by quarter to four Or the COB will be settin' me right."

As I fumbled around for my lighter he pulled some smokes from his sock
"and I'll be damned lucky to make it," he muttered 'Cause I'm steamin' against the clock."

Through the flame of my well-worn Zippo I could see a smile on his face.
"But, you know -- it was damn well worth it. That 'Bell's' is a helluva place."

He sucked the smoke deep down in his lungs and blew smoke rings up towards the moon Then he rolled up his cuffs, pushed his hat to the back and said "Maybe there'll be a cab soon."

In spite of the time he was losing He was wanting to shoot the breeze
So we sat on the curb, like two birds on a perch as he talked of his life on the seas.

I asked about the thing on his chest and he looked at me with a grin.
Then he squared his hat, snubbed out his smoke and said "I'm a Brother of the 'Phin."

"I'm one of the boys who go under the sea where the lights from above don't shine;
Where mermaids play and Neptune is king and life and death intertwine."

 "Life on a boat goes deep in your blood and nothing on earth can compare
to the feeling inside as she commences a dive going deep on a hope and a prayer."

"I've sailed some fearsome waters down below the raging main
and I've heard that old boat creak and groan like the wheels of a railroad train."

"It's the one place on earth where there ain't no slack where you don't have more than you need; where each man is prince of his own little space and each lives by the submarine creed."

"There ain't much I've done in this fickle life that would cause other men to take note,
But I've walked in the steps of some mighty fine men who helped keep this country afloat."

"They slipped silently through the layers down below that raging main while up above enemy men-o'-war laid claim to the same domain."

"Brave sailors were they
 in their sleek boats of steel s
ilently stalking their prey
 and closing in for the kill."

"They died as they lived unafraid, proud and free
 Putting all on the line to secure liberty."

"Their bones now rest in glory down in Neptune's hallowed ground
But their souls stand tall at the right hand of God Awaiting the klaxon's next sound."

"So, it's more than a 'thing' that I wear on my chest It's a badge of the brave, proud and true.
 It's a tribute to those who have gone here before riding boats that are still overdue"

"It's the "Dolphins" of a submariner worn proudly by the few
who've qualified at every watch and touched every bolt and screw."

"They know the boat on which they sail like they know their very soul
and through the fires of hell or the pearly gates they're ready for each patrol."

"But when in port they take great sport standing out from all the rest.
 For deep inside they burn with pride for the dolphins on their chest."

Then he stood erect, squared his hat and pulled his neckerchief down to the 'V'
He rolled down his cuffs, put his smokes in his sock and squinted back towards the sea.

"I can hear them diesels calling So I'd best be on my way.
We'll be punchin' holes in the ocean when the sun peeks over the bay."

As I watched him turn and walk away I felt honored to know such men.
for they bring life to Duty, Honor, Country these "Brothers of the 'Phin."

*** Larry Dunn July 2003

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Vegetarian's Nightmare by Baxter Black

Ladies and diners I make you, A shameful, degrading confession.
A deed of disgrace in the name of good taste, Though I did it, I meant no aggression.

I had planted a garden last April, And lovingly sang it a ballad.
But later in June beneath a full moon, Forgive me, I wanted a salad!

So I slipped out and fondled a carrot, Caressing its feathery top.
 With the force of a brute I tore out the root! It whimpered and came with a pop!

Then laying my hand on a radish. I jerked and it left a small crater.
 Then with the blade of my True Value spade, I exhumed a slumbering tater!

Celery I plucked, I twisted a squash! Tomatoes were wincing in fear!
 I choked the Romaine, It screamed out in pain, Their anguish was filling my ears!

I finally came to the lettuce, As it cringed at the top of the row.
With one wicked slice I beheaded it twice, As it writhed, I dealt a death blow.

I butchered the onions and parsley. My hoe was all covered with gore.
I chopped and I whacked without looking back, Then I stealthily slipped in the door.

My bounty lay naked and dying, So I drowned them to snuff out their life.
I sliced and I peeled as they thrashed and they reeled, On the cutting board under my knife.

I violated tomatoes, So their innards could never survive.
I grated and ground ‘til they made not a sound, Then I boiled the tater alive!

Then I took the small broken pieces, I had tortured and killed with my hands.
 And tossed them together, heedless of whether, They suffered or made their demands.

I ate them. Forgive me, I’m sorry. But hear me, though I’m a beginner.
Those plants feel pain, though it’s hard to explain, To someone who eats them for dinner!

I intend to begin a crusade For PLANT’S RIGHTS, including chick peas.
The A.C.L.U. will be helping me too. In the meantime, please pass the blue cheese.

Friday, May 15, 2015

An ode to a can of carnation milk

Carnation milk is good for all
 It comes in cans both LARGE and small
 No t*ts to pull
 No hay to pitch
 Just stick a knife in the son of a b#*ch

Tamerlane's Kurgan of San Tash

A vast pile of stones, made when Tamerlane led his army into China, and had each soldier put a stone on the valley slope, and when war was over and the army returned home they picked up a stone from the pile they had made, and the tall mound of remaining stones, numbering tens of thousands, was a cenotaph erected by the fallen to their own memory