For those whose only encounter with the ocean is a gentle harbor cruise,
Or whose income is catching a computer with a paycheck very hard to lose,
Facing the most dangerous time when on the weekends the bars discharge,
Too many party goers weaving and stumbling and now at large.
Where exercise is not work but is at a controlled pace confined to a luxury gym,
Recreation and social time, followed up by fresh juices in a steam, later a relaxing swim.
To those “The Deadliest Catch” must seem like a tale from a strange, far out alien world,
With howling winds of sprayed salt air while angry towering waves continually swirled,
With a barometer quickly falling at sonic speed into the gates of weather hell,
Bow quickly into the wind before another over the pilot house killing swell.
Here the ocean has all the odds and holds the largest stack of chips,
Dealing marked cards turned over to a hand of men floating and a sinking ship,
What drives a man from the comfort of hearth and home to leave?
What possibly can balance the risk with what he may achieve?
A real risk of a lonely shivering hypothermic bitter end,
Floating fish food miles from shore, miles from family or friends?
It cannot be the money for here too often you meet the ocean’s curse,
You never know when or if the stormy sea will open up its crabbing purse.
It cannot be for freedom for many a captain is an Alaskan copy of William Bligh.
How can you fathom placing self in harm’s way of maiming or to freeze and die?
The answer may be that in all of us there beats a warrior’s heart,
In a PC world with too many laws and lawyers, from it we are kept too far apart
And in a nine to five civilized safe world we may miss the death defying thrills,
But with children, wives and mortgages, sadly we can no longer afford to pay those bills
But it passes PC muster to go into the Gulf or Bering Sea for the King Crabs to fetch,
Despite all dangers return to port, hull down, a brave survivor of “The Deadliest Catch.”
You will fear no man and maybe not even God and stand eternally straight and tall,
How could you not exceed any goal after surviving howling, frigid 50 foot ocean walls?
Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet
©July 25, 2007