Tuesday, August 11, 2020


Sarah enchanted us with a recount of
her narrowboat trip, and challenged
us to set sail in poem.  I'm a total
landlubber with a fascination for tales
of the sea and her mysteries.  This
poem is loosely based on an actual
ocean mystery.
Submitted to dVerse
August 11, 2020

In 1870 on a summer’s day
set sail a brigantine
its cargo destined for a distant port
she was known as the Mary Katherine
All was well as the ship set sail
skidding the bounding main
but captain and crew, so the story is told
were never to be seen again
Aye, the ship was seen, a phantom ship
in quite an abandoned state
When she was boarded there was no clue
as to how they met their fate.
All their belongings were left behind
and nothing seemed awry
It was as if they simply vanished
and none could fathom why
To this day it remains a mystery
their fate has never been learned
and the brigantine Mary Katherine
is known as the ship that never returned. 


  1. Wow, very beautifully written and indeed mystifying. It is one of those stories that reminds me of the mystery in the world itself. So many paradoxes and things left to the unknown, you can create a short story anthology. This poem in particular reminded me of a time-traveling ship; the ship at sea went briefly back in time. Do I believe this? I'm a skeptic but a pure lover of mysteries at heart. Just as the vivid tale you've expressed with grand prosody, it is as they say: that life is not a dream... but rather a mystery.

  2. I love your use of rhyme and rhythm in this - it gives it an antique feel. I can imagine it being recited in a wintry bar by the sea. What a strange thing to happen, though. Very mysterious.

  3. Perfect form for a seafaring tale. Still a mystery, like the ocean itself.

  4. Now I'm curious about this ship. The rhythm and tone of your poem suits the tale and the time well, I think.

  5. Intriguing story, Beverly. There is a feeling of being at the mercy of the water when land is no longer in sight. Just about anything can happen!

  6. A tale full full of mystery, well told with beautiful poetry! "Aye, the ship was seen, A phantom ship" really liked that line.

  7. OOOOOOOOOH. You told a mystic tale through genius lines weaving. Beautiful!

  8. Another mystic ship. Reminds me of the Marie Celeste. And I agree with Sarah, a ballad form is the best for this kind of subject.

    1. Jane, I think the Mary Katherine, the Marie Celeste and the Mary Celeste are one and the same. The story has been told and retold many times. I love the tales of ghost ships, and I picked up the name as Mary Katherine somewhere in my searches.

  9. Beautifully done Beverly. This poem reminds me of the Malaysian flight that disappeared and never returned!

    1. ...and of the navy flyers who disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle (which I wrote about some time ago). I love these mysteries.

  10. Beautifully written. You captured the adventure and danger of ocean voyage way back when.

  11. A salty mystery. Nice. Luv the rhymes


  12. I loved this so much Bev. I’ve always enjoyed stories of those old sailing ships and your poem of mystery was perfectly written 🥰

  13. Nothing like a sea-faring mystery and ghost tale to shiver me timbers! Well-done, Bev. Loved it.

  14. I love a poem like this... such a classic feel with all the details...

    Wonderful rhymes

  15. Oh my! I read it a second time...this time aloud. You've told the tale so very well here. They rhythm, the mystery....it's almost like and old sea salt's tale being told on the pier. Just wonderful!

    1. Thank you, Lillian. I've always loved reading about such mysterious happenings.