THE BENT ROD

Posted by Admin on Saturday, 1st March 2008, 00:00

The Greaser told the Fifth on watch,
a rod was getting hot;
the Fiver warned the Second. He
exploded on the spot;
then vanished up a ladder, fast,
and came down with the Chief:
the Chief said, “Lubricate the thing,”
or something quite as brief.
Incessantly they swabbed the steel
with oil as thick as glue;
instead of cooling off a bit,
the piston-rod turned blue.

The Steward, Cook, and Donkeyman
were there to lend a hand;
they chaffed in Cockney, Scots, and Welsh,
a multi-lingual band.
The journals, pointing downwards, showed
the bottom of a stroke
meant lifting through the cylinder:
when rolling – not a joke.

They rigged a block and tackle through
a skylight running aft;
the winch then pulled the piston out,
and saved no end of graft.
The cover back, and bolted down,
a blank flange on the gland;
they gave her steam and Slow Ahead,
and made Port Said – as planned.

T. C. Hudson
1961

© T. C. Hudson.

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