Voyage of the Hopeless

A Convict's Tale


Peter Pickering

3/6/20241 min read

The convict vessel, "Merciless Sea," she sails,

A ship of lost souls, with tattered sails.

Captain Grimshaw, stern and cold,

In his eyes, lie stories untold.

The main tormentor, Bosun Black,

His whip, a feared and painful rack.

He roams the deck, with a sneer so vile,

Striking fear, mile after mile.

Amongst the wretched, there's young Tom Shaw,

Sent away for stealing a loaf, the law so raw.

With him, his mates, Jack and Will,

Their spirits unbroken, despite the ill.

Crammed below, in the dark and the damp,

Their world now a dim, flickering lamp.

Dreams of home, now distant and blurred,

Thoughts of loved ones, a memory stirred.

The sea, it churns, a beast untamed,

Their stomachs turn, spirits maimed.

Disease runs rife, in the air so stale,

With every cough, faces turn pale.

Tom longs for home, for his mother's embrace,

Tears trickle down his weathered face.

Anger boils, at the injustice done,

Under the relentless, burning sun.

Hopelessness hangs, like a heavy cloud,

Amongst the convicts, a silent crowd.

Yet, whispers of a new life, in a distant land,

Seem like fantasies, slipping like sand.

Australia, a mystery, wild and vast,

Their futures uncertain, tied to the past.

Bosun Black's lash, a constant fear,

Marking time, year after year.

But in the night, under starlit skies,

Tom dreams of freedom, where a new hope lies.

Perhaps in that land, harsh and strange,

His fate could find a way to change.

Captain Grimshaw, a figure of dread,

Steers the "Merciless Sea," ahead.

A journey of despair, across the ocean so wide,

Where fate and fortune, strangely collide.

So sails the ship, with her human cargo,

Towards a new world, a future embargo.

Tom Shaw, and his mates, in the hold they weep,

Bound for a land, where secrets keep.

© Peter Pickering 2024