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#142021 03/28/02 10:08 AM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 52
OP Offline
A friend of mine won the Valentine's Day Poetry Competition about 10 years ago with this one. It's long. Those of you who know the characters mentioned will get good laughs out of this one.

The Legend of Ambergris
-Iain Ritchie

There was an ancient mariner
His hair was white as snow,
Out fishing by the Barrier Reef
His favourite place to go.

His fishing guide was Gaby
And 'Love' was called the boat,
And not far from Hol Chan at night
This pair would float.

One night so calm the sea was glass
A white moon in the sky,
A tug pulled Ritchie on his ass
And Gaby gave a cry.

"We've caught a whopper," shouted he,
"Don't lose the critter now!"
And Ritchie snarled but with some glee
"It pulls like a mad cow."

For three long hours this pair they fought,
A monster from the deep.
Then white foam rose beside the boat
And Gaby gave a shriek.

"We've caught a human being, man,
And it can't be a corpse,
It's fighting like a maniac
And kicking like a horse!"

"I'll get the gaff," said Ritchie
But Gaby cried, "No way!"
To stick a fellow with a gaff
would hardly be fair play.

He swirled and twirled his bait net
And threw it far and wide,
But little did he know it then
He'd caught the Island's bride.

Then as they slowly lifted
Their hard won piscine prize,
The two of them confronted
The loveliest pair of eyes.

Glowing from the darkness
With fear and sadness too,
A pair of huge enormous eyes
The sea's most wondrous blue.

Were crowned with hair so fine and long
The colour of black coral,
That hardly hid a pair of [#%!]
So firm they wouldn't wobble.

With eyes so wide and tugs and heaves
They laid her on the floor,
And staggered with amazement
At what their eyes then saw.

For instead of waist and legs
And other lovely parts,
She was covered all in scales
With a tail just like a carp.

"We've caught a mermaid!" Gaby gasped,
Breathed Ritchie, "Come on, now,"
"We all know that a mermaid
Is what they call 'sea cow'."

"A manatee is different,
it has an ugly face!
And to call this beauty 'ugly'
Would indeed be a disgrace!"

"It's been a while," said Ritchie,
"since I have eaten fish.
To find a part where I could start
Would be my dearest wish."

"I can't believe this!" Gaby cried.
"I can't believe our luck!"
And Ritchie just exclaimed but once,
A word that rhymes with 'duck'.

"Your fame and future's made," he said,
"And fishermen from afar,
Will come to hire the "Love" boat
And brag back in the bar."

But Gaby didn't listen,
As he said with lust and greed,
"Can't wait to catch another.
Let's hope in shoals they feed."

The two of them were getting hot
And argument was growing,
The mermaid laid there quietly
With tears now freely flowing.

"Let's take her back," they finally said
And ask what we should do
We'll land her at the "Tackle Box"
Before her motley crew.

"I do not think that," Gaby said,
"Is a very good idea,
They'd put her in with all those sharks,
A fate I know she'd fear."

"Let's take her to the "Hustler Dock",
The Leslie boys are ready.
They say at any time at all
To properly treat a lady."

They revved up Love's two engines
And headed for the shore,
The mermaid laid there quietly
Sweet innocence and more.

Outstanding beauty, face and form
Loveliness sublime,
This child from Neptune's treasure chest
To take her was a crime.

But try to stop a fisherman
From showing off his catch,
And Gaby knew the other guides
Would die his triumph to match.

Arriving at the jetty
You could see the people shocked,
As word went round from mouth to mouth,
A huge crowd quickly flocked.

Sgt. Ramirez called, "Silence!
This hardly is the norm."
And solemnly produced
An immigration form.

You could have heard a pin drop.
In drawn breath was but a hiss,
The mermaid on the form wrote
My name is "Amber Gris"

The sergeant looked upon the girl,
And trying to be nice,
Said, "Welcome to San Pedro,
Let me give you some advice."

"Don't go too near to Elvi's
Because you really are a dish,
And you wouldn't last but a minute
As they specialize in fish."

He turned to Ritch and Gaby
And crossly he exclaimed,
"They're surely out of season
I expect you will be blamed."

The town board held a meeting
In a very secret place,
Another alien coming
Was really a disgrace

They wrote to the Prime Minister
And to Glen Godfrey too,
With great respect as usual
To ask what they should do.

"She needs a work permit," they said,
"And a trade license too."

The ministry sent a chap at once
He came from Belmopan,
Victim fell to the mermaid's spell
As did every normal man.

He filled in all the papers
And made a long report,
Recommending citizenship
This child we can't deport.

As for her proper status,
Her name is Amber Gris,
She has a tail just like a whale
So she must be a fish.

Tourists came from far and wide
To see this wondrous beauty,
And many wanted for a bride
The island's latest cutie.

But Amber wasn't interested
And the tourists rolled in fast,
Fortune smiled on Neptune's child
It was too good to last.

Temptation came in human form
Although from out the sky,
She from the reef - he called John Greif
Tropic's macho guy.

So young, so handsome was this Greif
So slick and debonair,
A dreadful cad just like his dad
It really wasn't fair.

She lost her heart and then her head
And other things no doubt.
Was innocent no longer,
His conquest was a rout.

It's said that after diving,
With seaweed in his hair,
He walked out on the mermaid
And ended the affair.

We all know then what happened
T'is every father's fear,
A daughter that's out drinking
With strangers at The Pier.

Her beauty faded quickly.
Her pristine sweetness fled.
She even gave up swimming
Her eyes completely dead.

The end then came quite swiftly.
As too the tourist trade.
She disappeared completely,
Did Neptune's sweet mermaid.

Some say at night out by the reef
You can hear poor Amber crying,
And others say that's nonsense.
It's just the wind sighing.

But the moral of the story
Is clear for all to see,
Treat Nature's treasures gently
God save Ambergris Caye.

[This message has been edited by belizeanblue (edited 03-28-2002).]

[This message has been edited by belizeanblue (edited 03-28-2002).]

#142022 03/28/02 12:28 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 5,255
thank you for sharing. that was something.

#142023 03/28/02 05:28 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 502
That was wonderful...thanks.


Love is a many splendid thing and food runs a close second.
#142024 03/31/02 05:39 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,657
I wish I knew more of the characters there!
Maybe someday!

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