Farewell now, our Padre says to the coffin by his side,
Alas another Mariner has crossed the bar and died,
Once he was a Seaman in a calling like no other,
With an understanding to us he was a brother,

The Padre singles out the man, below an Ensign red,
Spoke of deeds with humour about the life he'd led,
Of the hard and best times when he was young at sea,
`Till finally ashore to raise a family.

Sent off by fellow seamen - from deep sea or the coast,
Perhaps a tape recording, rendering `Last Post`,
The `star turn` in the coffin does not mind at all,
Because he knew beforehand, what later may befall.

Kinfolk in the for'ard pews paying last respects,
Our veterans in blazers, wondering if they're next,
Words about the `evening star` and `peril on the sea`,
Surmising I’ll be happy when Father Time calls me.

We attend with deference the funerals of our peers,
Especially with our Padre evoking laughs and tears,
It's sad I know, we'll miss them so, but a voyage too must end,
We're here to bid farewell to a colleague and a friend.

Joe Earl Aug. 2017