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Ahoy, everyone!

I have a proposition for all poets (and artists) who have not published before but who would like to see if they can make a ducat or two from their poems or artwork. I've recently self-published two books of poetry and am adept at the process it requires. One of the poems is entitled "The Homecoming of Danny Fry." It tells the tale of a young Englishman who goes to sea, becomes a member of a privateer crew (at some point becoming captain), and then, after years of being at sea, he comes home to live out his life in the village where he was born. His first night home he goes back to a friend's pub and spends all night drinking and feasting with his old friends and telling tales of his life at sea. That would be the first poem in the book . . .

All of the rest of the book would be filled with poems about pirates and their adventures. These poems (and any accompanying artwork) would represent the tales that Danny Fry told to his friends. Danny Fry would not have to be a character in any of these other poems or would never even have to be mentioned and the tales could be about ANYTHING so long as they had a pirate connection. Here's an example:

Prize Island

We were sailing in the northern latitudes,

A day off the Florida Coast.

Water we had, and limes and bread,

It was a prize that we needed the most.

The crew had come aboard at Holetown ,

A fine bunch of salts if ye ask me,

But a man signs articles for treasure.

It’s the reason we all put to sea.

The war with France had lingered

And Spain had come into the fight;

With so many enemies to choose from

There was still nary a foe in sight.

The men were restless and weary,

But I feared no mutiny from below,

For these were good English sailors,

Men from Cardiff, and Portsmouth, and Wicklow.

But a captain has to keep his reputation

By making sure he finds gold for his men.

A captain that can’t find prizes

Will never get a crew again.

I was on deck talking to me helmsman,

A good lad from near Aberdeen,

When the lookout shouted down a sightin’

And it was the prettiest sight that I’d ever seen

Me spyglass caught a sail on the horizon

And I ordered on more canvas for speed.

We had the weather gauge in our favor,

We’d have all of the wind we would need.

We soon gained ground on our quarry,

We’d be on her before the morning was out,

And with the crews that were manning me cannon

The outcome was never in doubt.

As we came within safe hailing distance,

I caught a stench that I can still smell:

The ship was a filthy French slaver,

Carrying poor souls straight to Hell.

Me men realized it was a slaver

And the ship went as silent as the grave;

In me crew were many a Redleg

And even a runaway slave.

I called down from the quarterdeck

But me crew had already stood to.

This was a decision for all of us

And I asked them what they wanted to do.

“Men, we’ll find no gold here,

Not till they’ve sold off their slaves;

We’d be fightin’ to free men from bondage

And for that I won’t wager your graves.”

“This is a decision for all of us,

One we must make to a man.

Do we sail away from the danger

Or do we do what little good we can?”

The cheer with which the crew answered

Must have caused the French to turn white,

‘Cause they loosed their sails and their colors

And gave up to us without a fight.

My men seemed a trifle disappointed,

Especially the ex-slave Shombay .

We all wanted to do a little cutting

But we’d save it for some other day.

I’ll never forget crossing onto that vessel,

The smells, the sounds, the blood;

So many of the poor wretches were dying

But we did whatever we could.

We freed near two hundred that morning,

Many women, some children, but mostly men.

Some just stood on the deck in silence,

Others shed tears to be free again.

But some danced wild savage dances

And called out to their gods in the sky,

Those white smiles in those inky black faces

I’ll remember till the day I die

Both ships got underway before nightfall

And we sailed south-southeast all next day,

Till we spotted an island off of Cuba,

A proper place for these people to stay.

It had fresh water, wild pigs and some coconuts

And not another soul that we could see.

If our friends were going to survive here

The world would have to let them be.

The Frenchies we left on the island,

After making them bury the slaves who had died,

And I can’t think of a more proper memorial

Than the tears the big Shombay cried.

What happened, you ask, to the French slavers?

Well, your guess is as good as mine.

But I may find out in the future:

I mean to visit that place again sometime.

After three days we left the island,

Without gold or anything we could spend,

But there wasn’t a single member of me “bloodthirsty” crew

Who didn’t feel that we were richer men.

Stephen Sanders

© 2008

For the purposes of the book, the poems would be tied together with this artifice but the true nature of the book would be a compilation of pirate poetry and each poem would be ascribed to the poet who wrote it as in any compilation. AND EVERYONE WOULD SHARE IN ANY SALES THAT WE AMASSED. We would take the total income for each book and divide it up amongst us per the number of works each person submitted.

I will foot the bill for the original publication and do the work of putting it togther. Everyone who had work chosen to be in the book would get to see the completed work before it went out and we would not publish anyone's work without their approval in the final product. I intend to have three, possibly four, poems in the final work but I WOULD ALSO INTEND ON TAKING AN ADDITIONAL 10% UNTIL MY EXPENSES ARE PAID BACK. That means that from the very beginning, even with the first book published, each writer would begin to amass proceeds.

For instance, say each book netted $3 for the group (after the publisher's costs) - I would take thirty cents to go to the repayment of the approximately $100 that it's going to cost to publish and the other 90% would be split up between the authors involved dependent on the number of works that each author supplied. If someone was entitled to 25% of the remaining profit, that would entitle them to approximately 68 cents. If we sell 100 books then that means you get $68. And once the expenses are paid, I no longer will take the additional ten percent. ANd the accounting books will be open to everyone.

I'm in this for the long haul and I don't expect to sell a million of these in the first year. But I would carry copies at each of the shows that I do and I've already sold several of my own books at these shows. It would be on my website and there could be links on any websites you wished to the publisher's website. If we ever do sell a few thousand of them then who knows where this can go. BUT AT THE VERY LEAST, YOU WOULD HAVE YOUR WORK PUBLISHED.

This is just the basic idea - if anyone is interested, please respond here in the topic and we'll go from there. I hope to hear from you, MANY of you, and I hope that we can put together a book that we are all proud of and which will make us all a little money!


AKA Steve Sanders

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Blackbead, you can count me in. I'm sure I can find a poem or two that either fit the bill or can be modified to fit in with your idea. It sounds like fun. I'm always up for a new writing challenge... :blink:

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Wonderful, Red Bess! I don't think this will make any of us RICH but it will definitely make for a good time! When you get the time, drop me a line with the poems you are interested in putting in our book. I intend to submit "Danny Fry", "Prize Island," and am currently working on a poem called "The Captain's Coat." I think if we can get fifty pages of poems and B&W illustrations we should be good to go.

Let's see who else wants to sign on . . .

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Ah, if writing poetry could make me rich, I wouldn't have to resort to piracy :blink:

(then, again, maybe I would :ph34r: )

I'll be in touch...

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Aye, m'Lady! If ye have some artwork that you'd like to get out there in a book Red Bess and I are working on then we'd love to talk with ye. It's going to be a self-published work through an online company. If ye are interested, all we'd need is a .jpg of it. If you want, I'll send you the poems that we've collected so far and ye can get an idea of the type of book we're doing.


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This sounds great. We have added a few poems to the magazine here and there.

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Ahoy, Matt!

I talked with both NQG and PW about publishing some of my work and Steve suggested that I talk to someone at your magazine. This idea, however, came up. I've already published two other books of poetry through this company and this one should be easy by now! Looks like there are at least two other people interested, maybe three. I have enough pirate poetry to get almost 25 pages of copy and I know Red Bess is going to add some excellent stuff! I'll let everyone know when it's available.


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Just a bump to get the thread back in action. WHile I'm here:


Some pirates had parrots for pets,

Some monkeys, some frisky ferrets.

But as for me crew,

Only an elephant will do:

They're HUGE but they never forget!


Looks like we have four poets and two artists interested in creating this work of literature. Anyone else?


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If I put my mind to it, I can be a very good poet, as some here know,

But dang if I think too hard the words become slow.

The lusty seas of sparkling blue in given words and colorful hue,

Set my mind a thinking and eventually I'm twinkling,

To cast off the doubts and spin the capstan, time to let the sails out.


Ya I can do it....

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:rolleyes: Ahoy, Rumba! :rolleyes:

Be ye interested in joinin' us on this mad adventure?!?!? I hope so, lass, as I'd love to carry ye with us! I'll PM ye . . . .


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Sometimes it just takes a nudge of the right kind to get me into my poetry state (thank you for the nudge Steve), sure I'd be happy to join the party. :o

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Great! Then send me a couple of pirate poems by email and we'll get going. Red Bess and I are already working on the project (and there are a couple of other pirate poets and artists also slaving, uh, I mean laboring away) and we're currently working on coming up with a title. Let's do some electronic brainstorming and see if we can come up with a title.

Glad to have ye aboard, matey!


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How about 'The Poets of the Sea' ?

Just off the top of me head.....

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I'll add it to the list!

How 'bout Pirates, Poets, and Privateers?


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Ahoy, everyone!

Looks like we're getting somewhere - at least seven poets and three artists have indicated interest! We are currently up to 28 pages of material with more on the way! We need to start thinking about a title and there is brainstorming going on as we speak. So far, the discussion has netted some very interesting ideas -

1. The Soul of the Pirate (or something like that)

2. Running Out the Guns

3. Raising the Black Flag

4. Poets of the Sea

5. Pirate Poets

But the list can go on and on.

Keep thinking, writing, painting and creating! This weekend I am off to Scarborough Faire to wander through their "Long John Silver Pirate Invasion" Weekend. I'm sure there will be plenty of inspiration out there! Talk to you soon!


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I'm baaaa-aaaaack!

Scarborough Faire's pirate invastion weekend was a blast!! But now it's time to get back into action.

First of all, it appears that "Pirate Soul" may be taken as a title. The title has been used by Pat Croce in a previous book.

We now have approximately 29 pages of material!! Once we get up to sixty, then I intend to put it all together and send copies to everyone. We'll do exactly like the original pirate crews did - we vote on each work to see if we want, as a crew, to include it in the book. If a poem is not voted in initially, that doesn't mean that an author can't work on the piece and then resubmit it. I'm still shooting to have a book ready for publication by the beginning of November. I want to make the Christmas season so that we can sell copies as gifts to the piratically inclined!

Keep working, folks!!


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My latest piece:

Farewell, Brave Lion

I took you from a Spanish captain,

Back in seventeen-oh-two,

I knew it was your maiden voyage:

Your sails were still brand new.

You handled like an Irish racehorse,

Headstrong but steady and true,

And with the slightest breezes

There was nothing I couldn’t ask of you.

You managed fourteen cannon

Without giving up a knot

And in every fight but the last one

You gave better than you got.

It was my mistake to fight a carrack

With a twenty-four gun array

And now you lie forever

‘Neath the blue of Santiago Bay.

It’s been years since I first boarded you,

Now your sailing days are through,

Your guns have all gone silent:

I finally asked too much of you.

Stephen Sanders




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We be up to 34 pages! No artwork, yet, but so far Red Bess has put up one poem, Rumba has three in the hold, and I got about six. We're doing fine since I don't need to get it all together till the end of September. It's coming together, my friends, and it's going to be great!


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Hmmm, an interesting idea! I'll put it on the list and the "crew" will have a chance to vote for it! Thank ye, kindly, Sir!

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For Artwork what dimensions? 8 1/2 by 11? Please advise

ideas tossed about.....

How about "Pyrate Reflections"

Inspirations of Pyrate Life at Sea

also thought about Pirate Musings...but muse seemed a tad fem.

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I'll add them both to the list, m'Lady!

The book, as currently planned, will be an 8.5 x 8.5 square. I've used this layout in two other books and they both turned out looking nice. That also keeps the price fairly reasonable. I would suggest that you go ahead with whatever dimensions that you want and then get a digital picture of it and send it to me as a .jpg. I'll fit it to the page and give you a credit line. You can also provide me with whatever title you wish to use or a caption if you prefer. Your name, the real one or your alias if you prefer, with a copyright symbol and the year will go next to the image.

By the way, will everyone please provide me with the name they wish to use, a one paragraph bio, and an email address to send the completed .pdf file to. We still have LOTS of time, I don't want to have it print ready till the middle of this coming October, but it never hurts to go ahead and get this data into a file somewhere.

If we want to, I can compile this early (as soon as we get to 60 pages), get it in a .pdf file and send it out so we can all have a better idea of what the book is going to look like.

Steve Sanders

AKA Blackbead

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Ahoy, mates!

The current working title of the book is Tales of the Sweet Trade: Original Poetry For and By Pirates. Looks like we may have someone wanting to put in a short story, which I have no heartburn with so long as we all agree that it is good. I've told him that the work can go into the mix but it's got to be voted on by everyone involved and unless a majority want to put it in then it don't get in!

Here is the current list of titles:

1. Raising Black Flags

2. Piratry

3. The Soul of the Pirate

4. A Pirate’s Soul

5. Songs of the Sea

6. Ocean Songs

7. Pirate Shanties

8. Pirates, Privateers and Poets

9. Pirate Poetry

10. Raising the Black Flag

11. Pirate Odes

12. Songs in the Key of “P”

13. Singing with the Devil

14. Dead Men Tell These Tales

15. Pirate Treasures

16. Broadsides

17. Pirate Tales

18. Tavern Tales

19. From the Tavern

20. Red Skies at Night (as in “sailor’s delight’)

21. The Sweet Trade

22. Secrets of the Sweet Trade

23. Tales of the Sweet Trade

24. The Middle Watch

25. Tales for the Dog Watch

26. Songs of the Dog Watch

27. Pirates, Scalawags and Poets

28. Gee-Gaws, Pretties and Swag

29. Gawgews, Swag and Plunder

30. Fireships

31. Dunnage

32. Fo’c’sle Tales

33. Songs from the Fo’c’sle

34. Lying Ahull

35. Squared Away

36. Pyrate Reflections: Inspirations of Pyrate Life at Sea

37. Pirate Musings

38. Running Out the Guns

40. Poets of the Sea

All of these could have subtitles; something like “Original Poetry By and For Pirates.” Keep writing!


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We're up to 39 pages!

Another thing to think about, what do we want to use for the dedication page? The "working dedication" is "For the pirate in all of us." If you have any suggestions, pass them on to me.

See you in Lawton!


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