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Ghost Riders in the Sky

The boy had often wanted to "run away to sea."
Was this it, or was he running towards his universal destiny.
A dysfunctional family,
He wanted to love this world.
The big fishing boat SS Taoiara ground her way down the harbor
Almost brushing the black sinister cliffs. Taioara Heads.
He could feel and hear the heartbeat of the motor in her bowels.
The menacing, embracing arms of the open sea lay ahead.
"North twelve East," snaps the skipper to the man at the wheel.
Stuff of dreams thinks the boy.
Why, had he not just read Jack London's "Two Years Before the Mast"?
But lo, all is not perfect.
Darkness embraces the scene.
Aft, the lights of Old Dunedin paint themselves up onto the grey clouds.
It's Saturday night.
He thinks of the girls at the Town Hall Dance.
The crew shuffle the decks, mugs of tea clutched a hand.
Surviving the debauchery of a long stay in Port.
The boy hadn't learnt much about the drink, he was a dancer, and pitied the others.
They would make him work for his pity later.
Now, the crew are tucked into the forecastle fast asleep.
Not the boy.
This, his adventure.
He clings to the forward mast. The ship persists, North twelve East.
The South wind screams through the rigging.
Scared looking clouds are hurtled along between the mast tops and a vivid moon beyond.
The ships rolls, then dips into a big one, will she rise.
Just, a green one sweeps the forecastle, turning white pouring over the gunnels.
Music, someone else is awake.
Suits the occasion, it's "Ghost Riders In The Sky."
He will never forget.
He decides, "this is the life for me."
Though perfection doesn't exist.
He pines for the softness of girls at the Town Hall Dance.
But will brave it out with "Ghost Riders In The Sky."

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