Poem Challenges I

My old cyberpal David Graham at Ripon U. recently threw down a gantlet as follows: Write a poem that (a) is entirely in one-syllable words and at least 14 lines long, (b) is in classic ballad form, (c) has something in it about a tattoo, and/or (d) is connected with the exercise of sitting and just looking at a body of water.

Here is a shot at it:

Coal Ridge Reed Ducks
(The Gate Sit Song)

It was an old and grey haired tar
Who stopped in front of me.
I asked him, “Tell me who you are.”
He said, “I am the sea.”

I asked, “The part stands for the whole?”
He smiled. “You might say so.
I sail the sea, and this my goal:
Where it goes, I shall go.”

“So what,” I pressed him, “in your spare
Time do you find to do?”
“I sit and braid my long grey hair;
I knit, and I tat, too.”

I did not learn his name, and he
In time went on his way;
But I still sit, and watch the sea
From dawn to dusk each day.

O you who read, now learn from me:
Vain is such verse, by gosh;
Gone is that tar, for as you see
All comes out in the wash.

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