The Men Who Fight Below

Author Unknown

Contributed By Josh Few

 

Note: this Poem was taken from the wall of Machinery Technician "A" school. I was detached from Engineman School as an Instructor over 41 years ago - Funny I don't remember this poem being on the board. Seriously, it is a good one. - Jack

Now each of us from time to time, has gazed upon the sea,

And watched the warships pulling out, to keep this country free  

And most of us have read a book, or heard a lusty tale

About the men who sail these ships, thru lightening, wind & hail

But there’s a place within each ship that legend fails to teach

It’s down below the waterline; it takes a living toll,

A hot metal living hell, that sailors call “THE HOLE”

It houses engines run by oil, that makes the shafts go round

A place of fire, noise and heat, that beats your spirits down

Where engines like a hellish heart beat until you scream

Are of molded gods without remorse, are nightmares in a dream.

Whose threat that from the engine’s roar, is like living doubt

That any minute would like scorn, escape and crush you out.

Where turbines scream like tortured souls, alone and lost in hell,

As ordered from above somewhere, they answer every bell.

And men who keep the fires lit and make the engines run

Are strangers to the world of night and rarely see the sun.

They have no time for man or God, no tolerance for fear,

Their aspect pays no living thing, the tribute of a tear.

For there’s not much that men can do that these men haven’t done

Beneath the decks deep in the hole to make the engines run.

And every hour of every day they keep the watch in hell

For if the power ever fails, their ship’s a useless shell

When warships converge to have a war, upon an angry sea,

The men below just grimly smile at what their fate might be.

They’re locked below like men fore doomed, who hear no battle cry,

It’s well assumed that if they’re hit, the men below will die.

For every day’s a war down there, when the gages all read red

A loss of oil and bearing seize thrown rods can kill you dead.

So if you ever write their sons or try to tell their tale,

Your every word would make them hear a labored engine’s wail.

And people as a general rule don’t hear of the men of steel,

So little's heard about the place that’s closest to the keel.

But I can sing of this place and try to make you see,

The hardened life of the men down there, because one of them is me.

I’ve seen these sweat soaked heroes fight, in superheated air,

To keep their ship alive and right though no on knows their there.

And thus they’ll fight for ages on, till warships sail no more

Amid the monster’s mighty heat the engines hellish roar.

So when you see a ship pull out, to meet a warlike foe,

Remember faintly if you can “THE MEN WHO FIGHT BELOW

 

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Note: this Poem was taken from the wall of Machinery Technician "A" school. I was detached from Engineman School as an Instructor over 41 years ago - Funny I don't remember this poem being on the board. Seriously, it is a good one. - Jack

 

The Men Who Fight Below Unknown Contributed By Josh Few