A maritime pilot from Morocco recently sent me a poem entitled ‘Hymne au Pilote’ (Hymn to the Pilot). It’s not everyday that one comes across a pilot who writes poetry, so I thought I should share the piece with the readers of Marine Café Blog.

The author’s name is Mohammed Rida El Mariky, a senior pilot at Tangier Med Complex. He has 14 years pf pilotage experience in various Moroccan port and holds a Ph.D in Admiralty Law from the prestigious Paul Cézanne Faculty, Aix-en-Provence, France. He has published a collection of short stories (‘L’Odeur du luzin’) as well as a collection of poems (‘Les mot qui tanguen’)

Below is El Mariky’s poem in the original French, followed by his own English translation.

 

Hymn to the Pilot

by Mohammed Rida El Mariky

From the quay you jump into your boat
To rally the caravel offshore
Skillful and prompt you climb her ladder
On the bulkheads her spreaders hammer

By his welcoming on the bridge
Eager and garnished with zeal
The Raïs greets and you are still breathless
As a man of the place you thin his artfulness

Diaphanous the caravel travels and fascinates
A crew mumbling
His gibberish as you collate
Information quickly turned into orders that you give

The ship flanks the berth
Graciously handled and safely moored
Courteous you announce to disembark
To leave your ephemeral team

You pilot with velvet hands
Ambassador of your homeland and its openwork
From which spring the rays of bravery
And faithful to its calls you run

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