The South Pacific pirate princess by Tanya Batt

In lands of fire and feathered birds
Long white clouds and leafy green
On shorelines crisp with crimson tuft
Cradled by sparking sand and sea

Is a cave hid? Can you see it?
Chiselled in that steep grey cliff
The home of the notorious
South Pacific Pirate Princess

Her father was a ship’s captain
Her mother a proud Island Queen
Her brothers five, all sailors wild
Like best to eat, drink, dance and sing

Her clothes are stitched from stolen loot
Bright coloured silks and fancy braids
A red scarf binds her thick dark hair
Upon her head, a crown of jade.

They say her cave is filled with jewels
Walls shine with silver and of gold
That she lies sleeping guarding them
From fools and thieves and from the bold

Do you think you are brave enough
To creep and peek inside to see
What treasure she has hid away
Kept safely under lock and key?

Along the shelly sands you crunch
Across the stones you leap and hop
Then up the steep grey cliff you cling
To roots of trees and jutting rocks.

The cave is dark, as dark as night
Dare you to step into the gloom
A sea gull cries from high above
“Beware! Beware. She will wake soon.”

Your heart thumps like a pounding wave
Your lips are dry and stiff with salt
You lift one foot and step into
The Pirate’s lair, the treasure vault

At first you’re smothered by the dark
You cannot see the rocks you hold
But gradually in shadows thick
The soft pale glow of gold unfolds.

Your hear a grunt, soft snuffled snores
The Pirate Princess lies sleeping
The treasure’s there, for you to take
For counting and for keeping

You reach to fill your pockets with
Gold and silver coins that clink
Rubies, sapphires, diamonds and pearls
Bejewelled bracelets, broaches and rings.

Suddenly the cave is quiet
The snores no longer fill the air
A chill creeps slowly up your spine
A tall dark shape is standing there.

The South Pacific Pirate Princess!
Swings her sword and fiercely cries
“Thief! You’ve come to steal my treasure.”
“Unhand the loot. Prepare to die!”

You dodge and leap as the blade falls
Back down the cliff you roll and slide
Across the stones, along the sand
You dare not stop or look behind.

Out of breathe you fall exhausted
Behind you hear the crunch of sand
Footsteps approach. It’s all over.
Upon your shoulder rests a hand

“Come on love.” A familiar voice
“It’s getting late - it’s time for home.”
You strain to see with sandy eyes
Mum in beach hat her face a glow.

Picking up your spade and bucket
You pause and give a sea soft sigh
Pockets filled with secret treasure
Smooth stones and shells bought on the tide

In lands of fire and feathered birds
Long white clouds and leafy green
Lives a South Pacific Princess
The fiercest pirate never seen.

© Tanya Batt (Ray Richards Literary Agency)

Read our interview with Tanya Batt.

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