Pictures In My Skin

Pictures In My Skin

By Garland Davis

it was a sailor thing, pictures in the skin

i never went there, tho my shipmates did

thought about it, couldn’t bring myself to it

they plied me with booze, fooled them didn’t go

never saw the benefit, pictures in my skin

now an everybody thing, pictures in the skin

young and foolish, pictures bright and bold

sailors not so much now, to girls a mark of cool

flowers and butterflies, skulls and bones

today i will be cool, with pictures in my skin

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A native of North Carolina, Garland Davis has lived in Hawaii since 1987. He always had a penchant for writing but did not seriously pursue it until recently. He is a graduate of Hawaii Pacific University, where he majored in Business Management. Garland is a thirty-year Navy retiree and service-connected Disabled Veteran.


One thought on “Pictures In My Skin

  1. John Croix says:

    Like you I never got a “Picture on My Skin” and like you, I thought about it but never did.
    I know there will come a day when a lot of these youngsters will be looking to get them removed. Some will get it removed because that name is no longer wanted. Some will want them removed because they are old and faded and not very pretty, just a blob of colors all running together.
    I saw a lot of funny ones along the way, but the one I remember today and it’s been in my head since the mid-1960’s. We were having an inspection of some kind and this “old” MMC was down in #1 engine room looking us over. I noticed an old tattoo on his forearm. It was faded and couldn’t be read from more than two feet away. I was curious so I worked my way around until I could see what this old Chief thought was so important he had to have it indelibly printed on his arm. When I got close enough to read it, I had trouble not laughing out loud. It had to have been done on his first enlistment, for it was the depiction of a white hat sailor in his dress blues with a seabag slung over his shoulder, and the caption “USN – Never Again”
    MMCS(SW) 1961-1988


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