The Chittagong Tattoo

Shah Alam fell a hundred feet today

We found him lying face up on the keel

Azrael came and bore his soul away

Left his body broken by the steel

These are ocean going ships we break

Not built to come apart with ease

Three hundred taka is our pay

And a dream of greater wealth beyond the seas  

Jamuna and Raja    

Mabiya in the mangroves         

The copper core

The blowtorch cutting through

This is where the great ships die

And all the workers bear the sign

The welding burn, the Chittagong Tattoo

You will never hear when the gas escapes

It floats up from the bilge and fills the air

The cutterman’s assistant starts the flame

It’s the kind of thing that can happen anywhere

The work is hard

And steel is strong

We walk on rusted plates and rods

There’s not a man

Would stay so long

But for the terrible will of God

© MarkGSongs 2019