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Month

October 2021

True Ghost Story – A Close Encounter of the Sixth Kind – For Halloween

A true story for All Hallows’ Eve, although it did not happen on Halloween.


And, I steal my title from the list of types of encounters with UFOs and Aliens from Space, where actual physical encounters result in injury or death. Admittedly, I experienced nothing but fright, but the touch is without question

.
  I was visiting the Bay of Fundy island of Grand Manan.

 I had booked a room in a bed and breakfast and arrived mid-evening. I went elsewhere for a meal, but did meet the owners, and noted there were a couple of others staying there. I returned around eleven, chatted to the owners and one guest, then went up to bed.

The room was top of the stairs and across a landing. Comfortably rustic with a radio. The bed was fine and I was not long getting to sleep.

  In the dead of the dark (no street lights here) I was awakened by the touch of hands on me. I was sleeping on my left side. One hand was over my groin and the other on my chest. There was also the weight of a body next to me and the pressure of an arm across my side.

I was initially surprised and confused but not frightened. Time probably stretched but it seems to me I lay like this for ten or fifteen seconds. Then, the very first coherent thought which came to me was that someone laying behind me could not have both arms over my body. There could not be two hands placed on the front of my body.

  I got out of bed very quickly and did indeed experience fear. I turned on the overhead light but saw nothing. I heard nothing. The temperature was not unusual. I was frightened and certainly uncomfortable, but I can’t say that that aura was present.

I went to the bathroom across the landing. The house was silent.

I returned to the bedroom, thinking both of leaving the light on and turning on the radio. But then I thought that that was just giving into fear, and might encourage the fear instead of ease it, so I did neither. I did not seem to take very long to get to sleep.  

The next morning I went downstairs for breakfast. I heard the owner talking to two other guests as I approached the kitchen.

Just as I entered she interrupted her conversation and turned to me. She said: “Let’s ask him. He’s the one sleeping in the haunted room.”  

I don’t know if they had been talking about ghosts or if something else had happened in the night. I relayed my experience and the owner then told the story of the house.

As with many buildings on the island it had been a farm house, with the owners also fishing. It was a century or more old and left to a daughter. When she herself got old and could not look after it, her family forced her to leave, something she fought against.

The present owners then bought the building and started taking in guests. However, whenever they attempted renovations, they were discouraged by having paint cans overturned, new wallpaper peeled from the wall, ladders moved, hammers and such hidden.

  The new owners’ daughter lived next door, and looked after the house when her parents went away (trips to Florida in the winter). She inevitably had to come over to the house and close doors, turn off lights, put furniture back in place.  

The old woman who was forced to leave had the reputation of being a mean and unpleasant person. I don’t know if she was taking a liking to me or not.

Today There Were Birds In The Air and Birds On The Trees and Birds On The Ground

There were crows in The Crow Tree.

What used to be a regular occurrence is now rare. They were in a right tizzy.

And more spooky than ever, sitting in a ragged line right at the top, above the leaves.

They all – I swear – seemed to be looking to the East.

And later, there were nine pigeons walking up the street en masse, seemingly intent on some destination.

I’d get out of their way if I was out there.

As I watched, a pickup truck came up the hill and did seem to gun its engine as it approached the pigeons

It did pass by without incident, and the pigeons regrouped and continued on their way.


And, at dusk, there were blue jays on my fir tree outside my window.

I heard them (as one can always do with blue jays) but I only saw the one.

They were causing a right ruckus – far more vocal than the earlier crows.


Perhaps this was not Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Nature red in tooth and claw, but – I gotta tell ya – there were a lot of claws.

Music From The Wind / Dancing From The Leaves / And One Crazy Kitten

You can’t take a step,


Man nor beast,


Without a leaf


Hitting you in the face.


Such blow the

Autumn Winds,


In from the sea,


Scurrying across


Partridge Island,


And swirling ’round


The Lighthouse.


Paw the kitten


(Already spooky himself


All black


With one white mitten),


And already spooked


(It seems to me}


By an approaching


Halloween,


Jumps


And twists


And turns


In the air,


All paws off the ground


When leaves hit


Or nearly miss.


Paw the cat


Will sleep well


Tonight.


I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2021 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}

It Is The Full Moon / That Spooks The Crow / And Makes Me Wonder / What They Know

The crows are agitated


As they pause,

And perch,

On Partridge Island.,


Before they continue


On their way


To


Wherever that might be.


They spook


Paw the kitten,


Black as a crow


With one white mitten,


Who has been looking


At the moon,


Over his shoulder,

These last few nights


Before he comes in.


As it gets more,


And more,


Full.


Lighting the

way


To the Ghost’s night,


When the Dead


Appear


From the

Other Side,


On


All Hallows’ Eve.


I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2021 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}DE BA. UEL

Sister Darling Comes To Call To Save My Soul And That’s Not All

On the fourth Sunday 

Of every second month

Sister Darling of the


The Rarefied Church of the World (reformed)


Arranges to hop on a boat


Of the out-going fishing fleet,


And visit Partridge Island.


She returns to port


The same night


On a returning fishing boat.


In between her coming


And going,


She does her


Very best


To bring me


To the Lord.


I like to think


She succeeds.


And,


After this hefty dose


Of Bible and prayer,


We commune in the way


(She assures me),


That God intended.


Then we have a meal


I prepare,


Of venison, or salmon, or fowl,


And potato soup


And pie,


And ale,


And she departs

On a returning boat


Singing hymns.

I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2021 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}DE BA. UEL

The Storm At Sea Will With Us Be

Some of the ships


Passing Partridge Island,


On their way


To safe harbour,


Have been flying


Storm Flags.


The bad weather is still


Out to sea.


But I can feel it already,


As do the birds and animals.


The crows are agitated,


More so than usual.


Paw, the kitten,


Is too young to


Be let out into sea storms.


I have devised a cage,


With upright wooden slats,


Which


(I am surprised)


He happily jumps in,


So he can take


The salty air.


I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2021 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}

Killing All My Pretty Darlings As The Edit Gathers Steam

I am ripping my five-year-in-the-making novel apart in the edit. I do so love editing. Dialogue, descriptions, witty comments, all get turfed with abandon. They were great fun to write, but they don’t fit the novel now.

Don’t stop me before I kill again. **Mad Cackle**

The following is a brief example of what gets tossed asunder. My characters are visiting a Police Museum.

They leave the first room, cross the hall, and enter the second. Whereas most of the exhibits in the other room dealt with criminals and their crimes, here the displays concentrated on the police force and policing itself.

In the first room there did not seem to be a definite pattern to the displays. Here, things are set out in chronological order. There is some overlap, so not all are exact decade by decade. But most of the display segments do not stray by more than ten years, and are not forced into uniform-sized display footage.

“Which direction do you want to go?” asks Alison Alexandra.

“I’m more interested in the contemporary things.” Amanda points. “Except for that.”

“The Paddy Wagon?”

“Yes. Let’s go see it. Maybe we can get inside.”

“Maybe we’ll get arrested if we get inside.”

“Maybe they’ll take us away.”

“Then we will miss the ship.”

The paddy Wagon is a black box of a vehicle, large and hefty-looking. It is in the middle of the room, so visitors can walk around it. When they approach, they see it is on a raised platform, and each wheel rests on a metal plate.

“That looks to be the real deal,” says Amanda.

“That it does.” Alison Alexandra looks at the license plate. “It was on the streets in 1948.”

“Do you think it has been restored?”

“Well, I’m guessing it was solidly built at the time.” Alison Alexandra gives the back doors a thwack. “After all, it was a mobile prison.”

“Full of miscreants,” says Amanda.

“Yes. And no doubt rowdy.”

“If we get locked in, do you think we’d be rowdy?”

“Goes with the territory.”

“We could sing.”

“Sing and catcall,” says Alison Alexandra.

“You could do one.” Says Amanda, “And I could do the other.”

“Mix it up.”

“yes.”

“That would confuse the coppers.”

“They’d beat their nightsticks on the walls,” says Alison Alexandra.

“Maybe they would beat rhythm to our singing,” says Amanda.

“We could break out in “They call the wind Maria’.”

“’The Black Maria’,” says Amanda.

“I see you understand two part harmony.”

“And if I don’t,” says Amanda, “You could beat out a few bars.”

“That’s criminal.”

“So’s my singing,” says Amanda.

Unbeknownst to them, as they have been chatting, and peering into the windows of the vehicle, a door opened near the display of uniforms on manikins. A stout yet still powerfully-built man steps though. He stands amidst the manikins for a minute, realizing that he has not been heard. He decides he had better announce himself, before he frightens anyone.

“Now you two ladies are not going to be troublemakers, are you?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And here is the edit.

They cross the hall and enter the second room. Here the displays concentrate on the police force and policing itself.

In the first room there was no definite pattern to the displays. Here, things are set in chronological order.

“Which direction do you want to go?” asks Alison Alexandra.

“I’m more interested in contemporary things.” Amanda points. “Except for that.”

“The Paddy Wagon?”

“Yes. Let’s go see it. Maybe we can get inside.”

“Maybe we’ll get arrested if we get inside.”

“Maybe they’ll take us away.”

The Paddy Wagon is a black box of a vehicle, large and hefty. It is in the middle of the room, so visitors can walk around it. When they approach, they see it is on a raised platform, and each wheel rests on a metal plate.

“That looks to be the real deal,” says Amanda.

“It does.” Alison Alexandra looks at the license plate. “It was on the streets in 1948.”

“Do you think it has been restored?”

“I’m guessing it was solidly built at the time.” Alison Alexandra gives the back doors a thwack. “After all, it was a mobile prison.”

“Full of miscreants,” says Amanda.

“And no doubt rowdy.”

“If we get locked in, do you think we’ll be rowdy?”

“Goes with the territory.”

“We could sing.”

“Sing and catcall,” says Alison Alexandra.

“You could do one,”says Amanda, “I could do the other.”

“Mix it up.”

“Yes.”

“That would confuse the coppers.”

“They’d beat their nightsticks on the walls,” says Alison Alexandra.

“Maybe they would beat rhythm to our singing,” says Amanda.

“We could break out in “They call the wind Maria’.”

“’The Black Maria’,” says Amanda.

“I see you understand two part harmony.”

“And if I don’t,” says Amanda, “You could beat out a few bars.”

“That’s criminal.”

“So is my singing,” says Amanda.

 As they were chatting, and peering into the windows of the vehicle, a door opens near the display of uniforms on mannequins. A stout, yet still powerfully-built, man steps through. He stands amidst the mannequins for a minute, realizing he has not been heard. He decides to announce himself, before he frightens anyone.

“Now you two ladies are not going to be troublemakers, are you?”

Paw, The Cat, Wants To Hunt On Partridge Island

Paw, the cat,
Yes
“The cat”,
‘Cause he is not
“My cat”
No one ever owns a cat,
They are wrong about that.


Is getting old enough
To hunt.
But he can’t decide
(Or so I interpret)
Whether to go for
Fish or Fowl.


‘Cause he eyes the seas,
And he eyes the trees,
Making little, plaintive, chatters.


But the partridge,
That look big enough
To carry him away,
Oh
They must be
Tempting.


I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2021 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}

Thanksgiving Feast For Man And Beast

My black-as-night kitten
With one white mitten
Is called Paw.
He has become
A favourite of the ships
That pass my Lighthouse.
So
I was not totally surprised
When an outgoing schooner
Hove to, and a row boat came
To my dock, to bring me
My Thanksgiving dinner.
The Masters of the Port
Are very good this way,
To me,
For all holidays.
And in my basket of
Food (and – yes – wine),
Was a fancy small pot
For Paw.
Exactly the same as Mine.
Except
With the addition of
A gingham bag
Of catnip.

I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2021 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}

DE BA. UEL

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