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It is a whirlwind in here

Author

Dale Estey

I owe my life to Hitler, though I never met the man. My father was paid to stop Hitler, so there is no conflict of interest. I was given a thunk on the back o' the head by God when I was fifteen, and within a week began to write. I haven't stopped. My first novel was accepted 'over the transom'. My first editor/author luncheon in New York included a naked man with roller skates at the next table. For the sake of research I have lain on Kafka's grave, but I did not weep. I wish upon my own gravestone the phrase "Thank God He Didn't Die A Virgin". There is truth in every truth - so watch out. My published novels include the popular fantasy A Lost Tale and the thriller The Bonner Deception. I also have two editions of humorous and spiritual short stories, The Elephant Talks to God, which are appreciated by both young and old. My manuscripts range from stories about unicorns and druids in the 'Passing Through Trilogy' to the 9/11 destruction of New York. I have filled in the missing diaries of Franz Kafka; recounted the first person dementia of a serial killer; explored the outrageous lifestyle of the famous; and listened in while an elephant and God converse. I currently switch my attention between the saga of a family of onion farmers, from Fourth century Italy to the present day, and a contemporary NATO thriller. I live in Canada and make Nova Scotia my home. I prefer to travel by train, but embrace the computer age with passion. I am always on the hunt for unique onion recipes.

The Hurricane Brings Peril To The Lighthouse And All Ships At Sea

Given enough warning

From ships along the coast

I got the Partridge Island Lighthouse

And Paw, my cat/kitten,

Black as the murderous clouds,

With one white mitten,

Ready for the worst.

And the Worst came.

It was so bad I figure

Even Jesus took cover.

The Lighthouse is thicker

And stronger

Then the Keeper’s house

So that’s where we stayed.

A tiny room inside the stone walls,

Nicely curved to curl the wind away.

I’d put in a narrow cot, and

Me and the cat/’kitten

Got our rest

Although not much sleep.

When I went up to

Trim the wick

I thought those windows might

Cave right in.

Today,

A couple of ships

Limped past,

And our shoreline

Has been altered.

I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2022 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}

“For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground, And tell sad stories of the death of . . . queens”

I alter but one word from Shakespeare’s poem. I feel I’m allowed.

I concentrate upon the word “sad”. I feel sad about the death of Queen Elizabeth II. I note, that in newscasts, and on the internet, and from personal conversations, many folk feel “sad”. An unexpected sadness. A sadness that is greater than the loss of people close to them. They are surprised.

And so am I.

Today’s funeral took place on my birthday (by the Grace of God – I do not know) . So I’ll always be able to answer the question “Where were you when . . .”

I watched seven hours of the day from London and Windsor. I did not get tired. I could have watched more. But I am content – I won’t be delving very far into replays. The Queen’s removal from the earth was fully documented.

It is true that Queen Elizabeth has been with me all my life. I was greatly interested in her, and the history of her family. She took her part in two of my novels. I saw her five times in my life. I found her an exemplary leader and a fine human being. I am not alone in this. She was thought so the world over. Perhaps that is part of her commonality – everyone knew of her, everyone had an opinion. The majority of those opinions were positive.

I felt pain when she went up the steps to St George’s Chapel for the last time. She can hardly be thought of as a friend, but, perhaps . . .

Perhaps, on this occasion, friendship can be a one way street.

Blessed Be, Elizabeth Regina! Those Choirs of Angels are singing loud and clear.

~ Dale Estey

They Struggle Out Of Their Wheelchairs To Bow To Queen Elizabeth

It is the final day to view the Lying-in-State of Queen Elizabeth. Thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of folk have made the journey. People are now asked NOT to make an attempt to add to the queue. There is not enough time left to reach Westminster Hall. The waiting time from the end of the queue is currently 10 hours.

I have been watching the lines passing the coffin for hours. It is fascinating to see all these people, whose connection to each other is respect for the Queen. They are of all ages,,races,and social standings.They all, in their fifteen seconds, show some physical sign of respect.

On many occasions, women and men in wheelchairs (most of them elderly), have slowly, and with difficulty, stood so they can offer the Queen a bow.

Her late Majesty was clearly revered.

~ Dale Estey

A Curtsy For A Dead Queen

A lady, in the garb of a what might be classed as ‘common’, after her slow trudge of hours and hours, in the endless queue of mourners patiently waiting to pass the flag-shrouded coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, stopped and looked long at her fallen monarch, and then executed the most heartfelt curtsy possible.

The line keeps moving: https://www.bbc.com/news/live/uk-62902778

The Queen Gives Advice

In my novel, Fame’s Victim, my central character, ST (so famous he is known just by initials) has, on a number of occasions, done service for Queen Elizabeth II. They form a certain bond. The following is one of their interactions.

************************************

ST has the momentary feeling that he has been forgotten. The smooth running of the institution of monarchy must continue around the family involved. He imagines no one would be more pleased than the Queen Mother herself. The clasped hands of the Queen relax and she lets them fall to her side. She leans slightly forward as if something in the distance has caught her attention. She then pivots toward the two men.

     “It is expected of me to advise and caution my government.” She looks up at ST. “It is my duty so to do, and my prerogative.”

     “Ma’am?” ST is taken aback.

     “My advice is filtered through my government, and on to my people.”

     “Yes, Ma’am.”

     “As are my cautions.”

     “Ma’am.”

     “There are no grey middlemen at the moment, so I will speak for myself.”

     “That will be appreciated, Ma’am.”

     “You are remaining too reclusive, if Google searches for you are accurate.” She oddly mimics fingers on a keyboard. “I understand the temptations of your North Sea retreat, but they can do you no good.”

     “Ma’am?”

     “You once advised me to rein in my family. The results still prove positive.” The Queen puts a hand on ST’s shoulder. “It is not, however, a balance to go too far in that direction. Do not turn a refuge into a prison.”

     The Queen smiles at him, and her touch on his shoulder becomes a brief pat. She then looks directly at Howard as she steps away from the window.

     “It’s time to move on.”

     “Yes, Ma’am.” Howard starts toward the door.

     “Thank you.” ST is surprised by her comments and his voice is low.

     “Reciprocation.” The Queen is walking quickly across the room. “Howard will facilitate your departure.”

     As she goes through the door Howard has opened, ST takes a last look out the windows. As he turns and starts toward the door he shakes his head.

     “Howard. Was I just rebuked?”

     “No, Sir.” Howard follows him into the corridor and closes the door. “You were given advice by a friend.”

~ Dale Estey

Me And The Queen or is that The Queen And I

Don’t get me wrong – Her Majesty didn’t even know I existed. Didn’t know my name. Couldn’t have picked me out of a lineup.

But, Her Majesty has been a constant and strong part of my life. This was aided and abetted by the fact that my Canadian father was a staunch monarchist (he volunteered for the Canadian army at 31 years of age to defend England from Germany. My mother was an English war bride. The monarchy was in their blood.

I’ve had five live views of Queen Elizabeth.

During my first, as a child, I got lost in the crowds who were also present. I confess I don’t actually remember ‘seeing’ the Queen. She was in a cluster of people in the far distance. But, I am rather proud that I was able to find my way back to our hotel on my own.

At university the Queen visited the campus to have a meal. I saw her pass in a motorcade.

My most significant encounter (which I will class as an encounter) happened when she visited the provincial legislature. I managed to get close to the main entrance of the building and hoped to take pictures. I did not succeed with the photos, but realized I was not far from the Royal car. I moved to stand near it and wait for her to leave.

When Ii saw The Queen leave the building, I got as close to the car and waited. I was not watching her progress, but was trained on the car door she would enter. Just as I saw her walking toward the car, I put my eye to the view screen. (No iPhones in those days). She just came into view when someone walked right in front of me. I looked up, ready to say something rather negative. It was Prince Philip.

Next time, the Queen was to unveil a monument in a historic park. I thought I got there in plenty of time, but the crowds were five deep. But I did see her.

And, finally, the Queen was in Halifax Nova Scotia for the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Navy. The ceremony was on National television. I was able to watch a good deal of it on TV, then gauged when the ceremony would be coming to a close. It was a long event, with a Naval pass by of many ships.  I got down to the harbour, knowing which dock the Queen’s ship would tie up to. But, not only did thousands of other folk know this, but the Security Services had created a No Go Zone near that dock. I did see her. but just as she came down the gangplank in the far distance.

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

In fiction, Her Majesty has graced two of my novels. Yes, I will relate one such encounter from Being Famous.

The soup bowls, with their attendant spoons and plates, are whisked away from all the tables, and conversations begin to occur throughout the room. Now the woman to ST’s right leans toward him. As a vase of flowers partially obscures her place name, he can only tell that she is Lady Holmes hyphen.

     “I’m very interested in your work.”

     “It’s interesting work to do.”

     “But then – “

     Lady Holmes hyphen leans very close to ST, revealing an intriguing décolleté, and breath which indicates the wine steward has not been her only source of wine this evening. 

     ” – perhaps interest in your work can be taken to extremes.”

     “You haven’t written a book, have you?” ST’s smile is moderately genuine.

     “Not about Space/Time.” Lady Holmes hyphen adjusts her gown in a manner which actually reveals more flesh. “And it has yet to be published.” She could not be offering more if she held a serving plate beneath her breasts. “I wouldn’t mind your help on a chapter or two.”

     ST is not without interest. He is spared the task of making any response, when a hand from off stage of the lady’s right is laid heavily on the wrist of his conversational partner. With a sigh and a shrug (which causes interesting motion within the revealing gown), she swivels away.

     “Are you enjoying yourself?”

     “Yes, Ma’am.” ST turns toward her voice.

     “Good.” There is a rustle of napkin across the Royal knee. “Although I do hope the poor girl doesn’t catch a chill.”

     The next item on the menu – and ST notes they have yet to hit the main course – is Berner Rosti, upon which sits a quail’s egg and a teaspoon of caviar. Does one scoop up the caviar on its own, or does one mix it about with the potato and the egg?

     ST decides he would like the taste of the caviar to be exclusive, so he pushes it onto the plate, and consumes the rest of the dish. Then, with a (fresh) glass of white wine to wash it down, he savours the salty sea taste.

     “It meets with your approval?”

     “Yes, Ma’am.”

     “It is Oestrova caviar. A subtle difference from the Beluga.” 

     “Ma’am?”

     “Yes.”

     “Has Your Majesty ever had golden caviar?”

     ST has asked a question.

     Not only is this a breach of Royal etiquette, but did he not himself advise her bare weeks ago to rein in the Royal answer to questions. Still, he is almost the guest of honour, and it really could have been a bomb. And her own royal wine steward does nothing to hamper his quest to alleviate his thirst. A thirst (he could point out, if asked) exaggerated by the consumption of caviar. 

     “A taste to remember.” She looks down somewhat wistfully at her plate.

     “I have long wondered, Ma’am. Does golden caviar actually possess the colour of gold?”

     “Oh, yes.” She glances at him. “It is a most exquisite shimmering gold” A small smile crosses her face. “It outshines the gold pot in which it is served.”

     “I must say, Ma’am, it sounds exceptional.”

     “Yes, it is.” She places her hands in her lap. “The last which we received came from President Gorbachev.” She again sits back as her plate is removed. “Isn’t it strange how people come and go?”

     The main course is Canon de Venaison Farci Sauce Fines Herbes.

     Bambi.

     ST would like to leave his place, scurry down the length of chairs, give Howard a jovial pat on the back (or a nudge in the ribs) and point this out to him. Admittedly, it is neither a steak nor a chop, but a whole saddle of venison, stuffed and sauced. Still – a hunk of deer is a hunk of deer.

     But, he decides it would be unwise to even glance in Howard’s direction.

     Accompanying the venison, along with the Pommes Nouvelles, are Courgettes Farcies A La Mingrelienne. This poses a mild problem for ST, for he is not fond of zucchini, no matter how they are stuffed or cooked.

     For some reason, this particular deficiency of his palette was a great failing in the eyes of wife number two. And, although she is not present to point out his shortcomings, he decides to follow what he knows would be her preference, and eat them down without hesitation.

     Is this not why God created wine?

     And anyway, the venison makes up for everything.

     It is as he finishes his last mouthful of stuffed zucchini (the fennel makes it almost palatable), that a Royal hand is placed close to his own. He immediately turns.

     “We shall introduce you before the cheese.”

     “Yes, Ma’am.” ST glances at the menu, and notes he will precede the Baked Brie in Puff Pastry. 

     “We shall be brief.”

     “Ma’am.”

     “It is customary for you to then say a few words.”

     “As few as possible, Ma’am.”

     “You return to America tomorrow?”

     “The first flight of the Concorde.”

     “I would like to express my thanks for your advice.” She leans ever-so-slightly closer to him. “There has been a decided lack of errant Windsor tales in the media.”

     “The power of the closed mouth, Ma’am.” ST gives a brief smile. “Silence can be as golden as caviar.”

     “And as rewarding.” She smiles in return. “Also, please accept our additional thanks for being here tonight.”

     “My pleasure, Ma’am.” ST suddenly laughs. “Happy to fill the space.”

     “Well put.” The Queen unexpectedly laughs also, causing some heads to turn. “We are relieved that you had the time.”

Book Wins “It Made Me Think Youth Award” From Digitally Lit Youth Choice Awards [Edited]

My long-suffering Elephant (if one can be classed as long-suffering while having the ear of God) has one a “It Made Me Think” Award from The Digitally Lit Youth Choice Awards,  Canada 2022 . Blessed Be! say I.

The Elephant stories were a joy to write, but i really had to stop when The Elephant started asking God questions that the author could not answer,

Here is an interview and a reading from The Elephant Talks To God.

http://www.authorsaloud.com/prose/estey.html

Here is where The Elephant Talks To God can be purchased.

Here is the information about the Digitally Lit Youth Choice Awards

https://www.digitallylit.ca/post/digitally-lit-choice-awards-the-results-are-in

And here are two short sections from The Elephant Talks To God, perhaps more appreciated by youth.

The elephant was a curious pachyderm, and followed his persistent quest with a guileless intensity.

     “More lucky than smart,” said some of the other elephants, as he blundered his way toward another piece of knowledge. They nodded their heads in his direction with the heavy weight of caution, and warned their small ones that too much thought would make them strange.

     “An elephant wades in water,” they would sagely say, “only if the mud hole is wide enough.”

     And the little ones would watch him, as they stood between the legs of their parents, and wish that they could follow.

Here, the Elephant helps in A Death Procession.

The elephant stood patiently, as if he were a rooted tree, counterbalancing the support of the elephant on the other side. There would be little distance to cover now, and soon the dying beast would just stop, and that would be the time to ease the body onto the ground, and wait until all breathing ended.

     “I know you,” said the old, old elephant.

     “Yes.” The elephant was both surprised and glad. “You helped my mother when she was ill. You looked after me a long time. You were a nurse to both of us.”

     “That has been my job with many, many calves.” The dying animal continued to take her slow, precise steps. “And I’ve outlived even some of them.” She breathed with difficulty. “As I’ve outlived my own.” She gulped for air. “So very long ago, it now seems.”

     “Yes,” said the elephant tentatively. He had not been expecting any conversation.

     “But you were different,” she muttered.

     “Well – I …” The elephant was gratified that she would remember him from all the others.

     “You were foolish.” The old elephant snorted, and made a noise which might have been a cracked laugh. “There was no making sense of you. No keeping up to you. I’d tell your mum that I wondered if she was sick because she couldn’t deal with you.”

     “That can’t be true.” The elephant was peeved. ” I never meant for any of — “

     “No. You never meant harm.” The old elephant stopped moving and turned her head. “That’s the way you were even then. You didn’t take the time to let me finish what I was going to tell you.”

     “Sorry,” said the elephant.

     “Yes – that’s familiar.” This time she did manage a distinct grunt of laughter. “Your mum and I both laughed at your antics. And also laughed as the rest of the herd shook their heads in dismay.” The old elephant started walking again. “The things you wanted to do and to see – too much for any elephant. Too much for any life. You never knew your place.”

     “I never found my place,” corrected the elephant.

     “Yes. That’s familiar, too.” She tried to laugh again, but it turned into a coughing fit. “You always had to contradict whatever was said to you.”

     “It always seemed to me,” said the elephant stubbornly, “that I was always told just part of the story.”

     “Most of us only know part of the story. Most of us are content with that.” She slowly lifted her trunk and rubbed it against the elephant’s ear. “But that was never going to satisfy you – with more questions than there are monkeys in the trees – as you went out searching and pestering.”

~ Dale Estey

    

The Revival, “Come To Jesus Meetings” End, So Sister Darling Visits Partridge Island

Sister Darling, of

The Rarefied Church of the World (reformed),

Has been on the road,

Saving souls in the hot hot hot

Summer months.

But September brings her home,

And the soul she is interested in

Is the soul of The Lighthouse Keeper

Of Partridge Island.

Come on down and save me!

So, today, which is her birthday,

She gets on a fishing boat at high tide,

And comes here for supper,

And breakfast,

And breakfast again.

I will provide her with,

A fine dish of salmon,

And a trinket or two,

While Paw, my cat/kitten

Black as Sturgeon roe

With one white mitten,

Will have a red bow

Around his neck,

Which makes him look

Fetching as hell.

I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2022 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}

This Is A TEST

This is a Test  

But not “the” Test

If it were a real Test

It would need

An answer
Or two

Or multiple choice

But It isn’t.  

It is a test

To announce Something,

Or,

To warn about Something,

Or,

To warn about a Warning.  

A test basically to say,

*IF* this was a test.

Then get your shit together,

Or bend over

And kiss your ass good-bye.  

That is all.

DE BA UEL

 It is that type of test.

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