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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

Alison Alexandra Attends A Party. & Starts A Novel. & Now I Gotta Edit Five Tears Worth

192771-131-00e5aa76

Alison Alexandra had asked her partner, with far more innocence than the result entailed, when people were going to pair off and head for the bedrooms. It was such a lackluster gathering she figured it would take quite a jolt to generate any interest.

And, she had asked her partner. It wasn’t as if she was angling for a tryst.

But, out of the blue – and out of other people’s boredom? – within twenty minutes or so, she had a woman sidle up to her. Drink in hand. Held at a professional tilt, though there was no raised pinky finger. Voice low, though not as low as the woman thought.

“Are you the one who asked if we are going to start to go to bed?”

Alison Alexandra, used to fine drink since her university days away, knew the lady’s finely-tilted glass was but a prop and barely touched. The scent of whiskey came solely from the glass. As for the lady herself, butter would freeze in her mouth.

“Is it making the rounds?”

“Do you want to make the rounds?”

“That was not my intent – no.”

“Then I don’t know if you are successful or not.”  The glass touches teeth. “Your question is making the rounds with alacrity.”

Alison Alexandra likes the word “alacrity”. It sounds like its own action.

“Have there been any answers?”

“Not to me.” There is a fleeting melt of the ice that is not in her glass. “Not that I’ve asked.”

“Have you made a head count?”

“I have not pointed and gone ‘eeny meeny miny moe’ – no.” The woman leans closer to Alison Alexandra, her lips now a conspiratorial distance from an ear. “But I do keep a select few in my vision.”

“Has there been movement?”

“There has been – if not corralling – some sidling up beside, with a ‘nicker’ into an attentive ear.”

“Anything for a pair of knickers, perhaps?”

The woman straightens with enough speed to lose a few drops of her conversational whiskey. She looks at Alison Alexandra in surprise and appreciation. A translucent mask is peeled from her face. She is animated. Her eyes are expectant.

“You are new here.”

“You’re the observer.” Alison Alexandra smiles.

“But I never say what I really see.” The woman finally takes a real drink. “None of us do.”

“But you come up to me – with your observations.”

“In truth -”

The woman stops. She realizes how rarely she tells the truth. She is startled that she is about to do so. She is apprehensive.

“In truth, it is on a dare.”

“Someone has dared you to ask me?”

“Actually, a number of people have put money in a pot to see if this will happen.”

“To approach me?”

“Yes.”

“How much am I worth?”

The woman raises her glass and laughs. “A bottle of Scotch.”

“Good Scotch?”

“Not really.” The woman is apologetic, yet she laughs. “It’s not that caliber of party.”

Alison Alexandra can see a friendship in the offing. So much more important than a partner for the night.

She takes the glass from the unprotesting woman and has a drink.

“Better than this?”

“Not even as good as.”

“Then no one is going to get me out of my knickers.” This does not stop Alison Alexandra from taking another drink. She hands the glass back to the woman. “There. I’ve had my limit.”

“That surely won’t get you into bed.”

“I’ve been looking around.” Alison Alexandra looks slowly around again. “Not even a bottle will accomplish that.”

The woman looks at her glass. It is still nearly full. She takes a deep drink.

“I am not so pure.”

“Oh – purity has nothing to do with it.” Alison Alexandra does take a bit of care with her next sentence. “But I am very picky.”

(image)  https://cdn.britannica.com/300×500/71/192771-131-00E5AA76.jpg

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