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A Feast From The Earth On EARTH DAY

I saw a sight that I believe I have actually never seen, though it is fabled the world over.

Standing on the front stoop to test the air I saw a robin on the grass. Robins are rather skittish and usually, when a human presence is so close, it will make them hop (and they truly do *hop*) away. But this one stayed put.

My understanding is that birds ‘hear’ the worms under the earth – that is how they detect them. I assume that is why they so often have their head in a cocked position. However, for this robin, the listening part of the chase was over.

As I watched the robin made a strike into the earth with its beak. It was then that an almost cartoon-like image occurred. The bird had a portion of the worm in its beak and began to pull. It pulled and pulled and the worm stretched and stretched. It made me think of someone pulling a threaded needle from the fabric they were sewing. The length of the worm became even longer than the robin’s body. With this constant and slow tug, the worm finally popped out of the earth.

Then the robin had a go at it.

The bird took at the long, brown earthworm and began to snip off pieces with its beak. It could not have been more effective if it had a pair of scissors. Substantial, beak-sized pieces which it swallowed quickly. The long earthworm became shorter and shorter, giving the robin less to hold on to. In under two minutes the worm became one remaining morsel hanging from the robin’s beak. It was only then that the robin began to hop across the grass. The last piece of worm disappeared inside the robin and the robin quickly took off.

One satisfied predator.

One less worm.

It Is Pot Of Stew Day For The Blessed Arrival Of Sister Darling

Sister Darling, of

The Rarefied Church of the World (reformed),

Will arrive

On the Sunday tide,

To help me on the way

To Heaven.

So, I will prepare,

And let simmer,

A rip-roaring

Pot o’ stew,

To warm her up,

(As she warms me)..

Turnips & parsnips,

Carrots & potatoes,

Onions & garlic & a trove

Of seasonings.

All to augment,

And enhance,

The liberal chunks

Of venison.

It will simmer overnight

Much as will I.

She will bring bread,

And pastries,

And a jug of red wine,

Though she is more than welcome

If she arrives

Empty handed.

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

DE BA. UEL

The Biggest Crow In Christendom Lands On Partridge Island

The biggest Crow

I ever did see

Is roosting

On the tallest tree

On Partridge Island.

I’m guessing for a day,

Or two,

Of rest.

Wingspan beyond belief.

He won’t find much

Winter fare to eat,

Except carrion.

And they do like clams.

But their choice of seeds,

And nuts and berries,

Is not available.

Nor insects,

Though they’ll dig for them.

But a taste of a small animal,

Might be very tempting.

So, I will keep

Paw, my cat/kitten

Black as a crow

With one white mitten,

In his carry case

Whilst the crow visits.

And,

You know,

My cat/kitten

Has not made one

Complaint.

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

DE BA. UEL

Sister Darling Saves My Soul And Ignites My Coal For Valentine’s Day

Sister Darling, of

The Rarefied Church of the World (reformed),

Stepped onto the dock of

The Partridge Island Lighthouse

This Valentine Day morning,

From an outgoing fishing boat,

To spend the day (and night)

On behalf of my religious studies.

Provisions she brought, beyond

Usual Lighthouse Keeper fare,

Incl. chocolates and bottles o’ wine.

There were even finely cut

Fresh fish fillets for

Paw, my cat/kitten,

Black as soot

With one white mitten.

And when my religious instructions

Were done,

And before our festive feast,

We greeted each other with

Such enthusiasm,

That her hair-holding bun

Became undone,

And cascaded across her shoulders,

Giving Paw, the cat/kitten,

A place to hide.

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

DE BA. UEL

We Saw Three Deer Eating In The Snow Storm

Hearty enough were we two Maritimers out in the heavy, yet soft. snow storm. Heavy enough to dull most sounds. Soft enough to make a cautious walk relatively easy.

And, as we most times do, we paused to look into the gully to see if there were deer. There often are. And, even through the snow, we saw three, a guess being a doe and two offspring. The distance is about two city blocks away, although there are no city blocks. We have seen them there before.

And – as usual – they apparently heard us, as they stopped in their tracks and look. But so did we. So, in a few minutes, they resumed their activity. This time they were under some large trees, munching away on something on the ground. Grass and earth under a tree does not get as covered in snow. The larger deer even nibbled from the branches.

Our scent, in addition to our appearance, was generally obscured by the snow. They did not leave as they usually do.

So, we left them to their meal and their solitude. And the peaceful beauty of the falling snow.

A Meal For Sailors Home From The Sea & Staying Together During A COVID Pandemic Lock Down

It is ever-practical Linda who knows a thing or fifty-two about what sailors who have been long on the sea want to eat and drink when first ashore, who suggests a menu, and is more than willing to prepare it all herself, but is convinced by Bridget that, in this instance, too many cooks will not spoil the broth.

“So what’s first?” asks Bridget.

“Always beer,” says Linda. “And a small bowl of nuts. And since this is so special, make them cashews.”

“That’s like a tease,” says Amanda.

“Yes.”

“And what’s next?” asks Alison Alexandra.

“Potato canoes, with lots of bacon in the mix,” says Linda. “And cook the bacon at the time, so he can smell it.”

“Crafty,” says Bridget.

“Tricks of the trade,” says Linda.

“What’s up next?” asks Amanda.

“As fresh a salad as you can make,” says Linda. “If there are cucumbers and mushrooms, so much the better, because those don’t keep well on a ship.” Linda winks. “And throw in some dried cranberries.”

“You’ve entertained sailors home from the sea,” says Amanda.

“I have,” agrees Linda. “My father and my brother. All this I have learned at my mother’s knee.”

“Home cookin’.” says Alison Alexandra. “What’s the main course?”

“Steak – always,” says Linda. “Sirloin tip with the cap on – or better.” She speaks sternly. “And don’t overcook it – even though they say that’s what they want. They don’t. They want the taste, and will appreciate it.”

“I hope we’re all getting this,” says Amanda.

“And fried onions,” says Linda. “On the side.”

“For the smell,” says Bridget.

“Always a winner,” says Linda.

“Any other side dish?” asks Alison Alexandra.

“Fried rice,” says Linda. With BBQ pork and onions in it.”

“But we already have potato,” says Amanda.

“They can’t get too much starch,” says Linda. “And they get to choose as much as they want out of the bowl.”

“Large bowl,” says Bridget.

“You bet’cha,” says Linda.

“Is that it?”

“Yes.”

“What about dessert?” asks Alison Alexandra.

“We offer apple pie with ice cream, and rice pudding with a velvety skin on top.”

“That’s quite a choice,” says Bridget.

“Oh, those sailor boys will choose some of each.”

“Is that it?” asks Amanda.

“No.” Linda smiles. The end is a pot of bitter Chinese tea, a plate of thin, crisp, mildly sweet cookies, and a bottle of amber rum.”

“I’m stuffed,” says Bridget.

“Welcome home,” says Linda.

A Celebration Of Christmas Day With Mincemeat On Partridge Island

The last thing

I anticipated
On Christmas Day was
A mincemeat pie fight.
But,
Thanks to Sister Darling of the
Rarefied Church of the World (reformed),
One took place.

As it is,
I already thank her
For my soul’s salvation,
And

My sanity.


Paw,
My cat/kitten
Black as a currant
With one white mitten
Took part in this
Food festivity.
Took part heartily, indeed.

Nibbling shreds of venison
While assiduously
Licking suet from his fur
Well into the sunset.


Such Christmas merriment
Was enough
To make me
Hoist the signal flag,
On my Lighthouse dock,
To indicate
No pick-up was needed
On the fishing fleet’s return.


Sister Darling produced,

An apple pie
From her hamper
For this unexpected

Second supper.
Paw took no
Interest in it
At all.


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 Tastes Humble Food From The Gods

Alison Alexandra does open the door. She is met with a barrage of deep and alluring odours. They are rich and fresh and smooth and piquant, and every one of them inviting.

“Take these.” Emma Alice hands her a small metal ladle and a pottery cup.

‘What do I do with these?”

“Sample.”

“Try them?”

“Yes.” Emma Alice laughs. “Though I mix metaphors – go hog wild.”

Emma Alice removes the lid from the first ceramic urn. It is full of rich white cream. Alison Alexandra dips the ladle, and pours a small portion into her mug.

“Oh, that’s rich.” Alison Alexandra takes a final sip. “Rich and mellow.”

“Creamy?” Emma Alice laughs.

“Yes – exactly.”

“Cream from Jersey cows,” says Emma Alice. “It is always smooth.”

“Will you be selling it?” asks Alison Alexandra.

“We use a lot of it here. It’s a favourite” Emma Alice puts the lid of the urn back in place. “But we will sell the rest. Or trade.”

“Trade?”

“Yes. It’s much easier and more fulfilling.” Emma Alice starts toward another urn. “You have what they want, and they have what you want.”

“So you don’t have to produce what they already can provide.”

“Exactly.” Emma Alice lifts another lid. “Nor they for what we make. Time and expense saved on both sides.” She points into the urn. “Now for something different.”

Alison Alexandra dutifully puts the ladle in and takes a small portion of liquid. She pours it into her mug and puts it to her lips.

“Wowza!”

“What a word.” Emma Alice giggles.

“What a taste,” says Alison Alexandra. “What a difference.” She puckers her lips. “It’s not poison, is it?”

“It serves its purpose.” Emma Alice replaces the lid. “It’s whey – the liquid remaining when you make cheese from milk. It is used in baking, to temper other tastes.”

“But still.” Alison Alexandra gives a discreet cough. “You are pulling a prank.”

“A bit” Emma Alice takes off the lid of an urn from a higher shelf. “It will make this buttermilk seem palatable.”

“Oh, I’ve actually had buttermilk,” says Alison Alexandra.

“Have you?”

“I think it was touted as being good for digestion.” Alison Alexandra stretches to put the ladle into the container. “I did not take it for very long.”

She pours an amount into her mug. She takes a sniff before she takes a sip.

“I’d make the same decision today.”

“The whey didn’t wet your taste buds?

“Not by a drop.”

“Well,” Emma Alice taps the lid back into place. “Enough of the bitter, now for the sweet.”

“I’m going to get a treat?”

“Fine Holstein milk.” Emma Alice paces across the floor. “Straight out of the cow.”

“I like the bulk of a Holstein,” says Alison Alexandra. “They seem more solid with their black and white markings. ‘Moo! Moo! Get outta the way!’”

“The train engine among cattle,” suggests Emma Alice.

“They emote more purpose,” says Alison Alexandra.

“See what you think.” Emma Alice lifts the cover off a large urn.

Alison Alexandra can tell from the rich, warm smell of the milk that a treat is in store. She puts her ladle more deeply than usual, and brings it back as full as full can be. She pours it into her mug without a drop sliding down the side. She sips in the same careful manner. She looks directly at Emma Alice and grins.

“Moo!”

“Taste buds calmed?”

“Yes.”

“Little Miss Muffet trauma removed?”

“Yes.” Alison Alexandra exaggerates a startled look. “Why – were there spiders?”

“There are always spiders,” says Emma Alice. “They foil the insects. But I think none will dangle by your tuffet.”

“Oh, that would be all right.” Alison Alexandra scoots out the last drops of milk with her little finger. “I actually like spiders.”

A Meal From The Sea, A Feast As Fresh As Fresh Can Be

A fishing boat

Came into my

Lighthouse dock,

And rang its wheelhouse bell.


So, down I went.


The skipper had some
Unexpected provisions for me.


Crabs – it’s the season.


Lobster (he apologized for

The junk fish, but he knows I

Quite like it, whereas others

Class them as fare only

For the poor).


And Dulse!

A burlap sack

Of Dulse.


Now that is a treat.

Salty, .dried and crisp
Seaweed.

I have it with sharp cheddar.


I don’t know why folk complain

About lobster

.Boil them up, but not too long.

Crack them open with a hammer

.Have a loaf of bread.

Melt a large bowl of butter.


Dunk


A hunk of bread

With one hand,

And a chunk of lobster

With the other.

Pause occasionally with

Dulse and cheese.


Suck your fingers.


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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