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ocean

I See As Far As The Eye Can See Out To Sea

It’s a rare, balmy day

Near the end of November.

I’m sitting on a bench with a back.

I made it myself,

Because a bench with a back

Is a thing of luxury.

I can lean

And not perch.

It is situated safely

Up from the shoreline,

Looking out to sea.

It will not get washed away

Regardless of the fierceness

Of the ocean and its storms.

The Lighthouse is behind me,

And Paw, my cat/kitten.

Black as black can be

With one white mitten,

Is snoozing in the sun

Beside me.

I ponder whether to wake him,

To see a half dozen ducks

Paddling their way around the island.

Paw has his whims,

And might try to catch one.

He won’t, of course,

And I have no desire to scoop

Him out of the cold, November water.

I’ll let him snooze.

I’ll let the ducks go upon their way.

I’ll just sit and enjoy the sun.

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 Ghost Ship Under Full Sail And Flaming On Halloween

As the Lighthouse Keeper

On Partridge Island

I see a lot,

Whether I want to or not.

And I’ve seen her before,

The Flaming Ghost ship,

On the dread of All Hallows.

But you never really know.

But this time,

Paw, my cat/kitten

Black as Satan

With one white mitten,

Saw her too.

And didn’t like what he saw.

But he’s a brave soul,

And didn’t leave my side.

So we stayed in the Tower,

And watched from the windows,

The light circling behind us.

The flames coming from the dark,

Full sails, all unfurled,

And all ravaged by flames

That never burned out.

And the deck,

And the gunwales

From prow to stern,

And the sailors.

Those poor lads,

Never consumed

As the full-of-flame ship

Passed the mouth of the harbour.

And what could I do,

But touch the life that was Paw,

Feel his fur, and his breath,

With one hand,

While I made a shaky

Sign of the Cross,

On my chest.

With the other.

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

Salvation Is At Hand With Sister Darling On Partridge Island

Sister Darling, of

The Rarefied Church of the World (reformed),

Has been away on Crusades,

In the Provinces,

To attract (and save)

New Adherents.

(All Blessings to them).

But,

She has thus been absent

From mine own Salvation here,

On Partridge Island,

&

I do sorely feel the

Privation.

Howsomever,

A neatly penned note has

Been delivered,

Via an outgoing fishing boat,

To let me know that

My fulsome prayers are

Soon to be answered.

Hallelujah!

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

The Monarch Of The Lighthouse

I try to hoist the Union Jack

By sunrise,

And lower it by sunset.

I am not always faithful

To the former.

This morning, I was slow to the mark.

The sun was fully risen

In the East.

The colours caught the sun

Part way up the mast.

However, my chagrin was overtaken

By the antics of my cat/kitten,

Black as the disappeared night

With one white mitten.

I call him Paw.

So I went over to see

What was what.

He was huddled over

A folded Monarch butterfly,

Getting warmth from

The flag stones,

And much the worse

For wear.

It stood firm on its feet,

And stayed upright when the wind

Ruffled its wings.

Paw sniffed around, but kept

A respectful distance.

The smell of Death,

I suppose.

Still,

That Monarch has lasted out

The day,

And might still be present

When It is time to

Lower the flag

For the night.

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

It Was A Dark And Stormy Week

Bop bop bop,

On the end of my nose.

Bop!

Paw, my cat/kitten

Black as a seam of coal

With one white mitten

Is waking me up.

Bop!

It is his way and,

Thankfully,

He never uses his claws.

‘Get up.’

‘Attention must be paid.’

Bop!

So I rise from my bed,

& my warm quilts,

Pull on pants and sweater

Over my pajamas

And follow.

I know my place.

He leads me to the door

Of my lighthouse keepers house,

And waits.

So I pull it open

And out he bounds.

Sunshine

Blue sky

Stiff breeze across

Partridge Island.

We have been days engulfed

In fog and rain and

FOG.

I let him gambol.

I follow into the sunshine.

I think it possible

Yes – possible –

That I might actually

Be able

To take off my sweater.

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 World Oceans Day: She Had God In Her Feet And Angels In Her Summer Hair

I visit wharves and gaze out to sea.

It is a pleasure that took hold some ten years ago. I don’t know why, for I certainly had experience with oceans and coast long before that. For some things it seems its time just comes.

I prefer small working ports, gritty and smelling of fish and lobster and ocean. The scurry and comings and goings (though I also like them in the evening when most work is done). I walk the docking between the boats and peer from the end of the wharf. I ponder distant shores or endless sea and screaming gulls with sometimes seals and whales and archaic Blue Herons.

Last night, when I thought the wharf was my own, a man, woman, toddler and dog arrived. They seemed to do much as I was doing, though they knew the owner of one of the fishing boats. The man was gruffly talkative, the dog was rambunctious, the woman apologized for the toddler’s dirty face and the little girl didn’t quite know what to make of me. Friendly and chatty but she wouldn’t take my hand as I offered to walk her up a gangplank.

I left them on the docking between the moored boats and started to walk on the wharf itself.  The fishing boats and the docking were parallel to the wharf.  I was half way along when I heard a shout. I heard the dog. I looked over and this is where life becomes art becomes life. It was a Kodak moment. It was a Motorola moment. It was a ‘freeze frame/real time/fast forward’ moment. It was a composition/edited moment. It was all these things which came to my visual mind. All this and the knowledge that there was no way I could get there if I was needed.

The little girl was going for the gold. She had God in her feet and Angels in her streaming hair as she raced between the moored boats. Her dirty face was wide with excitement and it is probably the happiest she has been in her life. The man was restraining the dog and the woman was in athletic pursuit. They raced between the boats and the mooring lines and the tools of the fishing trade. The dock swayed in the movement of the waves.  I could not believe the swiftness of the child. The woman finally took what seemed to me a runner’s stance and eventually grabbed the exuberant child. I heard, over the water, admonishments of what could happen if she had “gone under a boat.” All – of course – true.

But the dog understood.

HMS Styx And The River Raise A Question By The Almost King

HMS Styx hove too afore my dock,

And dispatched a boat containing,

HRH Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales,

Destined to be our rightful king –

Eventually.

I had on my grand uniform,

But paled in comparison to the amount

Of gold braid upon HRH.

He had arranged this meeting

By the last naval ship,

That came through the port.

So I met him, and presented the

Only other loyal subject

Upon Partridge Island,

Paw, my cat/kitten,

Black as ship’s tar.

With one white mitten,

But absent any braid..

HRH was quite pleased,

And asked to hold the cage.

And then he asked me

(Which was the reason for his visit)

How these Reversing Falls worked,

For he was to take a boat up river

To the Capital.

He did not want to appear ignorant

To the locals so,

He wanted someone local

To explain it to him.

So I told him how the

Power of the ocean,

Pushed back the flow of the river

At high tide.

“So the river really

Reverses?” he asked.

“It does”royal,royalty,cat,island,poem,poetry,history,navy,ocean,river,nature,naval,, I assured him.

With that, he then asked

If he could pat the cat,

Which Paw appreciated.

Then back to the HMS STYX

Went HRH,

And departed to the

Awaiting crowds.

I doubt I’ll be made

An Admiral,

But Paw . . .

Oh, dear, will I have

To salute him?

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

A Right Royal Time On Partridge Island

Shiver me timbers

And call me Aunt Hattie,

Prince George of Wales

Is coming to the Island.

He requests (that is – orders)

A look-around

On his way into port.

I know not why.

Maybe to adjust his sea legs.

Before he meets his Loyal subjects.

At any rate, I must

Tidy and fuss and putter,

And wear my fancy uniform,

And present

(This is my own idea)

The one other loyal subject

Of this whole domain,

Paw, my cat/kitten

Black as Davy Jones locker

With one white mitten.

I’d best spruce up his cage

Yes – I must.

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 Sky Turns To Anger And Danger

It is one of those strange skies.

Strange morning light,

Not silver,

Not copper.

But both at once.

And the morning started so sunny,

Promising a fine fine day.

But now,

Even Paw, my cat/kitten,

Black as a midnight sky,

With one white mitten,

Is backing up

With a hiss.

Is the ocean going to throw,

And pound,

Our island and our lighthouse,

With storm and waves,

Wrack and ruin?

Or will it pass us by,

Like ghostly ships in the night?

I’m going to take Paw in

And give him meat.

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

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