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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.

“They can’t kill us all,” I said, but I knew she heard the doubt in my voice.

08 June 1917

A Gypsy confronted me today, and I was in the mood for a bit of sport. Her age was difficult to tell – certainly a decade older than me. In her swirl of shawls and dangling jewellery, heavy make-up on her face, she could almost have been in disguise. She peered at me with an intense sigh, attempting – I am sure – to penetrate my own disguise.

“You are a Jew,” she said.

“And you a Gypsy,” I replied.

She seemed pleased with my response, for her professional smile became real.

“You state the obvious,” she said. “As becomes a Doktor of Laws,”

I replied. “But to your eyes, do you not state the obvious?” 

“Are you going to banter with a poor old Gypsy woman, instead of barter? That would make you suspiciously like one of us.” She said this with a growl in her throat.

“The Gypsy and the Jew,” I said, feeling the challenge which I so miss. “Perhaps an opera – but I think it’s been done to death.” 

“They will try to do us all unto death,” she said harshly, and turned away.

I had the fear she was going to leave me without another word, but what she did was to spit fulsomely onto the street.

“They can’t kill us all,” I said, but I knew she heard the doubt in my voice.

She slowly faced me again.

“So. Even a Doktor of Laws can have hope. That is refreshing – but foolish.” She took my hand and felt my palm roughly with her thumb, although all the while her eyes never left my face. “You are going to travel.” 

“Travel is a vague word. One can go on many types of voyage.” 

“And reach many destinations,” she added, still holding my hand. “If you take away my vagueness, you take away my trade.” 

“Then let me pay you for your services right now.”

 This transaction would make her loose my hand, which is what I wanted most of all. She had frightened me, for her eyes and face were full of truth. I know the truth. I know it when it presents itself, stark and unobscured. I search out truth endlessly, yet still can flee at its approach. As in her eyes. But she gripped me more fiercely, and pulled my hand up.

“The coin, Herr Doktor.” Her voice was now soft. “The coin can wait.”

She at last lowered her eyes and looked closely at my palm. She rubbed the lines and whorls of my skin. She touched her finger to her lips, and spread the moisture along my hand.

“Your lifeline, Herr Doktor,” she took a quick look in my eyes, “of Laws. You deceive with the youth upon your face. Is that not so?” 

“If your eyes stop at the mask, then no, the years have not etched themselves deeply.” 

“Not on your face, Herr Doktor of Laws.” Her grip was intense. “But on your palm…” She hissed. “You will soon embark upon that final voyage.”

She released my hand, rubbed her fingers across her sleeve.

“But you will not go in haste. There will be many stops along the way.”

Suddenly her face was full of the most beautiful smile, and her laughter was genuine.

“I see you do not complain of vagueness now.” She held out her hand. “The coin, Herr Doktor of Laws. This time I have truly earned it.”

I dug deeply into my pocket, and feared that I may have overpaid her. But, perhaps, that is not possible.

The Nun And The Elephant Are In Heaven Now, Enjoying The Same God

Many years ago, I received a phone call from a rather panicked Government Administrator. There was a huge weekend Arts Conference being held, for all disciplines in the province. A reader who was to present entertainment at lunch was unable to attend. Could I fill in for him. It was two days away.

Yes, said I.

My Elephant stories are all under five minutes, and they are all amusing. They read themselves. Why not. 

What I did not realize was the extent of this conference. Nor did I fully appreciate that the readings were to be held during the luncheon. Something like an after dinner speech. In the middle of the dinner.

There was one other English reader, the late Bill Bauer. Bill is a genius, a wit, a funny fellow, and an excellent reader. A tough act to follow, so I was glad to be a co-participant. The other two readers were reading in French (New Brunswick is a bi-lingual province). They were to go first, Bill and I second.

The venue – for a reader – was a hell-hole (if I may be blunt). Two large rooms filled with tables and post-meal listeners. There was no way to face them all at the same time. Bill seemed fazed by nothing but I was uncomfortable. I was glad enough the French readers went first.

They were both poets (as was Bill). My French is far from the best but, by their reading method and the reaction of the audience, it appeared that they read dour and angst-filled poems. Sadness and despair crept through the room(s). At least Bill and I would be a contrast.

Bill is an excellent performer. He knows when to show them and knows when to hold them. He is insightful, philosophical, innovative, and just damned funny. I will laugh at a poem of his which I have read a dozen times. Few can successfully end a poem with the main character screaming the immortal words: “Aphids, aphids, aphids.” Bill does.

It may be that we were both assisted by the dour poets, for Bill’s applause was enthusiastic. I was admittedly disconcerted by attempting to read to these hundreds of people scatted upon two sides of me. But – let’s face it – ya gotta laugh at The Elephant as he takes his concerns to God. And (I hope) appreciate God’s thoughtful and kindly replies. If Bill left them laughing (and he did) then The Elephant left them laughing more.

At the end, it was time for all the participants to bustle back to their conferences. But some did come up to make comments to the readers. And then occurred an event which I will cherish to my grave.

An elderly French nun (in real nun garb) came up to me. She was assisted by a younger nun. The old Sister put her hand on my arm. She looked up at me, and in a conspiratorial voice, thick with her French accent, said: “Ah, that Elephant.”

And she smiled.

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}

What Will Survive?

The anti-Christ & Hershey’s Kisses

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

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

Sister Darling Saves My Soul In The Snow Storm Blizzard Of The Year (so far)

Like everyone along the coast,
Sister Darling, of the

Rarefied Church of the World (reformed),

Knew that a

“When Hell Freezes Over”

Storm
Was on the way.
She came to my
Lighthouse Island
The day before,

Because the fishing boats
(Her mode of transport).
Would be staying put in port.
She quickly got the soul-saving
Out of the way,
Renewed her friendship with
Paw, my cat/kitten,
Black as tar
With one white mitten
And then, the next day,
Romped with us
In front of the fire,
Happily sharing
Her own warmth.

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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