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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

The Dead At Sea Are Not Happy Ghosts For Halloween (It’s just around the corner)

I can see my hand

In the fog,

And

The building,

Across the street.

That is about all.

So, I know

The ghosts,

Are not

As close

As they sound.

The Ghosts sound like Fog Horns

And that’s what folk

Up

And down

The coast

Say

That they are.

Fog Horns.

But – they aren’t.

They are ghosts that moan,

And wail,

And cough,

And even

Sputter,

On the wind,

In the fog,

Where they can hide

Out in the open.

It is true that they do moan

For ships.

That they do give warnings

In the fog,

Where they can not

Be seen,

Because they look

Like fog.

They give warnings

Because

They have all come

From ships,

Where once they lived.

But now they don’t.

They went down with ships

At sea

And

Along the coast

To their

Cold and wet

Death.

Days ago

Years ago

Centuries ago.

To be buried at sea

Is not

To be buried

At all.

~ D.E. BA U.E.

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 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.

Dead And Drowned And Waiting To Go Home

It was another body,

Washed up,

On the rocks.

There are a number every year,

Coming in on the waves.

A fisherman by his garb.

You can’t tell anything

From his face,

Or extremities.

Food for fishes.

I put up two flags,

For assistance

And for death.

Some incoming boat

Will heave to,

And take the remains

To port.

I used the  peavey, 

To get him out of the water,

And rolled him in a tarpaulin,

And left him in the trench

I’ve dug

For just this reason.

Then I sang

Nearer, My God, to Thee“,

Because,

What else can I do?

I wished Sister Darling

Was here,

To say proper prayers.

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

Alison Alexandra Takes the Train in the Chunnel Under The English Channel From London To Paris

And then – to add to the volume of the sea – well, what now floats overhead?

 How many fish and how much plankton and seaweed and eels and lobsters and oysters and snails and perhaps even whales swimming and eating and probably eating each other in the liquid beauty which is the water which is the ocean which is the sea that slaps against the cliffs that she watches from her prow-of-a-ship windows when she is on the other side.

And the ocean that slaps the rocks at the base of her cliff is full of fish gurgle and whale song and lobster clatter and crab scuttle and perhaps even the mermaids singing.

 And then there is the screw screw screw of all the propellers of all the ships carrying crew and passengers and cargo of all sorts and conditions, from cases of the champagne she is drinking to the host of automobiles like the Black Ghost that Gabriella drove when she shared some champagne delivered by ship and not aged on the delivery truck two cities over.

And other cargo, floating and steaming over her head, food and drink and oil and bourbon and stiletto-heeled shoes and prayer books and cotton and smart phones and insulin and jet engines and books and railway ties and sheep dip and textiles and spices from the Far east and tongue dispensers and sugar and steel beams for steel bridges and fishhooks and guided missiles and holy missals and buttons and bows and those tiny umbrellas for fruit punch cocktails and things that Alison Alexandra doesn’t even know exists but she has her suspicions.

All over her head and moving the waves and making whales sing their cautionary songs to warn other whales to get the hell out of the way or they will get bumped on their noggin. And they do. Get out of the way.

The Sea Birds Find Safe Haven In The Fog With The Light House Beam

If it was not for the

Sweep Sweep Sweep

Of the Light House light

We would see nothing.

The tired, exhausted sea birds,

Who have seen nothing for hours,

But the fog,

Take what haven they can

And descend around

And upon

The Lighthouse.

Dozens of them,

By what I can count in the

Sweep Sweep Sweep

Of the Light House light.

Paw, my cat/kitten

Himself black as a fog night,

With one white mitten,

Went up to one of the

Near dead birds,

And sniffed him.

Smelled the exhaustion

Beyond even the fear,

And left him alone.

I’ll find some dead tomorrow

And we’ll let the others rest

Until they can

Fly.

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

Alison Alexandra Likes To See The Sailors At Sea Dance The Jig

In the multi-window turret at the top of the yellow mansion that looks so far out to sea you could see France and even – with the right telescope – some vineyards, Alison Alexandra has a party where the dancers dance and the poor dancers dance beautifully and the singers sing with perfect voices that reach half way to France and the whisky embraces your mouth with hints of smoke.

Ships at sea with their spyglasses trained on the many-windowed turret that has never had a curtain or blind lowered to obscure the view of the ocean can hunt out the smouldering life water that the thirsty dancers hold aloft before they quaff the stinging liquid without one drop –no, not one – escaping to trail down the side of the glass. These shivering seamen in their frigid crow’s nest turn to one another and with words that puff white vapour between them say: “Aye, do you see smoke?” And the vapour reply of the other is “Yes.”

The smoke from the smoky whiskey.

And Alison Alexandra does not know if these sailors are headed to the snap dab middle of France or not. Or even if they have left there days ago and are soon to be in her port and tie up at berths beneath her cliff, either to the left or to the right, but, if they do – if they are smacking their lips at the prospect of the warm, smoky whisky and the hot dancing ladies, Alison Alexandra raises her other hand not holding the smouldering whiskey and beckons to them to come and join her. She likes to talk to sailors. She likes to see them dance the jig.

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