Dusk to Dread

Monsters prowled the darkened streets.
The time was theirs to search for treats.
Deny their cravings if you dare,
but tricks certain for the unaware.
~
The moon was full and fog was thick.
This night they’ll feast, tomorrow sick.
Ghosts and goblins in shadows hide.
Porch lights flicker but stay outside.
~
Fairies welcome and clowns make fun.
Pirates afloat grab treasure and run.
Mummies abound wait for their turn.
Witches swoop to take what they yearn.
~
Werewolves howl barking desires.
The shrunken in wagons mostly criers.
Superheroes patrol to keep things in line.
The things all laugh cos their doing fine.
~
The much larger zombies follow the pack.
They beg and plead for an unwanted snack.
The air grew cooler, the end was near.
Then sleep soon ended another nightmare.

~*~
SCK102320

Our Halloween Moon

When the sun sets we’ll shed our disguise.
Our true selves appear before your eyes.
The night’s ours this All Hallows Eve.
Treats are waiting if you believe.
~
We’re witches and ghosts, cowboys and queens,
all shapes and colors; blues, reds and greens.
We’ll knock on doors without a bell.
We know there’s candy by the smell.
~
We’ll look for lights because that’s safer.
Trouble’s not worth some stale old wafer.
Parents can follow if they choose.
Some might need them for shoes they lose.
~
When the moon’s high it’s best to get back.
There goodies sorted, eating a snack.
Then time for PJ’s, bedtime soon,
sleeping beneath our Halloween moon.

~*~
SCK101022

Hurricane Minnie

.
 The wind had picked up since my last smoke break. A few others were huddled in the alley, all talking about the storm, no doubt. When I returned to the office everyone was sitting, glued to their cell phones, checking the latest forecast or talking with someone. The most recent prediction showed the hurricane turning toward us. Which would be apparent if anyone dared to look over their cubicle walls and out the window. The view was pretty ominous from the forty second floor. Figuring we would get off early I quietly shuffled some stacks of paper while watching the manager’s door. It didn’t take long before Herb burst from his office, then instantly collect himself before announcing the coming storm. As planned, I was first out.

 Unfortunately the minute or two saved upstairs made no difference once on the street. The sidewalks were packed with frantic people trying to get home before the hurricane’s landfall. I could see the masses heading for the subway, the aggravation didn’t seem worth it for a twelve block ride, so I decided to walk. After the first few blocks the rain started falling and I knew walking was a mistake.

 After almost an hour of battling the wind and cold rain I was finally home. I’m not usually too excited going to my twenty eight hundred dollar a month rent controlled studio. When I finally did get off the elevator I felt a strong sense of relief. But for a cat the hallway was empty on my floor. I assumed the cat must be Minnie’s, an elderly former actress from the forties and fifties. She had lived in the building for nearly sixty years and had the last remaining undivided apartment. In nearly fifteen years living here I had never seen the inside of her apartment nor has anyone else I know of.

 As I walked toward my door the cat greeted me, as if they knew me. I walked to Minnie’s main door and rang the bell. After a few moments of silence but for the purrs I went to her service door on the side. The door was slightly ajar when I got there. With a gentle push it opened all the way giving me my first glimpse in her apartment. The cat however was not impressed and stayed close by, rubbing their head against my leg. I started feeling uncomfortable snooping on poor old Minnie so I rang the bell again. With no response forthcoming I reached in for the door handle to close it. Before the door closed entirely I felt a tug and the door opened and there before me was Minnie. I asked if she was missing a cat?  

“I don’t know” she said “But since you’re here, perhaps you wouldn’t mind helping me with a little something?”

 Still confused by her sudden appearance at the door I answered without the slightest thought or hesitation “Sure!” I said.

“Could you help me cover my plants on the roof” she replied as she walked quickly toward the stairs.

 Damn! Is she chipper for someone in their nineties, I thought to myself hurrying to catch up. I’d never been on the roof before, I didn’t know you could. She fumbled around a bit while we both huddled together on the small landing at the top of the stairs. Reaching behind the fire extinguisher she found the key she was looking for and unlocked the door. “Grab the stick in the corner” she said “and put it between the doorway or we’ll get locked up here.”

 I did as she ordered and followed her to a makeshift potting shed behind the chimney. “Before we start perhaps a bit of refreshment” she laughed, reaching for a watering can on a shelf. Reaching into the can she pulled a half full bottle of vodka and took a plug. “ Ahh that’s refreshing.”

 She then passed the bottle to me. I haven’t drank hard liquor in years, but this seemed like a special occasion. I took a small sip and passed it back.

“We’ll save the rest for later” she said mischievously. “Now grab those tarps and follow me”

 We headed to the far end of the roof where a pair of perfectly sculpted azaleas danced in the breeze. The rain was now beginning to get heavy the sky graying and the hurricane appearing evident. We carefully covered the plants then ran back to the stairs, giggling like children as we lept over the puddles.

 Back at the door we found the wind had blown it shut and we were locked out. I banged and shouted for a few minutes in absolute panic. Minnie just laughed and said “I think it’s time for another drink”

 We returned to her bench and made a makeshift shelter with an extra tarp. Once settled in and feeling very cozy, out came the bottle. With each swig her stories became more personal and revealing.

 I woke wet and cold, the sky still gray, I didn’t know what time it was exactly, but it was surely morning and we survived. Peeling the wet tarp from my stiff and hungover body I realized Minnie was gone. Did she get up early and made her way downstairs or something more dreadful. Frantically I called out to her, each syllable loudly echoing in my head. After searching every nook and cranny on that roof top I could only conclude she somehow made her way back downstairs. I went back to the door, which was still locked, but I could hear voices below. First I knocked gently as to not rattle my brain further. Then from fear and impatience I began kicking the heavy metal door and screaming for help. It didn’t take long for someone to answer. Surprisingly it was an EMT that answered. The corridor below was now bustling with activity and a horrific stench.In addition to the EMT there were firemen and police, all hovering around Minnie’s door. I asked one of the officers if anything was wrong. Before she could answer two men rushed past pushing a gurney with a zippered body bag strapped on top. “Is that Minnie” I asked.

“I believe that’s her name” responded the officer “are you related.”

“No, no just friends”  I said. Then asked when she passed?

“It’s impossible to tell without an autopsy” she replied “though judging by the decomposition, I’d guess about a week, maybe less”

 She then asked me several questions about our relationship and when I saw her last. I didn’t mention last night, but did admit to not knowing her well.

 The odor was now overwhelming and my nausea must have been noticeable because the officer urged me to go home without asking for more information. Feeling very sick and confused I headed back to my apartment.

 I fumbled with my keys a bit rushing to open the door. Once in everything looked normal except for the wet leaves and scraps of paper stuck to my window, until I saw the tiny kitten on my bed.

Sck092716-dft

What the Schmuck

With icy fingers and hidden hands,
an unseen face footless stands.
Awaiting the cough of their next guest,
no’s no answer for their request.
~
“Follow me; your time has come,
the path is short, the feeling’s numb.
Two packs a day gives you early admission.
Your time with me is but a transition.”
~
The reaper laughed at their instructions,
fearing not their many abductions.
They said the pain would fade away,
but how long they wouldn’t say.
~
I gasped for breath, not wanting to go.
Why must it be now I didn’t know.
I said I quit the smokes a few weeks back.
“I’ve only a cold so please cut me some slack.”
~
They laughed again at my poor excuse.
Saying my line was long but I choose the noose.
I begged and pleaded to be set free.
They replied that they had a deal for me.
~
I said “that’s great”, not having a clue.
They then told me all the things I must do.
Their list was long but I happily agreed.
I’d now do anything, if to only be freed.
~
They said they’d go but they’d leave a scar.
Then a loud scary cry was heard from afar.
The reaper then vanished and I lay alone,
reflecting on the habits I’m prone.
~
A new day’s begun and life’s the more dear.
The clock’s still ticking but the ends not so near.
I bargained with death but won’t press my luck.
And my future’s now brighter, no longer a schmuck.

~*~
SCK020621

Halloween Triku II

I

All Hollows’ Eve

.

Ghost’s haunt, zombies flaunt,

monsters walk with you and I.

Sun’s rise all will die.

~

II

Tricky Treat

.

Full moon, rustling feet,

Trick-or-treaters rule the street.

Sweet tithes strangers greet.

~

III

Sweet Irony

.

What’s the best and worst

of a great Halloween glut?

Death by chocolate!

~*~

Sck103015

Cadavers

Slammed upon a chilly slab

First a poke then a jab

Next the cuts, twists and pull

Placed in  boxes stuffed full

Locked in a closet dark and cold

Then forgotten until they’re old

Tossed from the boxes into green bags

Discarded with the garbage, bottles and rags

Thrown on a truck and driven to a boat

Holes are slashed so not to float

With procession of gulls bags dumped in the bay

The end of the cadaver’s very bad day

SCK101314

The Void

~
Bedtime soon and demons shall awake;
but with a soul gone there’s none to take.
The screams in my head scare the spirits away.
Nightmares fast-forward to the light of day.

The ghosts turn white when I yell boo.
And the Reaper can shove his sickle too.
Coz in reality horror lives and fantasy dies.
And sleep‘s just a void behind closed eyes.

~*~
sck072517

Day Anew or Deja Vu

I woke up nice and early,
to start my day off right.
I tip-toed to the kitchen,
to watch the new day’s light.
~
I made myself a coffee,
one sugar but never cream.
The water didn’t boil;
I thought it was a dream.
~
I went back to the bedroom;
I found I was still there.
I slept rather peacefully;
it gave me quite a scare.
~
The cat was also sleeping,
curled up in a ball.
I gave her a little scratch,
she didn’t move at all.
~
I nudged my sleeping wife,
she didn’t make a peep.
I cuddled up beside her,
hoping I’d fall asleep.
~
The cat was first to rise,
soon jumping off the bed.
My wife then too awoke,
turning her pretty head.
~
She didn’t even see me,
as I lay there by her side.
I could see she was awake,
her eyes were open wide.
~
I feared that I was dead,
now a ghost out to haunt.
I gazed into the mirror,
I did look rather gaunt.
~
My wife started screaming,
shaking the sleeping me.
I knew we had a problem;
the evidence’s plain to see.
~
The alarm then started ringing,
time came into view.
I gasped for needed air;
I then started the day anew.

~*~
SCK103022

Haunting

The sun’s rising yet I’ve no rest,
another day a gruesome test.
The Reaper lurks on their quest,
spirits chide full of zest.
~
The nightmare over now the pain,
screams and howls fill my brain.
The constant fright drives me insane.
Ghosts taunt with no refrain.
~
The hour’s burn like gasoline,
agony fills the time between.
The past haunts a future unseen.
Is this life or Halloween?

~*~
SCK102420

Monsters

My world is quite small as you can see,

holds fewer monsters that’ll scare me.

Though they’re there, under bed too,

in the mirror they see you!

~

Outside, you know, they’re everywhere.

They happily haunt without a care.

With unwanted visits, I’m never alone.

These monster’s I fear are all my own.

~

Lurking weighty on shadowy shelves,

they’re all the weaknesses of ourselves.

All reminders of what we’re not.

That’s why monsters scare us a lot

~

The End

*

Sck101614

Under Where!

A big scary monster lives under my bed.
I never saw their body but maybe saw their head.
Every night they whisper when I try to sleep.
But when my mom comes in she doesn’t hear a peep.
~
My dad moved my bed and even switched my room.
But it didn’t really matter, my nights still filled with gloom.
They brought me to a doctor to get my head checked out.
They said that they found nothing, but I still have my doubt.
~
My sister teases me just like the kids at school.
She says that I’m a baby and being scared isn’t cool.
Every day on the bus the kids all laugh at my expense.
But I know I’m right and I think that they’re all dense.
~
My teacher thinks I’m crazy and doesn’t talk to me.
She says that I’m disruptive and that school isn’t free.
The principal just smiles and asks “how’s my day?”
But when I try to tell her she always walks away.
~
When the school bell rings I can’t wait to get outside.
But the bus’s always there and there’s nowhere I can hide.
It’s good the ride is short and soon it’ll be done.
My mom will be waiting and she’ll ask if I had fun.
~
I’ll tell her no and that I had gotten teased.
She’ll make her twisty face and say that she’s not pleased.
I hold her hand tightly and we both walk back inside.
She’ll help me with my homework until my brain is fried.
~
Then we share a snack before a visit from my friend.
We’ll talk a bunch till supper but then the fun will end.
I’m glad to have a friend who listens every day.
They hear the same old stories, even though they’d rather play.
~
Next we eat our supper then I’ll suffer through a bath.
Bedtime must be coming soon and another night of wrath.
My door mostly closed and my nightlight’s set on high,
I rest with one eye open and watch the moon rise in the sky.
~
When the moon got small my eyes began to close.
The monster then tried to eat me and it started with my toes.
But finally the nightmare is over and yes I was wrong.
There was no scary monster; it was just my cat all along.

~*~
SCK090820

Dead Tired

.
Finally, the end of the longest day of my life was over. The tears of the past months now free to flow yet strangely absent. This old house quieter than ever, the door closing behind me and the true sense of emptiness was now being felt as I never thought possible.

Leading up to my wife’s death, friends, family and of course my daughter were always close by and the grief shared by all. Now the house is dark as I stand in the hallway not wanting to turn on the light for fear of seeing the reality of finally being alone.

The hall was brighter just this morning as the sun rose and my daughter and I went off to the funeral parlor for Liz, my wife’s final service before our trip to the cemetery. The morning was crisp and clear, a distant smell of lilac hung in the air as the cars lined up for the procession.

The route chosen was considerably longer than necessary but a twisty country road in full spring bloom is a sight to be enjoyed, even if it to be the last. The funeral itself was as beautiful as anyone could expect, the morning mist lingered in the new day and the birds serenaded in the background as hundreds of mourners passed to show love, friendship and respect for a truly remarkable person. A woman whom I loved deeply for many, many years but now feeling I never fully acknowledged as a person or professional and was regretting having not expressed it more when she was alive. I hoped she knew of my love and respect for her as a mother and friend, as a physician, scientist and teacher and of course as a very lucky man’s wife.

The next few days a similar sad and hazy blur, I just roamed from one room to the next recalling all the little things that happened in each one over the thirty years living here. Each had a story, a laugh or tear, all where ours, our colors, our furniture, our books and our clutter. Each and every piece a memory and all memories of an instant in time to never be repeated. A life time that was a life’s time in the making and yet gone in an instant.

Life goes on I’m told and I would like to believe that. I’m sure for many it does. For some however it’s just not meant to be. I realized this when the crumpled remains of my car was dumped in my driveway minutes ago. And I never got to say goodbye.

The End

sck061817 / dft

For the Birds

A summer morning lovely,
I dashed out for a walk.
The birds were singing cheerfully,
we all then had a talk.
~
They asked me where I’m going,
I told them I don’t know.
They said they’re not surprised,
that’s how humans go.
~
They’re always going someplace,
not often knowing where.
You’d think they own this planet,
the one we have to share.
~
I feared my life was over,
Hitchcock came to mind.
A war soon was coming,
everything against mankind.
~
I hurried home to safety,
not knowing what to do.
My dog now too looks scary,
gnawing on a plastic chew.

~*~
SCK072222

Chronic-call

~

Horrors penned in tomes of fear
Words unseen in a shadows lair
Forever night when cover’s tight
Wings blossom in morning light

Rolling stones gathering moss
When time renders motions loss
Unknown saints wear heavy cross
Unbound future our only boss

Times absorbed in a sponge
Fills the well to take the plunge
Return from pleasure, pre-desire
Or the heat of ice and frozen fire

Air-less caverns running swift
Bloodied quill the only gift
Flightless birds soaring high
Pages fluttering in endless sky

Spiraling upward for the crest
Touching down – needed rest
Sleepless specter, broken spine calls back
Ink floods lines, sheets fill black

Dark and light fill lengthy fall
Return we must to journey’s all
To do what’s right, a writers call
Recording all, big and small

~*~

sck101614

Sweet Dreams

Monsters and ghouls prowl the street.
Ghosts hide beneath their sheet.
Zombies limp on bloody feet.
All are happy when they meet.
~
Black cats blend to be discreet.
Witches conjure but never cheat.
Werewolf’s howl when they greet.
All awaiting their Halloween treat.
~
Children rush for goodies to eat.
Parents long to take a seat.
Then the spell’s finally complete,
ending with dreams so sweet.

~*~
SCK103019

Spooky House

At the end of my street, quite near,

Sits the source of all that I fear.

Now a horror, once a jewel,

I run fast on my way to school.

`

Looms alone behind a high wall,

Watching me pass, the house sees all.

Hidden by trees most of the year.

But when fall comes so does my fear.

`

Autumn leaves drop, crunch under feet.

Out pops the house that haunts our street.

Halloween comes, chill in the air.

But trick-or-treaters won’t go there.

`

Lights never on, no cars in drive.

Shades always down, nothing alive.

I’ve heard stories, sounds in the night.

Of the house that causes our fright.

`

The shutters bang and hinges creak.

But no one dare to take a peek.

Many a ball lost over the gate.

Remember the score, game can wait!

`

Spooky shadows in the moonlight.

Ghostly shapes in the dark of night.

The vines on the porch creep and crawl.

Been scaring kids since mom was small.

`

Bats in attic, mice in the shed,

Phantoms inside or so it’s said.

Some say it’s empty, some say not.

Either way I’m worried a lot.

`

Off to bed one dreary fall night.

A bad time to turn off the light.

Mom tucks me in, we chat awhile.

She kissed my cheek, left with a smile.

`

My sleepy smile soon fades to fear.

When spooky house dreams soon appear.

I close my eyes and try to sleep,

Ran out of numbers counting sheep.

`

Outside shadows all a quiver.

Howling winds making me shiver.

I peeked from under my blanket,

The darkness said no sunrise yet.

`

I turned on the light to just wait.

For morning to come, that’ll be great.

Awoke to good news, called my friend.

Our sleepless nights where soon to end.

`

Someone bought the spooky old place.

Hopes to restore its former grace.

House got painted, bushes cut down.

What a great home, what a great town.

`

Windows fixed fresh grass on the ground,

Sunshine and flowers all around.

New families in, kids galore.

And I’m not afraid anymore.

`

We play in the yard, ride the swing.

We make up rhymes for us to sing.

Now my favorite place to be.

But once I thought the house spooky.

`

The End

Sck091914

Rest in Peace

The feeling was eerie and the air was cold.
And luck’s the reason this story’s told.
A misty moon mourned the starless night.
Finger-like branches obscured my sight.
~
A wrong turn made while homeward bound.
The path was new through unknown ground.
The fog grew thicker until all was black.
One misstep and I fell with a whack.
~
I tripped on a stone surrounded by more,
each a marker for a one-way door.
I’m surely welcomed but my time not right.
My eyes then drawn toward the light.
~
In the sky a lone star shone,
in a sea of billions we’re all alone.
Minutes in awe I lay there still,
but to soar with them I never will.
~
Thoughts of freedom filled my head,
but first to my feet amongst the dead.
A hand reached out to aid my rise.
My star consumed to my surprise.
~
A faceless figure was now my guide.
With a yank I was by their side.
My fate’s now held in arms unknown,
tip-toeing through that field of stone.
~
Iron gates clanged for us to follow.
An end perceived I did wallow.
The wind then howled its piercing felt.
Hale was next with ice to pelt.
~
Each breath shorter, each step less,
each second longer with greater the stress.
Suddenly my companion then mysteriously vanished.
Blindly I pawed for the safety I’d banished.
~
I yelled for help with no one to hear.
To die alone my biggest fear.
A tug at my ankle then sent me running.
Slipping on ice, the fall was stunning.
~
Blurry snowflakes covered my face.
Would I be found here frozen in place?
With one last breath I let out a scream.
And lucky was I to awake from that dream.

~*~
SCK012621

Much Ado About Nothing

On a street that shouldn’t be there,
there’s a house that shouldn’t stand.
Its front is covered in thorny vines,
out back a yard of sand.
~
The windows are always open,
cats all come and go.
There’s a dog that barks all night,
it’s really a horror show.
~
There’s an old car in the driveway,
but no one has seen it move.
A radio’s always blasting upstairs,
so someone’s got the groove.
~
The locals all say it’s haunted,
they’ve heard stories all their life.
Newlyweds had once lived there,
but no one had ever seen the wife.
~
Packages and mail get delivered,
but the trash never goes out.
Imagination fills in the blanks,
cos that’s what fantasy’s about.

~*~
SCK080121

Spooky Thoughts

The moment is near, the fear’s begun.
My nerves are frazzled, I’m under the gun.
A routine surgery, or so they say,
I think I’ll try to enjoy this day.
~
I woke up early to see the sun rise.
It could be the last to dazzle my eyes.
Crazy visions are filling my head.
It might be soon, I may be dead.
~
But that’s just nonsense, I’ll do great.
It’s too early to be called late.
The sun’s now high, distractions ensue.
Halloween awaits and I’ve much to do.

~*~
SCK102222

Sleepy Town

Dusk shrouds foggy walks
Whispers heard when no one talks
The old town hall shines felicity
Its library shares the pageantry

Main Street bristles with conspicuous zeal
Spirits roam unseen when unreal
Tales abound of young maidens kissed
Faces unknown for souls unmissed

Yarns be spun of their tiny cove
Time surrounds, the mind does rove
Behind every door lie stories untold
Life in a village three hundred years old

High on the hill sits a Queen Anne alone
She’s peaks of copper and footing of stone
Her windows boarded to hide the view
Abandoned by the town, seen by few

The home once a school for wayward boys
Most had no families, none knew of toys
A cagey couple was completely in charge
Both small in stature yet looming large

The mistress taught letters with pointer or switch
The master kept numbers making them rich
Gruel’s fed to the students, the master’s meat
The boys froze; the pair warmed by their heat

Ablaze was the furnace ahead of each storm
The lads safely locked in their cold attic dorm.
Their sniffles and sneezes all kept at bay
The masters swept all the sickness away

Each year had runaways, never to be found
Searches end at the edge of school ground
Then came a young man sheltered in error
He promptly escaped and reported the terror

Inquires made, investigations were had
The masters left freely, the mayor glad
The school was closed with little fanfare
The boys sent away with little a care

Rumors lost from days long past
Horrors are hidden all too fast
No more’s said of the young boys plight
And another sun sets on a sleepy town’s night

~*~

sck121115

Left Behind

Lost in a wandering state of mind,
returning to memories I thought left behind.
A campground awaits from decades of yore,
There’s a lake nearby and nature galore.

Summers there filled with family and friends,
as the specter of youth unknowingly ends.
The journey’s now short to a time long past.
My cabin soon appears while the sun fades fast.

The sky was clear, blues deepened to black.
The stars shone bright, they welcomed me back.
I relaxed on the porch and sipped iced tea,
my friends due tomorrow the night was for me.

With waning moon the damp mist rose,
crickets serenaded, eyes started to close.
Blissful sensations then the start of dreams,
when startled was I by familiar screams.

Dolly, Dolly, Dolly! was all she ever said,
her childhood taunts now flooding my head.
She’s the ghostly remains of horrors we’d share.
The truth is haunting when better a nightmare.

She would scratch at the screen above my bed.
I’d shriek and shiver and cower with dread.
Mornings would come, I’d report of my fright,
“that little girl’s ghost came to take me last night”.

My brothers would tease and mom consoled,
dad says they’re figments of tales I’ve been told.
But when evenings cool and crescent moon high,
dense fog rose and that child would cry.

Dolly, dolly, dolly is all she would say,
Her bony hand summoned and pointed the way.
Never dared I answer her mournful request.
Silently I’d wait, ignoring my guest.

It’s been many years since last we met.
Time I’ve tried hard, but to never forget.
Now I’ve matured and conscience will decide.
Am I to seek or again shall I hide?

I know not what of this phantoms despair.
Yet together there’s grief we seemingly share.
Her woe is death while mine’s the living.
Each is assured though neither forgiving.

Our paths have crossed, all have an end.
My choice is made by this spirited friend.
With eyes open wide follow I must,
forsaking not, that lost child’s trust.

I rose and leaned forward, held out my hand.
Our fate’s to obey and to command.
We dashed through the field and into the woods.
A moment imagined of pleasant childhoods.

Each step echoes with brittle twig snap.
Till the shadows of trees soon overlap.
To guide my way mere slivers of light,
pursuing my phantom into the night.

Thicket and bramble claw at my skin,
bleeding the courage from deep within.
The worn paths end at fresh fallen leaf,
this forest beyond, beyond my belief.

Spirits roam free where the living don’t tread.
My friend had returned to her life of the dead.
I wished again to hide safe behind closed eyes,
trading this vision for dreams of blue skies.

The girl then pointed at boulders stacked high,
interwoven with brush to hide from the eye.
All layers of shadow, grays deepened to black,
foretelling the depth of crevice and crack.

Her hazy glow grew brighter, eyes more intense,
repeated cries for dolly now making sense.
She’s lost a dear friend and I’m chosen to find.
To abandon now this child was beyond unkind.

Exited are we, our quest’s nearly done.
‘Twas a test of persistence, both surely won.
My mind’s now a flutter, heart beating proud,
grasping in darkness through thick thorny shroud.

Our search going well till that last step was taken,
the ground then vanished, I was tumbled and shaken.
I awoke sometime later to whispers, mumbles and cries.
My new friend stood close as I opened my eyes.

I saw Dolly held tightly and a bustle nearby.
Mourners had grouped where a still body lie.
A lifeless figure with a familiar shape and size.
The live too are familiar, all saying goodbyes.

The little girl thanked me for my many good deeds.
As slowly she faded having found what she needs.
I begged to be taken for I’ve been truly kind.
When last she said “You need first find needs left behind.”

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Keeping Spirits

Nature batters, scarring far and wide.
Forgotten battles forever tied.
Man and rock bear the loss of all who’ve died.
Rugged faces change with the changing of a tide.

Keeping the wary from a watery hell,
a craggy post a dutiful keeper dwell.
Keeping by day his glass shined bright,
by night he keeps his flame alight.

Warning all comers never to near,
this beacon of virtue is only to fear.
Bravely they stand against wind and wave,
the ocean master, keeper slave.

Chores of many, companions none.
Sleep begins when work is done.
Ventures end before the dark.
His light stands silent awaiting spark.

Beyond this rock and choppy cove,
a small town lie where tales are wove.
Stories of stormy seas abound,
and faraway lands where treasure’s found.

In town sits a churchyard overlooking the sea.
Where the keeper visits when a calm day’s free.
Collects his needs quickly, no time for desire.
His row is long to return to his fire.

Scores of seasons drifted behind.
The keeper and kept, two of a kind.
Their toils unnoticed, yet seen by all.
Keeping kept the keepers call.

Reflections of stars upon the sea.
Infinite horizons awaiting he.
A beacon to all, his lamp not aglow.
To see the light the keep did go.

The town sad for their keeper unknown.
He was buried with care as one of their own.
At the edge of the churchyard lie the keep.
With eternal vistas of the light and the deep.

Dozens of keepers tried to keep.
All had left quickly, missing their sleep.
Stories told of the old keeper’s ghost.
A most spirited and demanding of host.

He rattled windows and slammed doors,
once hid away the old rowboats oars.
His steps are heard on the stairs all night,
sometimes blowing out the lighthouse’s light.

On a chilly morn some years past,
a storm was brewing, approaching fast.
A hardy young sailor paddled for the light,
racing the waves ahead of the night.

With setting sun and drenching rain,
wind and waves pummeled, no refrain.
Shores altered with the rising tide,
The hilltop churchyard couldn’t hide.

The keeper’s remains returned to sea.
The young sailor now keeps – happily.
And ever since that fateful day,
the old keeps spirit kept at bay.

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