Behold this welcome image.
Where a hill rises from a bay.
There a tiny sheltered village lay.
All in the shadow of Windmill Cottage.
Steady breeze most every day.
Sails from afar spill their goodwill.
From their nets sea treasure abound.
Farms thrive above on fertile ground.
Good fortune trickles down the hill.
Sea birds fill the air with sound.
Ancient timbers shade from lofty stage.
Labored grain grows upward at the season’s rate.
Winds howl, warmth’s aglow on the hill top grate.
Flour flows freely down from Windmill Cottage.
Where nature’s breath spins the wheel of a poets estate.
He attends happily to familiar chores.
Quarterly ledgers bulge beneath waistcoat fair.
His quarterly journey to the bankers’ lair.
His shadow alone opens Main Street doors.
Harvest moon will guide homeward the fortunate heir.
Dusk creeps up as day slips by.
Modest and ordered with nothing ablaze.
Must avoid the many scrupulous gaze.
In the shadows inhibitions die.
A visit with strangers, heads all a daze.
Journey’s end in darkness where hill meets bay.
Tufted coaches dash the posh up to their inns.
Others huddle by fire pits drinking homemade gins.
The trades of the night swap those of day.
Church bells echo, atoning for their sins.
Just another blurry face on the wooden shores.
Where the day’s death lingers and ships bells ring.
Taverns fill, ale flows and drunken sailors sing.
Fiddles play and jigs are had on the dirty floors.
Habitual killers all, Oh what joy they bring
Few will stay, most homeward bound.
Some laugh loudly while others cry.
Some will fight, some will die.
In search of peace to be found –
In the deep or endless sky.
Faceless comfort fills empty space.
Men with silver are sick for a day.
Boys with gold suffer years away.
Moonlit romance lingers on perfumed lace.
Then life’s anew beyond the tiny bay.
Sharing much common thread,
In this moment “ brothers all.
Whale lamps flicker on sooty wall
Making friends while breaking bread.
All await the Bosun’s call.
In a corner where shadows overlap.
The poet searches for his light,
Where the day’s brew flows all night.
Safe, for now from his hilltop trap,
Layers of darkness, out of sight.
Behold this most unwelcome image.
The seat no more where the poet presides.
Now in his shadow a filthy little demon hides.
Return not quenched to Windmill Cottage –
And wait again for the new moon tides?
Lonely candle spews depth on a lonely face.
Unseen pests sing their unwanted song,
The scent of time ticking long.
His travels must be many, all left a trace.
In the darkness our senses strong.
Hat brim low to hide his shame.
The poet stutters with utter surprise.
The traveler snickers, doesn’t rise.
With sideways glance he asks the poets name.
Honestly answered by the fear in his eyes.
When after long hesitation a hasty reply ”
“A traveler like you” was all that he said.
But after some ale the silence was dead.
Yard by yard many distant words fly.
Palettes grow when faces shade red.
Cider was next and followed by rum.
The traveler’s tales all told in prose.
The wetter the lips the faster it flows.
Hated by most, loved by some.
That’s how a traveler’s life often goes.
The poet a rather tall fellow.
The traveler a poet by name.
So many ports traveled they all looked the same.
His heart pumped blue, the poet gay and mellow.
Opposite sides of a coin, no one is to blame.
“With little time to hone a craft –
With a draft from an open door.
To close then return no-more.
To open then evermore – the draft.
Spirits gone, gone the craft – nevermore.”
What dribble do you speak my friend?
The poet inquired in disgusted tone.
“The dribble I think when thirsty and alone.”
The traveler quipped with message to send.
I’ll tell you another, that’s my own.
“Silent words are never heard –
The voiceless poet stuttered.
Repeated babble muttered.
His rhymes always sputtered.
More mindless words would be absurd.
The air he breathed was glutted.
His helm so poorly ruddered.
His shirts all heavily buttered.
From his many toasts self-uttered.
His mind so free and uncluttered.
His weaknesses many and unobserved.
Blinded to the Reaper’s shadow – deserved.
Soon the voiceless poet will be unheard.
Then blissful quiet on his paths wandered.
His welcome silence – forever heard.”
Drunken rabble roared with delight.
The poet withered belittled.
The traveler’s attention fizzled.
When laudanum’s sipped out of sight.
The poet escaped most grizzled.
Out of the dark into the night.
Bellowing air; cold, wet and starless.
His poisoned lips know no finesse.
His state of mind out of time – not right.
The poet’s mind wanders aimless.
The traveler tucked snugly in his bunk.
With help from many new joyous fan.
All loved the howls of this traveled Wild-man.
His tales make perfect sense “ drunk.
The favorite carried and the pompous ass ran.
Boot heals clack on cobble slick.
While stallion slumbers atop golden bed.
The poet stumbles upward with achy head.
If only to have his gilt throat-ed stick.
This shadowy path he may be found dead.
The wind that is my fortune is slowly killing me.
This hill of heritage too high for me to climb.
With forceful push from the hands of time.
Drawing me back to a frigid sea.
My misery oh-so great ” it is oh-so sublime.
Head tucked low, bottom up always slow.
Darkness wanes to purples then red.
Day is born, horrors of the night soon dead.
Hands and knees bloodied and bruised – falls of woe.
Alas the bodies of servants to guide to downy bed.
Winter’s behind, graven plans regress.
Fevered sleep past, shadows of death dawdle.
Summer awaits, the poet’s lessons dwindle.
His magnum opus went off to press.
Journey to Main Street, praise to guzzle.
Surveying high atop his magnificent mount.
The poet exclaimed “behold this welcome image”
Deceived by the bustle, not he the homage.
But a tome by a worldly traveler – no doubt.
It was “In the Shadow of Windmill Cottage”
Tomorrow’s to be the best day.
A day of sunshine, swim and play.
Must get to sleep, morning is near.
We’ll wake early, much to prepare.
Eat breakfast, find my pail and rake.
Great big castles of sand we’ll make.
Pack cooler with lunch, bring a hat.
Bags for towels and this and that.
Morning has come, wide open eyes.
Hoping for those clear blue skies.
It must be early, sky’s still gray.
Maybe I woke on the wrong day.
Waited all winter, now’s in reach,
sunny day of fun at the beach.
Went back to bed, nothing to do.
Closed my eyes then the sun shined through.
Jumped out of bed, day’s second chance.
Brush my teeth and put on short pants.
Ran downstairs for breakfast and more,
a surprise friend waits at my door.
We all got packed into the car.
Hoping the drive won’t be too far.
Wheels turn, were almost there.
Windows open, I smell the sea air.
Pull in the lot, our fun begins.
Unpack the car, pull out the bins.
We carry the bags, two for each.
Umbrellas up, blanket on beach.
Cooler wheels stuck in the sand.
Dad asked me to lend him a hand.
We’re all set up, time to explore.
There’s much to do at the seashore.
We hurry down to take our dips.
First toes then knees, up to hips.
The water’s cold, we jumped back out.
To thick towels we run and shout.
My fingers wrinkle, lips turn blue.
The sunshine’s warming me and you.
Sand’s sticking to my wet swimsuit.
Mom gets lunch; sandwich, drink and fruit.
Our feast is done, time to play ball.
Huffing and puffing, shared by all.
We blew it up then threw it high.
Caught by the wind, kept by the sky.
Grab our shovels, pile the sand.
Moats and towers, kings of this land.
Then waves came in with a crash.
Hours to build, gone in a splash.
Now we’ll find some big new sea shells.
Some are flat some shaped like bells.
Some you hear the sea in your ear.
Some will have things living in there.
Sifting for treasure in the sands.
Time slipping through our small wet hands.
We keep the best in a small sack.
To be explored when we get back.
Now let’s try the water again.
First you go then I’ll jump right in.
Dive and swim, watch seaweed float by.
Then the sun sank low in the sky.
We all go home, skin pink, eyes red.
Take a cool bath then off to bed.
Going to sleep dreaming of more,
a day at the beach is best – I’ m sure!
I woke this morning to a bright sunny day.
There’s a chill in the air, but that’s OK.
I had a good rest and that’s something new.
But when I check the news I’m sure to feel blue.
While writing this poem today I had a novel thought.
I’ll skip the news for now and feel much less fraught.
I’m not irresponsible because I really do care.
I just need some time to live without the fear.
My hair is turning gray, but that could be just age.
The time comes for all to turn another page.
A chapter’s surely ending and a new one will begin.
But will it be a tome or a volume very thin?
Time will surely pass as it always does.
Will we seek tomorrows or the way it was?
Our story’s now converged, edits now have past.
The final word is ours but we’d better make it fast.
A breeze will blow this fog away,
as the blue awaits the gray.
The morning’s cool, the air is moist.
The sun’s “Good Morning” yet to be voiced.
Time will pass and the heat will rise.
The day will brighten before my eyes.
There’s much to do before I sleep.
The reasons are many for me to weep.
Summer’s now underway.
And this world needs a better day.
Violence and sickness pervade the news.
Humans all, we’re paying our dues.
With tensions high and spirits low,
to survive we all must grow.
Neighbors are we, we all share a goal;
to live and love with mind, body and soul.
The summer’s long and just begun.
If the world ablaze nothing’s won.
Come the fall we’ll have our say,
when the blue outshines the gray.
Confined in a box within our visual sphere,
we search for direction hoping that it’s near.
Clouds confound the senses making life unclear,
we run to our horizons but a new will appear.
The earth is standing still hurtling through space.
Our seconds are but few in this universal race.
Feet compound the miles speeding up the pace.
Steps left behind we hope will leave a trace.
The sun will rise again when yesterday is through.
Darkness always follows shrinking our world view.
Dreams come into focus when the brain gets a clue.
Our eyes both close and open but reality’s up to you.
I was out to lunch this early fall,
with my sweetheart, disturbed by a call.
Tried not to answer, boss wouldn’t wait.
“Go to the harbor”, he yelled, “before it’s too late”.
Duty calls, I sped to the pier,
swerved through traffic as fast as I dare.
Screeched to a halt at the dock by the bay,
the boat’s motors revved then underway.
Holding on tight I asked what’s the fuss?
The skipper pointed up at the blob over us.
It was big and gray, no particular form,
battered and tattered like a dingy in a storm
It hung from balloons, one at each end,
letting air out slowly to descend.
It kissed the calm harbor with hardly a swell.
A slit appeared then a putrid smell.
Followed by a ladder of rope dropped to the sea,
then an old head popped out “Ahoy thar matey.”
We climbed aboard the blob that fell from the sky.
Inside appeared to be a ship with no sails but masts high.
A portal to the past or future, it wasn’t clear.
My eyes wide open, couldn’t fathom what’s near.
Bos’n whistle blowing, ships bell ringing,
Captain’s on deck, old sailors singing.
Adrift in time for many a year,
brass shone bright, decks scrubbed bare.
Beards grown long, spirits grown weak,
searching endlessly for the end they seek
I asked many questions and he of I.
“How did you come to fall from the clear blue sky?”
He shrugged and answered “balloons in the sun.”
He asked how the war went; I said “you won”
Pleased by the news, great joy was abound.
The captain and crew, spirits were found.
We told him our location, name and job.
He told us the story of his great flying blob.
“I built her to survey the rogue enemy.
Launched in the spring, eighteen sixty-three.
But she rose too quickly and at too fast a pace.
Caught in a current and thrust into space.
She’s wrapped in layers of thick blubber.
Fin of spruce to serve as rudder.
A ship out of water floating in space,
propelled by methane made from our waste.
And in her belly the mighty tree grew;
wood for repairs, air for the crew.
Trimmed to perfection, nurtured with care,
the trees demise is all that we fear.”
“The tree is the living when all else seems dead.
Greens for the birds then eggs we are fed.
Twigs feed the fires for heat and our light,
the roots of survival the engine of flight.”
The captain paused for word from the mate.
A decision to make before it’s too late.
The blubber was oozing in the midday sunlight,
absorbing seawater, soon too heavy for flight.
He called out the order to make all lines taut.
Bid us farewell and shared one last thought.
“No matter how far our souls may roam –
the journeys not over until we are home.”
The blob sailed off high in the sky –
then disappeared in the blink of an eye.
The captain and crew homeward at last,
seeing the future, choosing and the past.
Where bumble bees sing to morning blooms,
sunshine fills sleepy rooms.
Little birds chirp to ring in the day.
The town folk thrive and children play.
Evening’s all spent cozy and warm;
everyone huddles at word of a storm.
With a common goal of tranquility,
their smiles all share the harmony.
Freedom reigns and peace assured,
caring for all, we’re all adored.
And though this place is yet to be found,
in dreams we meet when feet leave the ground.