In the Shadow of Windmill Cottage

Behold this welcome image,
where a hill rises from a bay.
There a tiny sheltered village lay,
in the shadow of Windmill Cottage.
Pleasant breeze’s most every day.

Sails from afar spill their goodwill.
From their nets sea treasures 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,
a 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.
Must avoid the many scrupulous gaze,
modest and ordered with nothing ablaze.
In the shadows inhibitions die.
A visit with strangers, heads all a daze.

Journeys 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.

He’s just another hazy 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 they’re 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.
Here 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 are strong.

His hat brim low to hide the shame.
The poet stutters with utter surprise.
The traveler snickers, doesn’t rise.
With sideways glance he asks the poet’s 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 with faces shaded red.

Cider was next and followed by rum.
The traveler’s tales – all told in prose.
The wetter the lips the faster it flows.
He’s hated by most, loved by some.
That’s how a traveler’s life often goes.

The poet proud – a rather long fellow.
The traveler meek – a short 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 is so free and uncluttered.

His weaknesses many but unobserved.
Blinded to the Reaper’s shadow – deserved.
Soon the voiceless poet will be unheard.
Then blissful quiet on his paths wandered.
His silence welcome  – 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.

While 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 a silent poet ran.

His boot heels clack on cobble slick.
The poet stumbles upward with achy head.
While his stallion slumbers atop golden bed.
If only to have aid from 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 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’s soon to Main Street for 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 –
“In the Shadow of Windmill Cottage”

The End

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Poetic Injustice

Afloat in red stilettos, hair, nails and lips

Shimmering in black satin, taught about the hips

Blue green eyes sparkle as they glance my way

Smile wide across her face, yet I’ve nothing to say

*

Subtle hand reaching softly touches mine

Nervously reacting I nearly spilled her wine

Leaning ever closer, whispering in my ear

Sweet sounds alluring, words I’ve dreamt to hear

*

Standing stunned, throbbing chest

Twisted tongue on a tortured quest

A racing mind all aflutter

An uncertain stutter I did utter

*

With this mutter she did chortle

A pen less poet’s just a mortal

~*~

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Sonnet Undone

Take from me this simple band of gold,
walk with me while we both grow old.
Hand in hand our souls inline,
I’ll be yours and you’ll be mine.

In your eyes time does melt,
returning to where love first felt.
Journey’s skyward of life excelled,
when two is one heart beats meld.

Tears and hugs and laughter shared,
stealing kisses whenever dared.
Fate and luck met at the Last Call,
boundless futures in a crystal ball.

A blues band played, forgotten ironically.
Memories are golden because nothing’s free.

*
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A Lonely Princess

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Where rocky cliff meets stormy sea,

a castle perched, forever be.

Where gray stone surrounds little seen sky.

‘Twas this fortress a young princess cry.

 .

The princess post birth, her parents delight,

treasured by day, guarded by night.

Feasting with jesters, ponies, puppets and maids,

a gaggle of servants draw bright velvet shades

.

With sentry of knight to share all her dreams,

her eyes shut tight to hide her screams.

Time wasted limitless, she wished for an end.

The princess was lonely without a true friend.

..

One morning awoken by a kiss from a queen,

sleepy eyes opened to a sight seldom seen.

Golden light sparkles in diamond pane rare,

a sapphire morn burns black coal night air.

 .

A tasty breakfast served on tray in bed.

Downy pillows fluffed to rest her head.

The king arrived more jolly than ever,

with riddle to solve, if anyone clever.

 .

“What may have wings cannot fly.

Holds a heart yet cannot die.

Shaken pitch laughs off rain.

Having one a princess to gain?”

.

The joyous young girl made many a guess.

The kings’ piddling patience grew less and less.

The queen and knights all had a try.

The king muttered “castle!” with a loud sigh.

.

The room bemused by the riddler’s zeal.

Most unconcerned with how others feel.

A castle repeated in more pleasant a tone,

a home for a princess to call her own.

 .

But first a short trip outside the wall,

where grass tickles feet and trees grow tall.

There are lessons to learn from tutors wise.

There are truths to see with growing eyes.

.

Now’s time a princess must prepare,

for the eventual call of a prince to be dear.

A someday king awaits his throne,

whence you shall rest upon your own.

 .

The princess knew the day would come,

a bartered prize as was her Mum.

No fairy tale endings for spawn of kings.

“Tis a life shackled with heavy gold rings.

 .

Adventure awaits, no time for self-pity,

freedom’s short locked in a stone city.

Knowledge abounds beyond heavy gates.

The princess skips past on worn ancient slates.

.

Beneath a fine bonnet of satin and lace,

excitement glowed on her adolescent face.

Her velvet shoes barely touching the dirt,

a merry cyclone a-swirl in silk skirt.

.

Her mentor soon waves from path by wood.

Magical flora beckons, some bad, some good.

Wonders overwhelm in green forest lush.

An ocean of emeralds painted with brush.

 .

With each lash a-flutter bursts a new color.

Light and shades multiply them all more.

With the thirst of a sponge she did explore,

where surprises abound when not looked for.

 .

A gentle breeze blew, a little leaf flew,

bright sky filled in the space anew

A ray of sunlight kissed a shiny stone.

Atop a bed of dewy leaf it rests alone.

 .

With a tiny tap upon its shimmering side,

the distant fates of two collide.

Surface cracking on this egg thought stone,

a heartbeat wakened with thunderous tone.

.

Out popped a plump lump, beneath wings of scale.

A pat on the rump exposed its long tail.

A final stretch thrust shell shards to leaf.

And there lie a creature beyond belief.

 .

Warm smiles shared with a new friend.

A precious little pearl, the girl’s to defend.

The gazes shattered by a howl from the trail,

‘twas the elderly teacher, impatient and frail.

 .

The princess knew what had to be done.

The babe hid under her bonnet and bun.

Down the path she ran back to the gate.

Yelled to the guards “The teacher was late”

 .

Gates barely open she slipped through the crack,

escaping notice of the tail down her back.

Safe in her chamber they shared the night’s meal,

both sharing puckers with fresh lemon peel.

 .

Then swathed in plush robes, kissed on the head,

the fledgling was tucked safely under the bed.

Each night passing, more robes to conceal,

this teething tot with big teeth that’s real.

 .

Each day growing from the princess’s scraps,

she grew thinner, now padded with straps.

The servants grew nervous at both the sight,

one lie near weightless, one flew in the night.

.

The princess’s secret though soon was known,

when her expanding friend went out alone.

The knights became dazed by armored flight,

their swords no match for the hunger of night.

.

The king and queen where too nearly maimed.

Pawns, bishops and rooks where all to be blamed.

A wizard was called to tame the toddler beast.

His tenure cut short when almost a feast.

 .

The creature now huge, truly loved the girl.

She called her Sunshine, the princess’s Pearl.

Together they frolicked on the castle rooftop.

The king spying danger called for a stop.

 .

Shouting “time’s come to put childhood behind,

It’s now time to marry, I’ve someone in mind.

He’s brave, sweet, wise and kind, at least I’m told.

There’ll be time to adjust as you both grow old.”

.

Escorted by king to a royal coach and four,

off to be locked behind another gilded door.

Her fate was sealed by a noble families need,

alliances grown with common regal seed.

.

But with a twist, jerk and a naughty giggle,

the squiggly princess was free now to wiggle.

Breaking free, running fast, past all unaware.

She zigged and zagged toward the rooftop stair.

 .

Screaming loudly for her only friend Pearl,

who tried to save the much pursued girl.

A guard with a pike held Pearl on a chain.

Blocking the Sunshine’s escape of the reign.

 .

Seeing her friend at the top of the stair,

Pearl snapped her links then into the air.

The petrified guard fled from his post,

grabbing for Sunshine he’d surely be toast.

 .

The princess ran to the edge of the roof,

yelling to Pearl, she feared aloof.

The big eared beast sharply turned about,

hearing her Sunshine’s gloomy shout

 .

The king with guards, knights and queen,

Stormed to the roof unprepared for what’s seen.

The princess looked back, blew a kiss to her mother,

and a warm thoughtful wave to all the other.

.

Then with a carefree step she disappeared.

Plunging to her sudden death, or so was feared.

The mortified lookers all lunged for the ledge.

Hoping the princess landed safe in a hedge.

.

The king peeked over, not wanting to see,

when up rose his honey like a big bumble bee.

She hung from the neck of her dear friend Pearl,

now bonded for life, this dragon and girl.

 .

Higher she climbed with a dragons eye view,

a view to be viewed by a very small few.

Now all surveyed, now all her realm,

Sunshine’s the captain, Pearl the helm.

.

Over forest and mountains, ocean and stream,

free in a world where she need not dream.

Adrift on her Pearl upon the endless sea,

Alone they now be in their realm of fantasy.

.

The king broken hearted wept in his sleep.

The queen stricken ill with never a peep.

They later agreed to bare a new heir,

whether girl or boy was not a care.

 .

The next child’s fate was sure to be better,

born free of mind and trappings that clutter.

With a loving heart nurtured by family and friends,

then given the choices to choose their own ends.

 .

The princess returned in time for the birth.

The kingdom was full of merriment and mirth.

The princess enchanted with a friend who flew.

And all ends happily as fairy tales all do.

 *

The End

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Age

Childhood

Suckled, cherished and warm

Blissful frolic to pimpled storm

Time ticks slow then runs fast

Stumbling blind from the past

Experiments with our alien form

*

Youth

Hormone gales cloud the brain

Life is long, much to gain

Time inhibits, much to do

Carefree hands become too few

Past and future collide, no refrain

*

Mid-Life

Inhibitions shrink

Time enables all to think

Second chance ambitions grow

Hands move fast, body slow

Pass the clock with a wink

*

Seniority

Hands of time toil half the day

The other, gravity has its way

Seeds of time sown with care

Golden harvest – time to share

Leaves fall, memories stay

**

The End

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