Rock of Ages Light

Shipwreck and remembering the Great Lakes

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Sounding Thunder,

Wind in our sails

Good sailing,

Economy counts

And always will.

We sailed the crew low-

A woman to cook, a boy to pray.

The wind in November there is

Nothing at all like her.

The ice encased the hatchways

Freshwater knives cut and

crack our skin.

The young men cry for mothers.

And one hundred years later, in safe harbor,

The generations etch our tomb in radar.

The sensitive woman may wonder

One hundred years from now

And tomorrow, they’ll forget

The waves that slide and take

Sounding Thunder down

To the Rock of Ages.

Pillar of Salt

Lake Huron, so placid – at times.

Roger’s City and Alpena

The sunrise side

Of cold, cold mourning

Head down, no warning.

Mists of Huron

A grip so soft

yet so unrelenting –

What lies of

Beautiful dreams

Do you have for me now?

What passion

Can you wrench from

Me so as to mock

The salt that I am

And you,

You, Huron, are not.

Never have you turned

Around, never has

Regret found you

Above sin, above passion

Like being in love

With a marble

Statue

And I love you.

Sincerely, I do.

Steel Water

Steel Water is a fresh water poem.

So much is now known, my love

Your hand upon your chair

Your gaze focused on the distance

So much is now known my love and yet

So much remains unclear.

 

Often you left to roam so great an unknown

Your hand upon my hair

Your gaze focused on my face to memorize every trace.

Often you left me to make

Known the Unknown.

 

Weeping and lonely through

Childbirth and longing you left me.

Your hand upon the great wooden wheel

Your feet firmly planted on waves of fresh water steel,

So much of it is now known.

 

Every piece of land only an inlet or peninsula

The creak and moan of our home just a reminder of

Launch and storm.

Buffeted by wind and ice, your back straighter

Only I am frailer.

 

Now sit upon your chair

Less weathered than mine.

You sit and gaze upon fresh water, fine sand

And sip wine.

So much, my love, is now known, but who am I?

 

Slowly you approach your hand slides along the small of my back.

“You are the steel water, you are my sight

You are my freedom, my longing, my right

To sail the fresh water.

Come to me, my love, and make yourself known.”

Gossips

It’s time for tea and to set the world right.

“Well, he’s at least 16 years older than her. Please pass the salt.”

“Mother always said, “There’s no fool like an old fool.””

“All I can say is poor Anne. Did you use real mayonnaise or is this salad dressing?”

“Mayonnaise. I don’t quite follow you about Anne. They divorced over two years ago.”

“Yes but the kids. They still get together with the kids. What happens now? Him running around with a younger woman. Are these the lavender cookies you were talking about?

“Hmmm. I guess but I think they get together at different times. And yes those are the cookies. I picked them up at the bakery this morning.”

“Whatever, they both still live in this town. He and that hussy could walk into a restaurant and Anne could be there. Is there pepper on the table?”

“Well, I suppose but Anne wouldn’t necessarily be alone. Really is she rarely alone?”

“Well, I don’t blame her. Did you see her latest?”

“So tall.”

“Just enough silver along the temples.”

“Oh, we are horrible gossips.”

“Yes, yes we are. This salad, I think, just needs a touch more pickle.”

“Yet, I don’t know what he is thinking. She is so young.”

“Do you see how she can’t take her eyes off him? She follows him with her eyes whenever he’s in the room.”

“They’ve kissed in public. Kissed, not pecked.”

“O mercy, did mothers hide their children’s faces – pass the ketchup please.”

“Sure. No, you know how people are nowadays. I guess they’ve set a date, at least they’ll be married.”

“Already? Mercy.”

“Yes, Anne told me herself. Kids are all attending. I think she’s hurt she didn’t get an invite.”

“Well, I don’t quite understand that. Why would you want to watch your husband marry someone else?”

“EX husband, dear.”

“Whatever. They still knew each other in Biblical proportions. Pass the cake, please. Is there cream for the coffee?”

“Oh dear, we are horrible gossips.”

“Yes, yes we are.”

 

Mirror, Mirror, Mother

Okay, listen, let’s get one thing straight before we go on.  I loved my father.  He loved me.  I couldn’t help his natural appetites.  My step-mother was there, yes but if he would have said ‘hey, I’m tired tonight I’ll see you in the morning,’ he may have lived longer. 

It didn’t work, my Mother was right.

She isn’t my real Mother but she’s the only one I have.  I speak to her in the mirror and no, we don’t look anything alike.

She’s beautiful, I mean really beautiful and I’m pretty.  There is a large difference.

She told me that deceit only works if you want to be rich, it never works if you want to be in love.  I thought, (and naturally so) what the hell does she know?  She seduced my father and I’m not too sure if he died of natural causes or if she helped him die of natural causes.

Okay, listen, let’s get one thing straight before we go on.  I loved my father.  He loved me.  I couldn’t help his natural appetites.  My step-mother was there, yes but if he would have said ‘hey, I’m tired tonight I’ll see you in the morning,’ he may have lived longer.  I suppose he died of what we all die of; free will.

Anyway, I was up in the attic trying to figure out the spinning wheel and thinking of a guy I just met at the well.  Now, Mom always told me not to touch the point of the spinning wheel because if I got a drop of blood on the snowy white wool I was spinning I’d fall asleep for 100 years.

I believed her because she worked like a dog for that snowy white wool.  She said that with my dark complexion, big brown eyes and rosy glow I’d look fabulous in white.

She wanted to marry me off as soon as possible.  To her credit, she was sizing up a very rich baron with lots of lands and a modern manor house with water heat.  I think of what life may have been there every once in a while.

I had other plans.  He was fair, noble, handsome and brave, the guy at the well. So I pricked my finger and dropped my own blood on the snowy white wool.  As I tumbled into that deep, deep sleep my Mother warned me about I heard her yelling my name from the basement.  Something about being an idiot.

I think if she would have just left well enough alone she wouldn’t be talking to me through the mirror.  She could have stayed in my father’s castle and lead a normal albeit rather evil life making her poison apples and scaring little kids.

“Did you have to lock your door again last night?” asked the mirror.

“Yes, and you don’t have to tell me I told you so.”

“Move up into the tower, with that game leg of his he won’t follow you up there.”

“He won’t let me cut my hair.”

“Let your hair grow.  It’s always grown fast and thick; you might be able to escape by it in a year or two.”

“That’s ridiculous!”

“So is being married to that frog of a man you waited to kiss on your wedding night.”

NO!

And there we were, me a common sailor watching her spend her last strength to rise up defiantly amongst the storm and turmoil that mocked all who cried out to God. 

In the wild whirl of the wind, her white hair whipped and lashed her face unmercifully.  I could only but barely make out her features; her eyes wide and her dark brows knotted in unnatural contortions upon her alabaster face.  Her expression was that of anger and fear.

We were sinking you understand, drowning and this woman looked as if to be fighting the strands of foaming water that the sharp winds flung into the atmosphere.  The very tips of the salt water were tangling their undulating and ever moving tentacles about her thin wrists and exposed neck.

Ah, the horrible beauty of it!  I was dying too, you see, there was no hope for me but rather than spending my final moments cleansing my soul before God, I was watching this creature struggle against the agony of death in a way that I was certain no other human being around her was doing.

She was outraged.

Outraged that such a thing could be.  Angered that death would be so presumptuous as to think her beauty, her effervescence should pass away without being fully arrayed in a long life of adoration.  I believed in that moment that if her life had been spared she would have been adored even into old age.  Her hair, yes white blond, her skin flawless her bright blue eyes flashing.  Oh yes, she would have had all the men mourning and the young wallflowers weeping.

And there we were, me a common sailor watching her spend her last strength to rise up defiantly amongst the storm and turmoil that mocked all who cried out to God.  She would not be mocked, even in her terror, her voice was loud and piercing and as her still slippered feet seemed to lift beyond the clutches of the lightening gray water, I heard her last word, a commanding No!

As her rebellious and deep throated word echoed out upon the water a gust of the wind, so sharp so piercing that it seemed to split the water before her, pummeled into her breast and pushed her into the cleaving waters of the cold Atlantic.  Her hands claw-like stretched out grasping at nothing but what would slip through her fingers and she was gone.

My only thought was not to be pulled down with her.  To die, to take my sip of cold salt water, but not to die with that expression of defiance before me.  I lifted myself up and away.  I looked about for any sorrowing features that struggled against the pull of the inevitable.  Yes, perhaps a human face that looked about at the last for humble companionship in meeting their maker.

I awoke in this bed, in this hospital room amongst the coughs and sobs of those who called themselves survivors.  Those sorrowing for their loved ones, those who still seemed soaked from the storm and sodden by their struggles.  All except one.  One young man who shook and shuddered and mumbled into his bleeding fingers.

“Don’t tell them I pushed her, please don’t tell them.”

Storm, My Love

There is no wooing, for I won’t tolerate the attempts.  The heat, the wind, the dryness has risen up in despairing anger but not revenge.  He knows he has won.  There was a time that his whispered love and soft rain would calm me, soothe me but then bring about the cold north winter wind that had suddenly gone dormant in me.  I would be encased in my icy defense which he could not yet melt. 

The south summer wind blows in persistent and dry.  He yellows the tender green of the grass and coats the deep jade leaves of the trees with brittle dust.   The soft whisper of promised winter has abandoned me to this southern intruder and confuses my mind and body with wants I will not utter.  My silence only angers him and the wind that dries raises to gale force.

Beneath my bare feet, I feel the needle point prick of dead vegetation.  Curling my toes down into the powder soft dirt that was soft and moist with promise not seven short weeks ago enrages me.   My rage radiates out and meets the high, sharp southern wind, that is he and the two of us mix in a tangle of rising storm and confusion.

My body daggers down deep and hisses scintillating curses at that which has no substance for wounding, only spirit to rise in surprise and defense.  His pushes my attack down pinning my fight to the ground, stinging my eyes so that I must shut them in defense and pulling my breath from my body in a long agonizing kiss.

There is no wooing, for I won’t tolerate the attempts.  The heat, the wind, the dryness has risen up in despairing anger but not revenge.  He knows he has won.  There was a time that his whispered love and soft rain would calm me, soothe me but then bring about the cold north winter wind that had suddenly gone dormant in me.  I would be encased in my icy defense which he could not yet melt.

Those days are gone and the anger over my resistance and time wasted has now brought about the scorched earth that my lover, burns about me in moaning, confused, merciless dry wind.  His heat will not be deceived by my feigned surrender.

My voice cries out in pain.  The death of my struggle is perpetrated by a fire that plunges him deep into what I have kept hidden from myself and we are flesh and bone for a moment.  He is standing over me, my hands upon his feet, I in complete abasement, the blood of my body boiling out his name.  Our union is tearing, pulling, searing fire.  I am a conflagration that blazes up in glorious flame which reflects in his eyes and is continually fed by the will of his hands.

Then I am ashes upon his skin, floating and dancing upon the heat of his existence and swirling upon the song of his wavering friction that warns the atmosphere about us to keep distant while  I must regain the ice of what makes me…me.

“Look at me,” his voice is met upon my skin cooling me into the truth of who I am.

I turn to gaze upon his features, there in mesmerizing scars and haggard expression of age and pain I see the human that he has been, cocooned away in burning glass and fragile flame.  I kiss with gentle lips the molten heat that pools upon the curve of his neck.  I have only hovered over the freezing water of release and hold in frozen ecstasy the broken and soft essence of his beauty.

Sleep deep with me my love, in this deep dark frozen blue then upon waking bring about the fire of brilliant passion in burning revealing flame – this is my frozen reflection.