(Lake Shasta ballad)
The boat did cut its way so smooth,
could not have been faster,
with sky so blue and sea so calm,
we moored upon Lake Shasta.
Alone between no-man island
and that of old slaughterhouse,
with station tuned, z-rock did play,
the boat became our house.
Here, water does recede at six
inches per dry day,
and earth reveals more secrets, so
with eyes we searched the bay.
Day one: below the water’s edge,
we saw a muddy sight,
one ventured in, retrieving the
previously hid flashlight.
This was not such an unusual
find, but then came Day two,
where half a foot now newly dry
gave us sunglasses too.
The evening came, the wind did blow,
our boat became unmoored,
the crows now kept their silence proud,
and a skeleton, I saw.
My fear saw bony fingers point
to items we had taken,
spare hand raised in skyward intent –
was this imagination?
The captain had to sober up,
regaining secure tether,
night did leave us, as it had come,
bringing sunny weather.
Return now due, we sailed away,
back to familiar shores,
as bald eagle flew overhead
where our journey bore.
A ballad very loosely based on a houseboat trip to Lake Shasta, which was amazingly beautiful, with lake swimming great fun. Apologies to Coleridge for the pastiche! The poem’s theme fits well with my previous poem Gagged and Bound, and so has become Gagged and Bound II.