Gagged and Bound II


(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.


Fort Bragg dreams


Maybe it’s the well-washed
cats in my bed that aren’t
making me sneeze, while skunk
trains pass.. or the redwood
soaked air with rare deer stained
rain, but my dreams seem to
be spilling over with
pie filled uniqueness.

Glass beach


Where Pacific – isolated –
breaks along the western shoreline,
where ground squirrels roam at leisure,
man came to California time.

In dark blue spouting waters deep,
whales display the sea’s majesty,
sun stages sandy theatre,
while man pauses only briefly.

He had his business to attend,
such beauty he could not refute,
yet, it can only mean so much
when seeking a place for refuse.

Never mind the sandpipers route,
or where timid nests be sited,
they emptied their trash on the beach,
this wonder scene now blighted.

Such disrespect for sea and land
might have led to a tragedy,
but Neptune sighed and took his time,
then softened all that was glassy.

No jagged cuts did he return,
but pretty trinkets round and smooth
were scattered daintily through the bay,
and all the garbage had been removed.

People came and were delighted,
they cooed at all the pretty gems
that adorned the confettied shore,
and then they helped themselves to them.

With perfect stones for their jewelry,
a micro industry was formed,
and this glass beach became supply,
for which to them it seemed the norm.

But all things have a humble end,
and the glass became depleted;
they turned to their local council,
so as not to be defeated.

They wanted their glass beach restocked –
you would think they had been cheated;
learning little these litter louts
are most certainly conceited!

More on this beach on Wikipedia

The empty homestead

20130912-211833.jpg [Emily Dickinson’s house at night, with lit porch (above), and as lit by lightning (below)]

I walked the floors
you tread no more

where shining porch light
holds back the blank night

as tongues gossip-flicker
across the roof quicker –

perhaps in haste
lest they should waste

each year of your absence
in unnoticed presence.

Furry Tales


Owls with horns (honk, honk),
cats that break up arguments,
magpie fashion imitating eagles,
bears falling out of rhododendron bushes, &
moose not mousse in dining room discussions.

I’m faraway – filling
suitcases with light –
collected from local stories,
saving me the need to
walk through wardrobes.