The Rhymers Club

The Rhymers Club

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

On a Friday night at the Rhymers Club

They meet at the Gun & Whale,

They take a seat and they all compete

By telling the tallest tale,

They vote whenever the night is done

For which was the best, and worst,

But all agree that the best, you see,

Must always be told in verse.

 

There’s Sean McGee, with tales of the sea

In the days of the Cutty Sark,

When sails were billowing wide and free

And men kept watch in the dark,

For deep beneath the Atlantic swell

Was a squid, the size of a ship,

With tentacles that could wrap round tight

And make it their final trip.

 

Dan O’Dwyer, told of the sky and the

Lights that were seen offshore,

They hung in space, not moved a trace

Though they hung for an hour or more,

Then a coastal cutter rose from the sea

In a widening beam of light,

Taking with it the coast guard crew,

Of Brendan, Seamus and Dwight!

 

That brought a laugh, for the crew he named

Had once been Rhymers before,

Then Dwight and Seamus were lost at sea,

Though Brendan sat at the bar,

He’d told no tales since that dreadful night

When his shipmates both were lost,

But answered only in two brief words,

His mates had been ‘tempest-toss’d’.

 

‘‘Ten parts pissed’ if I know those two,’

Said Tomas behind his hand,

‘A quart of whiskey, a quart of gin,

Better they’d stayed on land!’

But Brendan heard, and his face was grim

As he wandered back from the bar,

‘If you want to know what happened that night

It’ll cost each man a jar.’

 

He quaffed a pint of his Guiness Stout

Before he could even begin,

‘The night was lit by a pale moonlight,

And the cutter lay on its beam.

A light came down like an arc of white

We seemed to be climbing a stair,

It only took a second or two

And suddenly, we were there!’

 

‘Alone in a rolling countryside

And stood at the base of a hill,

A sparkling stream of water there,

At the base, a rippling rill,

But Dwight, I swear, was as white as white,

And then he muttered a curse:

‘That river flows from the rill down there

And up the hill, in reverse!’

 

‘Then out of the silence came a voice,

So feminine, soft and fine:

‘All of your past is flowing there,

That is the River of Time.

Should you be searching for hidden truth,

And youth, just step in the stream

The years will pass like blades of grass

For nothing is what it seems.’

 

Brendan paused and he took a draught,

And sighed in a kind of dread,

‘You think that Seamus and Dwight were lost,

You think they’re both of them dead!

They both stepped into that whirling stream

Though I was too scared to try,

I watched their years, tumble and fall,

And now I can only cry.’

 

‘And now I can only cry,’ he said

‘For the years I could have had yet,

If only I’d had more courage then,

One chance is all that you get.

And now those two are the ten-year-olds

You can see out riding their bikes,

Out in the front of the Gun & Whale,

They laugh at me, every night!’

 

The Rhymers rushed to the windows there

And saw two boys in the dark,

Riding around the Pepper tree

And then, off into the park.

So Tomas read out the Rhymers creed

Like all of them, pale and white,

‘It goes to Brendan, we’re all agreed,

The tallest tale of the night!’

 

David Lewis Paget

 

 


© 2013 David Lewis Paget



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Featured Review

This piece just delighted me to no end and is one of my favorites from you.
"But answered only in two brief words,
His mates had been ‘tempest-toss’d’.
Your way with words and genius in telling a tale never fails to grip me and take me along for the ride. The sheer volume of works from your pen and the fact that every one is of mind bending quality just boggles me. Excellent tale!

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

This made me smile the entire way through...perfect!

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wonderful tale.....and would we follow into the river of time ourselves if given the chance?? Good question.... ;-)

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You are a writer on fire my friend. Enjoyed reading your work as I always do. I can never get enough of these tales you've spun. It's like a peek into a prime time adventure.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Fantastic write, I like thes4e kind of tales of old times with the sea being so terrible men feared it..Great write..Kathie

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I keep coming back for a re-read. My favourite Paget so far, but still working thru them.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

such a delight..you had me there and devouring every rhyme

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This piece just delighted me to no end and is one of my favorites from you.
"But answered only in two brief words,
His mates had been ‘tempest-toss’d’.
Your way with words and genius in telling a tale never fails to grip me and take me along for the ride. The sheer volume of works from your pen and the fact that every one is of mind bending quality just boggles me. Excellent tale!

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

When I saw your title, "The Rhymers' Club", the very first image that crossed my mind was that joint at Oxford (of course, the name of it would elude me now!) where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein (among others) hung out exchanging stories and manuscripts. You would have fit right in, Dave!

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Excellent write yet again :-)

Posted 4 Years Ago


I think it's amazing! I was truly captivated by the story you told. The rhyming scheme held it together so well, that I felt as if I were flowing down a stream of your words. Terrific story, that is some mighty skill you hold in your pen!


Posted 4 Years Ago



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Added on April 22, 2013
Last Updated on April 22, 2013
Tags: squid, offshore, lights, river

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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