Keeper of the Light

Keeper of the Light

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

I pulled at the oars with Valentine

While Derek sat at the rear,

He’d taken his turn, now I took mine

Our quarry was drawing near,

For up on the bluff, deserted now

The tower stood, gaunt and white,

We’d managed the creaking boat somehow

To get to the Keystone Light.

 

It hadn’t been manned for fifty years

Its age was a matter of doubt,

The Keeper’s wife, in a fit of tears,

Left the light sputtering out.

Her husband gone in a giant wave

That carried him off from the bluff,

While in the dark was the Barque ‘Enclave’

Settling down in a trough.

 

And on the steps of the Keystone Light

The widow clung to the rail,

The wave was tugging about her skirt

As the Barque lost its mizzen sail,

A shark, caught up in the mighty swell

Was swept right up to the steps,

And took her leg in a single bite,

Returned with it to the depths.

 

They found her dead by the Keystone Light

The Barque, smashed up on the shore,

But never a sign of the Keeper, Sam,

Who had guarded the Light before.

They said his ghost ruled the tower top

That it howled in a winter storm,

While she kept swinging the outer door

To try keep the tower warm.

 

So we climbed up on that winter’s day,

The three of us to the bluff,

We lads let Valentine lead the way

She liked all that ghostly stuff.

The door hung off from its hinges there

From flapping about in the wind,

While Derek muttered, ‘We’d best beware,

There may be ghosts,’ and he grinned.

 

We’d gone, expecting to stay the night

So carried our candles and gear,

The bottom floor with the open door

Was a little too breezy, I fear.

I followed Valentine up to the Light

And carried the blankets there,

The view was truly a marvellous sight

But the wind gave us all a scare.

 

It hummed and soughed at the outer rail,

It groaned, and whispered and growled,

They’d warned, ‘It sounds like the Keeper’s wail,’

And true, at times it had howled.

It even seemed to have called her name,

The widow, crying in pain,

‘Caroline, I’ll be coming for you,’

Was the sound of the wind’s refrain.

 

We slept that night, or we tried to sleep

All huddled up on the floor,

But Derek rose, and before the dawn

His body lay down on the shore.

He must have fallen over the rail

While both of us were asleep,

But now the sound of the wind in its wail

Said, ‘Catch the wave at its peak!’

 

We hurried on down the spiral stair,

As the dawn came up like a trick,

We couldn’t bear to be caught up there

With both of us feeling sick.

But Valentine went out on the steps

Where the widow had stood before.

A sudden gust caught the door and just

Knocked Valentine to the floor.

 

I saw she’d never get up again

With the wound it gave to her head,

So much blood, like Caroline,

I knew she had to be dead.

I heave away at the oars, and pray

That their sacrifices will be

Enough to bring my Caroline back

For the Lighthouse Keeper was me!

 

David Lewis Paget

© 2016 David Lewis Paget


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Featured Review

"It hummed and soughed at the outer rail,
It groaned, and whispered and growled,..." - If there's a better description of an 'ill wind' out there, i've yet to read it David.

The Lighthouse Keeper was never found but the devil that was the wind found him alright - crying uncontrollably; promising anything over Caroline's corpse - if only she'd return and offered him a sweet deal.
Excellent thrilling write DLP.


Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Excellent tale, David. Chilling!

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I liked your poem. What an eerie twist at the end. Was not expecting this. Well written.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Hello Sir, another one of your fine ventures through the dark sea side
Which always have that mysterious - eerie feel into it, old light house's,
Shipwrecks, hunted cottages, etc you use this setting quite well
You never seem to run out with story lines and ideas"
And this one also delivered, very cool Thanks EG

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

"It hummed and soughed at the outer rail,
It groaned, and whispered and growled,..." - If there's a better description of an 'ill wind' out there, i've yet to read it David.

The Lighthouse Keeper was never found but the devil that was the wind found him alright - crying uncontrollably; promising anything over Caroline's corpse - if only she'd return and offered him a sweet deal.
Excellent thrilling write DLP.


Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A very Unique Poem and Piece....
Enjoyable....

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Brilliant again David and again I did not see the end coming but the tale of the ghostly haunting inbetween was pure magic, I could easily visualise the whole thing, you excel yourself and that's not easy, not easy at all, bravo!

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I enjoyed this tale. Good to have company on the journey of mystery. A entertaining story my friend.
Coyote

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Sacrifices to bring his Caroline back? While she waited those long years tending the light...alone. He washed away...then finally manages to make it back and death comes to all but the light keeper. This has stories within the story. Or...was he a ghost while on the Barque. Leaves me a lot to imagine and I like that. Sorry VALENTINE did not make it though........ Valentine

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

haha David A twist it was but sad cos the story read as a Famous five by Enid blyton but then the sinister motions stole the light once again lol

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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507 Views
9 Reviews
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Shelved in 4 Libraries
Added on January 2, 2016
Last Updated on January 14, 2016
Tags: oars, bluff, tower, Barque

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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