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BANJO BAY..episode 17

 

The little town of Banjo Bay sits proudly in the cove,
Welcoming her sons home from their toil,
Her harbour filled with laughter, her streets bedecked with love,
A place for growing up and growing old.

The winter winds blow wildly along the rocky shore
As Nicholas DeWinter tamps his pipe,
The sparks fall gently down upon the spotless cabin floor
Like starlight on a dark December night.

He hears her gentle reprimand and then her cheery laugh,
His Clementine, his faithful loving wife,
Together have they basked in sun and faced the tempest’s wrath,
Together have they built a worthy life.

Their little cabin in the woods, far from friends and foes
Somewhat of a sanctuary it stands,
A bastion against the biting wind that oft times blows,
Every plank shaped by his calloused hands.

In his ancient rocking chair beside the roaring fire
Nicholas brings out his well worn tools,
Clemmie takes the other chair as every night before,
Busy with her needles and her wools.

A portly soul is Nicholas, as wide as he is high
But nimble in demeanour none the less,
His busy fingers flying as he works the little knife
That whittles on the shards of oak and ash.

And so they sit, contented, busy in their task,
Occasionally glancing to the door,
The door that rattles endlessly against the wintery blast
That sends a random snowflake ‘cross the floor .

Nicholas puts down the knife to gaze at she he loves,
Regret now rising in his caring breast,
No children was she blessed with though she had love enough,
As ‘mother’ she would surely be the best.

And now ’tis Clementine who stays her knitting to observe
With deep regret that far outruns his own
That she could not provide the son he surely must deserve
To share the tree of life which they have grown.

The northern lights rain down above the streets of Banjo Bay
As Nicholas DeWinter and his wife
Sit and smile together at the end of every day
Like book-ends to a hard but happy life.

………………………………………

The little town of Banjo Bay now settles down to sleep,
Another busy day has come and gone,
Tomorrow they will go to church, joyful thanks to give
To celebrate the birth of God’s own son.

Yet what have they to celebrate? This poor and wretched breed,
The fish that once were plentiful are gone,
Three years of harvests decimated by the searing heat
And still this wretched breed must carry on.

Wives take turns with frying pans as children gather round
For ne’er a child will ever go without,
Husbands gather at the Inn their sorrows for to drown
Where every tot of rum is on the house.

Counting every blessing, but blessings they are few
Yet always, where life blossoms there is hope,
The tide will turn, the fish return, a better day is due,
Until that day arrives they wait, they cope.

………………………………………

The blizzard roars around the wood, brutal in it’s bite
As Nicholas DeWinter loads the sled,
His great cloak buttoned to the throat, the lanterns all alight,
He gives the leading Husky dog it’s head.

‘Go carefully’ pleads Clementine for never has she seen
A cruel wind as terrible as this,
‘Tis now or never Clemmie, before the snow sets in ‘,
She gives a wave, they smile, he blows a kiss.

………………………………………

And now we see him silently along the cobbles cold,
No door is locked for none have much of worth,
Into the cosy cottages where families lives unfold,
The poorest yet the richest of this earth.

He sees the children sleeping, his old heart swells with joy,
He leaves the little trinkets he has brought,
For every child a knitted sock that holds a wooden toy,
‘Not much’ he thinks ‘but better this than nought’.

Every child in Banjo Bay will wake to this surprise
And wonder for their benefactors name,
As mothers turn to fathers, a twinkle in their eyes,
‘Nicholas has come to call again. ‘

And now the homeward journey where Clementine awaits
To hear the story of his escapade,
Of how he stalked the pretty cobbled streets of Banjo Bay
There to leave the gifts that they have made.

But not only is it Nicholas who stalks the cobbled streets,
There tragedy awaits to match his stride,
To wrap around the shoulders of he who leaves the gifts,
And tragedy will not be put aside.

The snow lies deep, the wind blows wild, the avalanche roars past
To leave an icy chasm deep and wide,
The sled is rent to matchwood, the Husky breathes his last
As Nicholas is cruelly tossed aside.

A jolt, a curse, a stab of pain that sears his screaming throat
For there it is his whittling knife has fled,
His saintly blood flows like a river o’er his rugged cloak
Now painted deep in gorey shades of red.

………………………………………

Meanwhile at the cabin Clemmie trims and lights the lamp,
The hour is late and still she is alone,
Throwing on her shawl she sets off through the cold and damp
In hopes to find and hasten him back home.

The chasm is before her, her husband at the crest
And plain to see his life is all but spent,
She casts aside her woolly shawl, the storm will do the rest,
Together will they go. They are content.

‘Did you get there Nicholas? Are our children served?
‘All are served my darling. Every one’
‘And is it finished Nicholas? Is this our final word?’
‘All is finished Clemmie. It is done’.

Two lives as one cannot go on when one is set to leave,
Like book-ends in a hard but happy life,
Their souls now rise to light the skies of man’s eternal sleep,
Like starlight on a dark December night,

copyright Catherine Turner 2019

 

o-DRUG-ADDICTION-facebook

I saw the flicker of your flame and instantly was drawn
Drawn to seek your comfort as my love for you was born
Born from curiosity to bask within your glow
The glow that would destroy my life, yet how was I to know
To know how you’d seduce me and then hold me as your slave
A slave who’s at your mercy as you watch me beg and crave
A craving that’s insatiable, that makes me feel ashamed
But like a moth, I’m drawn once more, to perish in your flame

copyright S. Stone 2017

Pale young boys of tender years, sent underground each day,
To breathe the dust and risk their lives before they slipped away.
And womenfolk who worked like dogs from early morn till night,
With blackened face and haunted eyes that stared from pools of white.
Then ‘black by day and red by night’ was how our land was seen,
Where once grew fields of golden corn and pastures lush and green,
Transformed into a world of fire with heaps of slack and spoil,
By men who often paid the price with burdened lives of toil.
No accolades or words of praise, just meagre pay at best,
And scars they wore with dignity, like medals on their chest

copyright S Stone 2017

BANJO BAY……episode 15


The little town of Banjo Bay sits proudly in the cove,

Welcoming her sons home from their toil,

Her harbour filled with laughter, her streets bedecked with love,

A place for growing up and growing old.

Bert the Flirt takes off his shirt and hangs it in the tree

Thinking of the ecstasy to come,

As she who lies beneath unties her corset eagerly ,

Loosening the laces one by one.

Katy Lovatt is her name, a spinster of this parish,

Strong, and lean from years of honest toil,

Who, at the age of 35 has given up on marriage,

Content to be a tiller of the soil.

Many suitors came and went throughout her younger days 

But none could light the fire in Katie’s heart,

But he will do, her gigolo, too proud to change his ways,

Too fancy free for love to make a start.

Katie doesn’t crave for much, simple are her needs,

The pleasures of the flesh are all she asks,

And every Friday evening neath the ancient apple tree

Bert the Flirt proves equal to the task.

They will not be discovered for the land is Katie’s now,

From father to the child the farm has passed,

But with no child to walk with her behind the trusty plough

Katie now will surely be the last.

……………………………………………..

Bert the Flirt pulls on his shirt and sits beneath the tree

To watch the lights go down in Banjo Bay,

Then, gazing down at Katie, a-smiling in her sleep

The world about him seems to fade away.

He sees himself, a handsome chap, a ladies man they say,

And many knotches has he gladly carved,

But truly he must be the saddest man in Banjo Bay

With ne’er a wife to grace his lonely hearth.

If truth be known, the push and shove has lost it’s charm for Bert,

He hankers for a settled, simple life,

His carefree days are over now, no longer will he flirt,

The day has come when he must choose a wife.

And who better than his Katie, whose body he adores,

Who turns the skirt whenever she prefers,

Together they could move the earth as oft they have before,

Who cares for love with lust as fierce as hers.

The evening star shines down upon the streets of Banjo Bay

As Bert the Flirt falls down upon one knee,

And there upon a golden swathe of sweetly perfumed hay,

His life he gives for all eternity.

Katie, quick to answer yes, is haunted now by doubt

For Bert has reaped his share of failed romance,

She wonders, Will he ever change? Can he settle down?

But desperation bids her take a chance.

………………………………………..

And so the two are married as the townsfolk gather round,

The Jolly Sailor Inn packed to the rafters,

A voyage made in haste, they whisper , sure to run aground,

No hope, they say, of happy ever after.

No more the ancient apple tree, but now the oaken ‘stead

Bears witness to the moving of the earth,

Till soon upon the cotton sheets where passion’s fire is fed,

The issue of their lust is given birth.

The seasons turn and life goes on for Katie and her man,

And with each year another child is born,

More milk to feed the little ones, more meat to fill the pan,

More wood upon the fire to keep them warm.

Tide on tide roll in along the shores of Banjo Bay,

As Katie toils to keep the family fed,

Bert is left at home to rear the children day on day

And only sleep employs their oaken ‘stead.

Cooking, cleaning, darning socks, washing dirty clothes,

Sowing, reaping, milking, dawn till dusk,

The pleasures of the flesh are quenched, the spark no longer glows,

The children thrive as all small children must.

……………………………………………..

And so it goes, the years roll by, the children fly the nest,

More time have they to ponder on their life,

Satisfied that all will say they did their very best,

A faithful husband and a treasured wife.

But time has left its mark on Katie, life has left it’s scars,

Her back now bent from hours behind the plough,

Her auburn locks, once bountiful, now shine like silver stars

And fall around the furrows on her brow.

Her husband, now a shadow of the man who hung his shirt

Among the branches of the apple tree,

The passing years have gathered like a shroud around poor Bert,

No more the handsome gigolo is he.

Their job is done, their children gone, life is all but spent,

And some would say they did more than enough,

Hand in hand beside the hearth, now just the two of them,

They who fell in lust now fall in love.

He thinks her never lovelier than how she looks tonight,

And she thinks him the handsomest of men,

And so it is they wander now in evening’s fading light

To lie beneath the apple tree again.

A marriage walked without true love can seem a lonely mile

When pleasures of the flesh no more attend,

Passions, irresistible, may warm us for a while

But love hard won burns brighter in the end.

Cath Turner….July 2017


Welcome to the world my child, I hear your anguished cries, 

And share the apprehension I see mirrored in your eyes. 

Your needs are pure and simple, no unrequired demands, 

Unconsciously you place your trust in life’s unyielding hands. 

Your book of life has opened, its pages clean and white, 

Just waiting for the hand of time to take its pen and write. 

But soon you’ll be its author, each chapter your design, 

And hopefully you’ll write it well and savour every line. 

So welcome to the world my child, I hope it treats you well, 

And though you never chose to write, the story’s yours to tell.

Copyright S. Stone July 2017

Down in a green and shady bed,

A modest violet grew

Its stalk was bent, it hung its head

As if to hide from view.

And yet it was a lovely flower,

Its color bright and fair;

It might have graced a rosy bower,

Instead of hiding there. 

Yet thus it was content to bloom,

Its modest tints arrayed;

And there diffused a sweet perfume,

Within the silent shade. 

Then let me to the valley go

This pretty flower to see;

That I may also learn to grow

In sweet humility.

Copyright Jane Taylor

Don’t judge a book by its cover

Or a person by the skin

For though the cover is dusty and worn

A treasure trove hides within.

My hands are a little bit shaky,

I need glasses to help me see

And it seems that the world I have helped to shape

No longer listens to me.

An old person! Yes, that’s what I am,

I stumble and I forget,

But I still have a lot I can offer,

My time isn’t over just yet.

My shaking hand still rocks the cradle

And brushes away a tear,

My tired eyes still read the fairytale

While holding my little one near.

He smiles as he runs to my open arms

And for me that is more than enough

For a little child’s eyes never see the years

They only feel the love.

By Catherine Turner