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Archive for January, 2020

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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

 

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