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energizerbunny
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« on: November 13, 2004, 09:40:26 PM »

The Light

   Sometimes, I dream underneath the stars.  Sometimes, when I sleep, I dream of flying.  Those dreams, of the beaches, of the waves, are the best ones.  Where the surf will be coming in, and the sun will be setting.  I will sit with a cup of coffee in my hand, and listen to the gull's sing their last.  The sun's song starts its last refrain, and the night starts its lullabies.  I watch as a couple, walk together, hand in hand, and listen to the night's enticement.  I look up at the lighthouse, and I fly unto the rails.  We can see the sun again, but it runs away to retire to its loved one.  Oh, how I wish I were that lucky.  Remembering the times, we shared, the look, each thought more pleasant than the last.  I remember love, and I remember friends, but I still remember my love.  Look!  The waves, how they crash!  I have to wonder if Neptune is somewhere in the depths making love to some unknown.  Slashing one way and another, seems a storm's coming on.  They crash and clash until the silence afterwards scares me.  I see the moon, I see porch lights clicking off, curtains drawing themselves closed.  The lights are turning themselves  off.  I can only see the light of the moon, and hear the waves crash around me.  Then, only then, I know I am safe.  There, coming toward me, toward the lighthouse, is a single light.  It is bright, and small, and very fragile.  Yet I can see its mover, and it is . . .  an old man.
   He is hobbling down a pathway, with a single light to light his way around the world.  Suddenly, he makes a sharp turn to the left, away from the lighthouse.  I know I am safe.  He is not coming toward me anymore.  He goes into a shed and retrieves a lantern, empties it of all its oil.  Filling the lantern, he empties his can.  "Tomorrow," he says, as he leaves the shed.  Then, he returns to the path.  Tomorrow, he will go to town, and buy some things.  He has been doing this routine for nearly thirty years now, well beyond what anyone expected.  A few years ago, they invited him to Raleigh to talk about retirement, but he would have no talk of retirement.  For, the promised for his love he would never leave the lighthouse.  His love, his only love, that left him, a few years ago.  He was a better person then, when she was around.  He has been alone for five years now, and each year is more painful than the last.  He's reached a point where he does not care for himself anymore.  Why should he?  No one really knows him anymore, except the lawyers in Raleigh that wear fancy suits.  
   He scratches his three-day-old beard.  The razor broke Wednesday, he only goes to town on Saturdays.  As he warms himself at the roughness of it, he thinks of the day.  The day was hot, but when the sun leaves, we can see frost on everything.  His thin plaid shirt doesn't have another day of wear in it, but he'll get that too, tomorrow.  His corduroys are damp and dirty from the day's work.  From the shirt, to the beard, you'd think he hailed from the North Carolina foothills.  Where the small town variety that he  grew up in, stuck with him, and there he is always  a boy.  That was before he came to the beach, before he fell in love with the beach.  That was before he fell in love with her.  
   She died ten years ago, his only lady, and his only wife.  The cancer took her beauty and her life, but still, he had her smile until they laid her into that casket.  To me and the rest of the world, she'd be just an ordinary person, to him, she was a goddess.  He loved her more than anything in the world, and never ceased to show her how much he loved her.  He even loved her more than the beaches, much, much more.  He loved her with a light that the fiercest of the world's wind never would blow out.  He looks upon the beaches and sees one couple, still standing there, awed and amazed at the sight.   The sight of the beautiful moon is enough to take one's breath away.  He reaches the first door to the lighthouse, and unlocks it.  He sees that someone has disturbed the belongings on the inside, mere children that he doesn't know.  We climb up the stairs, round and round, up and up.  Until, he reaches the top.  
T here is a giant oak door that he spent months carving an image into, her image.  Every feature he caught, every shadow, until it is the splitting image of her.  The door was a beautiful one, but it never truly caught the light that she gave out to the world.  It never caught her beauty.  He gazes at it, and then, starts his work.

   As he finishes his job, something changes of him.  He looks for the couple, but they've gone now.  He can remember when she stood there, waiting for him to return.  He can remember when he went up next to her and held her in his arms.  And he can remember the times he didn't.  Those times when he was so self-absorbed that he didn't seem to care.  "How did she ever put up with me?"  He wonders aloud to himself, and takes that thought with him.  He goes down the lighthouse and locks the door.  He notices it will be locking its last tonight.  Tomorrow, he will replace doorknobs.  Tomorrow, wonder if he's lucky enough to have it.  Time passes by quickly now, is he getting older or are his days getting numbered?  Both, he guesses.  And he's probably right.  He walks on, and suddenly stops.  He thinks about his wife, and about his son.  He's been alone for five years now, but she's been dead for 10.  All he remembers now is a fight, about the business going down.  The drinking, and the leaving of his son's wife.  Then another huge fight, and a single gunshot ringing through the air.  And putting his son beneath the daisies.  Lucky.  Sometimes, he wants to spare death its mercy, and take matters to his own hands.  Sometimes, he wants to end it himself.  Still, how would she feel when they called him up?  Would she be mad that he ended his life that way?  He reaches down to sit on a huge rock.  He closes his eyes, and I wait.  I wait for what may be an eternity.  Tears are rolling down, mixing in with the sand, and his lips are moving as if in prayer.  Crying his love's names and falling down again.  When he has dried himself completely out, he stands up with an "Amen" on his lips.  I watch as I see a small light like that of the candle descends upon him, and clean him.  An inky blackness comes from his soul and devours another lost soul.  For the first time, I realize what he has done, and realize whom he accepted.  I see a huge and beautiful smile that he would carry for the rest of his life.  

   The next day, he goes to town and gets the things he needed.  He had some lightness to his step and a smile on his face.  As he heads home, he is polite and courteous.  That very same day, I heard of an accident that occurred in town.  A driver swerved to miss many kids playing, and hit a man.  This man had in his hand, a can of lantern oil, and a razor in one bag.  The man was wearing a plaid shirt and overalls.  The look of a tired fisherman, and an unshaven four-day-old beard.  With a big smile on his face.  His lighthouse shut itself down, and no one ever operated that lighthouse again.
   

"You are the light of the world . . . In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." —Matthew 5:14;16
   

      
























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catharinep
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2004, 11:59:58 AM »

Quite a lengthy poem, maybe you should make it a story and send it to a magazine.  There are some real interesting, sad things in the story...would be worth reading in a magazine.

Good writing!  Like to hear more!
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energizerbunny
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2004, 04:05:13 PM »

the poem is a song, called i forget, i'm glad you liked it.  People are telling me that I should publish it, but i don't think i will, drama is my first love.  I have another story coming, sometime soon.
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