The Lighthouse


Set on some windy highland where blasted trees struggle for survival,

By definition prey to storms.  No silence here, the breath of wind and shush of wave below

Punctuated by the cries of gulls, the sighing wet breath of humpback or minke whales

and from time to time the chugging motor of a fishing boat.

The lighthouse.

Saved, restored, shored up, paid up, cabled up, held up, kept erect, alive.

But wait, isn’t that your job, lighthouse?  Standing up in all weathers, in all winds, eternally

saving, restoring to the shore puny mortals?

Of course, now there’s radar and sonar, GPS I suppose, but still,

there’s something forever about a lighthouse.

I used to lie down here in the summer grass where wild roses spread over the windy peninsula.

I’d wake to bees or crickets and follow the paths of desire over the rough ground.

I never dreamed a lighthouse would need help.

For decades in the sunny days the keeper’s wife would knit or nurse her child.

In the winter night the light, the bell, sometimes the deep fog horn would sound.

And those at sea would chart and steer a course, safe in that way at least.

The keeper tending the light in the high wind-shuddering lantern peering into

snow or darkness, knew he and the light had done the best, the best they could.

Long-gone the lighthouse keeper and his wife, long-gone the many wrecks

so must we save the lighthouse?

Is there “forever”on this rocky wreck-strewn shore?

2 thoughts on “The Lighthouse

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