Saint Elmo And The Light

     My friend Bim, (see “Honors”) sent me some pictures today from the fisherman’s/seaman’s memorial in Gloucester, Massachusetts. To offer me an inspiration for a poem dedicated to those sailors who have been lost at sea. While the sailors in the following poem would not be lost, they did sail out of Gloucester, and around Cape Ann. Point Judith is also a real place, located in the state of Rhode Island, and though I do not know of a lighthouse there now, it is possible that once upon a time…

Saint Elmo And The Light

A man approached the house,

on Judith light,

a seafarer, for sure,

by choice, or plight.

Where he saw an old man,

sitting in his chair,

rocking on the porch,

seemingly, without care.

He, extended his right hand,

with greeting, and a smile,

and inquired, of the old man,

if he, might sit awhile.

The old man nodded, and gestured,

to a vacant seat,

sit down” he said,

and rest, your weary feet.

Captain Rogers, is my name,

the stranger said,

I’ve come to see the man,

without whom, I would be dead.”

You see, I sailed out of Gloucester,

aboard, the Rachel Mann,

on waters calm,

around the Cape of Ann.”

For three days full, and nights,

the stars, were all aligned,

then the nor’east wind,

pushed us far, off-line.”

The rain that had been falling,

shifted then to snow,

and as the sea, rose up,

the gale began to blow.”

 “With our bearings lost,

and without sky, to see,

we knew not then,

just where, that we might be.”

It was then there in,

the stormy night,

that we, first caught glimpse,

of this here, Judith light.”

Now, the old man grinned,

a wide and knowing smile,

he had heard, the tales before,

of a ship in trial.

Being tossed about, like bobbers,

on a string,

and hearing in the night,

the siren sing.

But, the sailor continued,

with his tale,

fearing that his ship,

and crew would fail.

And how, it was the light,

that, had kept them off the bottom,

if not for it, his crew and he,

would be soon forgotten.

It’s brilliance, had given,

them their warning,

they turned about, and waited,

until, the storm had passed, the morning.

When, in the bright of day,

all hands had seen,

the peril, that awaited them,

if not, for Judith’s beam.

The old man spoke at last,

and he said to him,

I’m glad there was no loss,

 to life or limb.”

But, I’m not the one,

that you should seek,

it’s Saint Elmo, to whom,

you wish to speak.”

The patron saint of all,

who sail the sea,

it was he, who lit the light,

it was not me.”

For, that shining light,

up there, in the tower,

for three days, past a week,

has been deprived, of power.

Jack Downing

July 2009

“They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep.”

psalms 107, 23-24

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About poemsandponderings

I stand alone to gaze upon my days and years gone by. I've laughed, I've cried, I've loved and loathed, but now, I can't remember why! ~Jack Downing~
This entry was posted in Americana, apparitions, blessings, Cape Ann, command, craft, Earth and Us, Elders, epics, Gloucester, God, history, Hurricane, Land Lubbers, life, Massachusetts, men, oceans, old days, poet, Point Judith, rain, religion, Rhode Island, sailors, Saint Elmo, seafarers, ships, Spirits, spiritual, stars above, the shore, warning, Windward surf, Winter. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Saint Elmo And The Light

  1. Beth Ann says:

    I am a huge lighthouse fan so of course I loved this poem!!! Very nice, Jamocha!!! I really liked it and I loved your Land Lubber tag!!! :-) Rusty

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