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Tuesday 20 November 2012

More things there are than this world dreams of

Three years and one day after he'd retired
the coastguard cottages came up for sale.
He bought the one they'd lived in, he and Jan,
when he had been the guard along that coast.

From colleagues they'd received a whirly line,
a carriage clock -- and his binoculars.
The latter he had used to study the 
sea birds -- in truth too powerful, but still

he'd persevered and made himself a name.
Two years in their new home and Jan had died.
He'd found no use for glasses after that,
and so they'd hung forlornly from their hook

to snuggle up for warmth to Jan's old  coat.
First thing each morning now he'd take the path
of stones that Jan had laid to the cliff top
and sit and watch the sun come up -- or not.

First anniversary of his Jan's death
he took his lap top with him on his walk
and sat and watched the video they'd made,
the two of them together in the bay.

The day was windy so he'd left his coat,
soaked through the night before, out on the line --
and playfully, had pegged Jan's coat beside
it, telling them No hanky panky, not

until I'm back! Up on the cliff as he
had run the video, he'd heard her voice
as background sounds to their amazing -- but
quite silent--  shots. Disturbed, he'd made for home.

The coats were missing from the line. What's more,
the front door stood ajar. Inside... nothing.
Not until the bedroom. There they were.
Laid side by side, arms around each other.

Watching them appeared to spark them into
action, for now they rolled around, writhing,
opening and closing  rhythmically,
swallowing each other and contorting

into shapes he afterwards could not put
into words. Then came the sounds of laughter,
kissing, grunts and groans... That was the moment
he first saw the wading bird. Pure white,

it stood high up on his tall tallboy,two
green eyes locked on to him, its long curved beak
opening and closing rhythmically
like the coats. The sounds must come from it! he

thought. Soon the sounds embraced Jan's voice. Its warm
distinctive intonation was too much:
He left the room, the cottage, Jan; ran down
the path to disappear for ever from

his friends -- who still get messages from him:
texts recounting endlessly the strangest
happenings -- of which this tale tells just
a few. They come from some black cyber hole.

For the image which forms the basis for this prompt I am indebted to Tess Kincaid at The Mag


Brian Miller said...

seriously fascinating dave...you need to novelize this one...an intriguing tale...i wonder as well at what he saw, was it even real? the bird? or just another step in his descent into madness...or perhaps he is the sane one....

Tigerbrite said...

A gripping tale. Drawn through the veil to the other world.

Daydreamertoo said...

I agree with Brian, very intriguing characters in this. Another mystery from your pen. Good one!

Leovi said...

A great poem, very imaginative and perfectly adapted to the image. Greetings.

Helen said...

... I don't even have words to describe my reaction to your Mag! chills for hours???

Maude Lynn said...

This is wild!

21 Wits said...

Oh my I like where you went with this, and one could read so much between each line! Nicely thought out.

Berowne said...

A remarkable story; quite moving...

Kat Mortensen said...

I'm with Helen, speechless. Draws you right in, and grabs you.

Susan Anderson said...

Wow. That is one great story!


Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...


I was truly drawn right into the scene, the setting and the whole scenario....It ended too soon and with some unanswered questions...An amazing and powerful pull, rather like the sea itself:)
It makes me glad and relieved to live well away from a coastal path!!!
Enjoyed visiting you again Dave...

JBinford-Bell said...

What everyone else said.

Peggy said...

I love tales that get strange like this one. There are so many things out there, so many possibilities! Write on!

izzy said...

This is just grand! I especially love the bird--THANKS!

DCW said...

What an elegant take on a lonely image.

haricot said...

These stuffs, coats, video, bird,
thier room and so on, tell the story well. The situnation is not happy but he had happy time with his wife, and the warmth infuses me through the lines.

Mary said...

Dave, you are a story teller par excellence. This writing really captivated me.

Cloudia said...

mastery pokes it's nose into a wonderful new field. . . You heard Brian M: "This is something."

So glad I've wised up and now visit daily to see your high-wire cyber performance. We wheel and delight in the digital blue!

Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

~ > < } } ( ° >

> < 3 3 3 ( ' >

><}}(°> ~

Silent Otto said...

Stranger and stranger, but who knew ? , is consciousness what we think ?, the sense of inevitability made my hair stand on end, the clock is ticking Kronos , and thanks for wishing . How sad .

Ygraine said...

Descent into madness,
or heightened perception?
A disturbing, yet deeply moving tale I cam fully identify with.

Obviously, being biased, I have to answer the latter.
I really, really want his first impressions to be true.
But, then, I AM an incurable romantic!

Dave King said...

I did wonder as I was writing it whether it should have been a short story, so much thanks for your comment. I also like the thought that he might be the sane one.

Welcome and my thanks for your comment. It is really good to know what you thought.

Thank you. Very much appreciated.

Thank you for saying this. Good to know you thought so.

Wow! A real boost to hear this. Thanks so much.

Mama Zen
Great response to have! Thanks.

Karen S
Hi! Welcome to my blog. Many thanks for commenting with such kind words.

Thank you. That's really good to hear.

Kind words. Much thanks.

Lovely to hear. Thank you.

Thank you so much for this, a valuable comment. Hope you were not bothered by the unanswered questions.

A warm welcome to you, and many thanks for your visit and your words of encouragement.

Really good to have you joining us. Thanks for doind so and for your kind words.

Hi! A warm welcome to my blog. Much thanks - especially for mentioning the bird. I found that very pleasing.

Welcome, really good to have your company. Thank you for your comment. It is much appreciated.

Yes, he certainly had happy times with his wife. Thank you.

Very good of you to say this. It really does help. Thank you.

Wow! What a comment! I shall prize that one, and no mistake! Thank you.

You set out the options clearly. I shall not comment on them!! Much thanks for your continued and very valued support.

Tess Kincaid said...

This would make a wonderful short story...I love a good ghost story...well done Dave...

Unknown said...

You should publish this Dave. It is such a descriptive piece and the world's baby boomers are just at the right stage of their lives to enjoy it. Thank you for sharing your writing talents here.

Belva Rae Staples said...

This is just strange enough to be wonderful!

hyperCRYPTICal said...

What everybody else said from me too Dave.

Anna :o]

Helena said...

Right up my street/path is mini-mysteries! Cleverly written!