Lighthouse Keeper Poem by John A'Hern

Lighthouse Keeper

Lighthouse keeper vacancy announced,
Envelope delivered, contents read aloud,
A smile turned into laughter
Then into a shout.

Applicants all sitting quietly,
Into the room strides a man
Age etched on his face,
A cheery smile a sparkle in his eyes.

Sat himself down in front of group,
Questions asked and answered,
Nothing is written down,
The old man just watched and listened.

He touched our hero on the shoulder
The job young man is yours.
The day arrived, followed directions,
Arrived at a place never seen before.

Waves raced in toward the rocks of a lonely cove,
Met with the lighthouse keeper.
Somehow seemed rather sprightly
Was this the same older man seen before?

No time to waste, up the steps they climbed,
Reached the top, and gasped at the scene.
50 metres off the ground sat this whitewashed pinnacle
One eye that rotated, his at night to maintain.

Months of training, time to let go the reins
A shake of the hand, the old man disappeared.
Days turned into weeks and months
Tending to the light that shined so bright.

Standing at the perimeter of the one-eyed monster,
Safety rails in place, sometimes holding tightly.
Voices are hearkened, that is absurd,
Cries of distress carried by the wind?

Down the steps faster than ever before,
Out into the night, all on his own.
The white foam of the waves
Revealing nothing, did he imagine.

Flashlight scouring the sea
Human lighthouse surveying the scene,
No sign of wreckage, voices no more
Standing and watching, hour after hour.

Daylight brought the sunshine
His eyes met with a sad sight
Bodies on the rocks, how can this be?
Down the steps, this time in a dream sequence.

Stood and looked at life taken,
Local lifeboat crew comforted a broken man.
Evening arrived, he could not eat
If he closed his eyes demons appeared.

Holding the safety rails tighter than normal,
Dangerous voices inside him were calling
Throw yourself off repeated constantly,
His grasp relaxed, he had let go.

Coastguard visit found our hero,
An old man stepped forth from the shadows
Asked for cremation and ownership of ashes,
Ashes were scattered in places he knew.

The lighthouse now manned by someone new,
On stormy evenings, as they hold the rail
A figure would appear as bright as day,
A voice was heard, never ever let go.

Monday, February 20, 2017
Topic(s) of this poem: career,lives,loneliness,safety
Rather a long prose, sorry about that. After reading about the lighthouses of days gone by and leading up to the one's of today. My mind and thoughts drifted into how the keeper's of these pillars that seemed so lonely standing there, dealt with the lonely life.
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