poet David Lewis Paget

David Lewis Paget

The Port Of Dreams

I once had a special friend at school,
His name was Daniel Hare,
He would dream through maths and geometry
For his mind was never there,
I would nudge him in the ribs each time
That the teacher turned to look,
And slide my hand across, to turn
To the right page, in his book.

He’d get this distant look in his eyes
And slump back into his seat,
And tell me then at the break, he’d been
In Ireland, digging peat,
He’d roam the great Canadian Plains,
Was there at Austerlitz,
And hid in a London cellar with
His mother during the Blitz.

The only subject he really loved
Was the study of history,
And then he’d sit on the edge of his seat
Enthralled at the mystery,
But Physics, Maths and Biology
He said, was leaving him cold,
He’d rather be there with Francis Drake
On a search for Spanish gold.

We went our separate ways, of course,
I didn’t see him for years,
Then came on him in a boarding house
Where he’d suffered some reverse,
His life, he said, was a shambles, he
Could never hold down a job,
His mind had continued to wander
From Berlin, and to Cape Cod.

His eyes were sunken, his skin was grey
I noted his sallow cheeks,
‘I dream too much in the day, ’ he said,
‘And I just can’t get to sleep.’
I walked with him in a lonely cove
Where the moonlight shed its beams,
‘I need to find me a ship, ’ he said,
‘And sail to the Port of Dreams.’

I asked him why he never had met
And married a local girl,
He said he’d met a girl in his dreams
But she didn’t live in the world.
‘She waits for me on the other side
Of a wide and windswept Bay,
Not in this life of broken dreams,
She leaves at the break of day.

A week went by and a storm came in,
He wasn’t there by the stove,
I made my way in the pouring rain
Where his footsteps led, to the cove,
I found him sat, his back to a rock
With a wild, unseeing stare,
And knew he’d gone to follow a dream
As the sea spray soaked him there.

For out in the bay a Barquentine
Had pitched and tossed in the storm,
A ghostly lantern hung from the mast
As the spars and the timbers groaned,
A figure clung to the foredeck yards
And waved as the wind had screamed,
While the barque turned west where the sun had set
And sailed for the Port of Dreams.

8 March 2014

Topic(s) of this poem: fantasy

Poem Submitted: Friday, March 7, 2014
Poem Edited: Tuesday, March 11, 2014

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