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The Rugged Newfoundlander (for Grandfather Dove)
The Rugged Newfoundlander
He sits silently on the wharf
As the sun rises over the sea
His hands tucked inside his oilskins
Seeking shelter from the breeze
That blows cold in the early morning The years of toil show on his face Burned in by wind and sun And long hard days upon the sea
From dawn 'till day is done
And beyond into the night But you never hear him complain Of the hardships he must endure For he is a breed, set apart
A special breed, that's for sure The rugged Newfoundlander Now that the fish have disappeared The plants have all closed down He stands silently on the wharf Looking at the boats, now run aground The past a memory Perhaps in time, they may return The plants, the boats and fish But who will brave the icy waters Who has this dream and wish Other than the rugged Newfoundlander
Epilogue (for Grandmother Dove)
Once again she walks the meadow
Rolling plains of yellow and green
She bends to pick a flower
To smell the aroma, fresh and clean
The winds that blow against her
As she walks down to the sea
Seem to be calling to her softly
"It's time you were coming with me"
A smile that erases the wrinkles
Brought about by so many years
Brightens the face of the woman
Chases away her worries and fears
Once again she walks the shoreline As the sun rises over the bay To show a single yellow flower And footprints slowly fading away
"A Poem of Home"
Sparrows sing the sweetest song
With seagulls singing right along
As the morning sun rises oâï¿½ï¿½er the hills
As dew, it bathes the daffodils
Skies so blue & Earth so green
The most heavenly sight I've ever seen
Barely a ripple from harbour to shore
I could stare - could listen forevermore
And, as I sit here all alone
I ask God to bless my humble home
And, I thank Him for this blessing so grand
That He made my home sweet Newfoundland
The sash no longer held glass panes
the ancient door now stood ajar
The windows facing on the bay
like dimming eyes, gazed off afar
Old paper peeling on the walls
as wind blew through the empty space
And moving ghostlike in the breeze
some tattered remnants of old lace
I thought I heard an echo of
some voices from those years before
When this was someone's hearth and home
as I looked through the creaking door
But likely it was just the wind
or perhaps some feeling in my mind
Or perhaps a spirit lingering on
from what was there in other times
Sacrifice (Wayne Taylor, Bonavista)
From harbours, islands, coves and bays
From tickles, reaches, capes and bights
Where peaceful labour marked the days
And quiet darkness ruled the night
They came in numbers, country wide
Enlisting at the nation's call
Because some foreign prince had died
And war had cast its violent pall
For king and country was the call
To fight for empire far afield
To stand and fight, and stand and fall
To change scull'nore for Lee Enfield
To change the country ridge at home
For bloody hills somewhere in France
To change a day out on the foam
For one at war with much less chance
Men used to trenching garden plots
behind some rail or layer fence
Dug foreign soil in muddy clots
For trenches for their own defense
And from them looked across the way
Of cratered, mud filled, no man's land
To where the enemy were arrayed
Poised to attack on the command
And when the whistle blew they climbed
out of the trench and into hell
And left their sudden dead behind
From rifle and artillery shell
No value placed on human life
Just sacrifice in someone's plan
Just nameless casualties of strife
From quiet place in Newfoundland.
The Letter (Wayne Taylor, Bonavista)
Amid the rifle fire and shells
that were the way of no man's land
He thought of those he left at home
and took a pencil in his hand
On scrap of paper tinged with red
he thought a bit and wrote some lines
To send back home to Newfoundland
to reach them by the autumn time
The screaming of the howitzer shells
flung from behind the front trench line
Towards the enemy just ahead
did not disturb his peace of mind
For it was now so common-place
the deadly pattern of the days
He crouched below the parapet
and tried to think of what to say
There was not much that he could write
amid the death, the noise, the shells
He couldn't tell his mom and dad
the trenches were a living hell
Instead he wrote and asked them of
the fish, the gardens, and the bay
And tell them they should worry not
for he'd be home right soon, some day
He broke the pencil lead before
he finished writing to send home
And then took out his bayonet
to put another sharp point on
He stood to look across the top
across the muddy no man's land
Then fell into the front line trench
A rifle round from sniper's hand
My Heart Calls it Home
The roar of the planes engines as we land on the runway, cannot drown out the sound of my pounding heart, for I have just landed in the place of my dreams, the island of Newfoundland. I have come "from away" as they say, To this quiet land of wonder, And as the plane comes to a stop, I can already feel the warmth of this place, For to come here is to be wrapped in the arms of the people, And the culture, that is known no where else in this world. I was not born here, but my soul lives here, In a town called Corner Brook, and a place called Howley. My family lives here, and they raised me for a short while each summer, And this is where my heart decided to stay, a long, long time ago. Many people here that I meet will ask, Where is "home"? The answer is always the same I live in Michigan, but my home is right here. When I am not in Newfoundland, I live in a stressful world, And when it all gets too much, I close my eyes, And go back to the place I love. The memories of the fishing trips, And the family card games, And the sweet smell of the trees, Come flooding back to ease my worries. This is a place like no other, A place of beauty, A place of kindness, A place my heart will always call home. Lori Martin Almont, Michigan
I really didn't see you when I was born that night but when I was two and saw you I knew you were just right! When I got older, I played with you all day and I always thought to myself I hope she doesn't go away But on that day in March my most unlucky one the sweetest dog Allie was gone, no more fun I woke up in the morning with Dad just feeling the blues but when I asked what's wrong I didn't like the news Then I noticed his eyes were red I saw that Mom's were too Then I realized she's dead, what do I do? I just burst into tears that streamed down my face and at that moment I knew she was gone to heaven in space I hope that God takes care of you and plays with you all day Rest in Peace, Allie, 'cause now you're gone away - By Jack Vincent (This poem was written by our grandson, Jack, who is 10 years old. Three years ago in March, his dog Allie died. March of this year, Jack wrote this poem, typed it and printed it off without any assistance. We were amazed at what he had written.)
Down By The Stage
Down by the Stage Down by the stage in the landwash, where the salt water laps at the shore; Young boys catch tomcods and sculpins, their playground: the ocean at their door. Down by the stage in the landwash, where there's a lun spot from the wind; Old men stand around there and tell yarns, as one ends, then another begins. Down by the stage in the landwash, there are memories of yesterday's way; In the boards and the tubs and the longers; and the boats they used out on the bay. Down by the stage in the landwash, where many a trap-skiff has come in; The stage-head now weathered and leaning, is the essence of what we have been. Wayne Taylor, Bonavista
By Ron Young Way in over the barrens Where the partridgeberries grow I quat down with my berry can Longside a fruitful row My mother's words came back to me When I had left that morning Of how to cope with little folk Were followed by this warning "Wear your sweater inside out While you're out picking berries 'Cause there've been other solo folk Whisked away by fairies" But my thoughts were elsewhere As I grubbed my way along Picking berries by the handful And whistling a song When I got me bucket full 'Twas warm there on the hill So I took me sweater off And sat down for a spell 'Twas then I heard the voices And saw the little creatures They had paws and claws and chomping jaws And un-angelic features I grabbed me Guernsey and I ran Like a general in rout And hauled that sweater o'er me head With the inside facing out They were near upon me As I pulled me sweater on But soon as it was round me back The devils were all gone I was left alone upon the hill Mother's counsel saved the day The little trick had turned them back And sent them on their way So if some day you feel inclined To go solo, picking berries Wear your sweater inside out Lest you're set upon by fairies
Old Uncle Abraham lived to ninety four
and was carried on the hill one winter's day
When blew a norâwest gale of fifty mile
and snow and spray came drifting off the bay
He had no other relatives around
his younger brother left long years ago
And made his way up to the Boston States
and never did return home to the cove
The local congregation all came by
as he was laid to rest while raged the storm
And mindful of the snow and of the cold
they hurried quickly back to kitchens warm
The winter that he died was fifty-three
no message, nor no visitor came by
As years moved quickly on, just memories
of Uncle Abraham remained sometimes
The old homestead just underneath the hill
was unattended and fell to decay
And no one paid attention to the spot
until a stranger came on summer's day
He seemed to have some knowledge of the cove
that couldn't have come from the internet
It was a mystery why he had come
to look around the cove a little bit
He never made an effort to converse
nor did he knock at all upon a door
Just walked around the harbour and the cove
as if he had been here some time before
He seemed to pay attention to the place
where Uncle Abraham Mouland used to be
Although the remnants of the old homestead
were long overgrown by full-sized aspen trees
And likewise he poked through the spruce and fir
that all but covered ancient marble stones
Then nearing twilight got into his car
and in a little while he was gone
Wayne Taylor (Bonavista)
Old Lace (Wayne Taylor, Bonavista)
Inside an ancient window frame
hung with old lace from years gone by
And flapping in the winter's wind
there in an empty, darkened eye
The snowflakes fell in thickening form
the harbingers of winter's storm
Across the cove the derelict
old houses with their window frames
looked back across the grey wind lop
and from both sides each saw the same
a gauzy view through ancient lace
that women left there in this place
A time when quiet lives were lived
without too many fears or cares
a time when silence didn't reign
supreme and there were people here
to make the cove into a place
with human voice and human face
Sequel (Wayne Taylor, Bonavista)
Old Uncle Abraham died in fifty-three
he lived alone, and he was ninety-four
In on the hill amid the spruce and fir
he was laid to his rest along this shore
The local congregation all came by
no visitor or message from away
For Uncle Abraham had no other one
his younger brother moved away and stayed
His younger brother left long years ago
and to the Boston states he made his way
He never made a contact once he left
No visits or no letters were conveyed
Though memories of old Abraham remained
there in the cove, the old home-place decayed
There was no one to claim, no one to care
and years and decades drifted down the way
With time the old homestead was overgrown
within a grove of full-size aspen trees
And in the centre place there was the sign
of where the house foundations used to be
The old house had long years ago fell in
and rotted boards still littered on the ground
The foundation stones that once defined the house
still stood although some were all scattered 'round
The visitor came in a rented car
into the cove one sunny, summer's day
It was apparent to those who observed
he was a one who came here from away
It sure seemed like he knew his way around
though just a summer traveller to the cove
He looked at the foundations of the house
that still could be seen in the aspen grove
For in the clearing one could clearly see
the rotted remnants of a house and store
A rock foundation made with square edged stones
where uncle Abraham lived those years before
But someone from away would not have known
that such a place one time existed there
And if they never asked about such things
how could one even know and be aware
His brother when he reached to twenty years
left for the Boston states in eighty-five
To seek a better life from in the cove
where fishing gave enough just to survive
There he found work and in the course of time
he prospered and forgot about the cove
He married and raised his family
far from the cove and from the salty sea
Though in his older years he often thought
about the cove, and all the time long gone
He told them all about from whence he came
before the time when he came up-along
His sons in turn told their sons of the place
where Josiah had come from those years ago
Josiah's grandson now in aging years
thought that this place was somewhere he should go
He took a flight to Newfoundland and then
he drove for seven hours to the bay
And sought the cove from where Josiah came
and where his father had refused to stay
He found where his grandfather had spent life
and Uncle Abraham though both were unknown
He visited in on the hill where trees
had most of the white marble overgrown
As twilight came and evening shadows fell
he got into the car and drove away
Content that he had seen what he had seen
and knew there was no point for him to stay
But now he knew from where life had been given
and seen the spot of ground from whence he came
He felt that now his life was more complete
to see from whence had come the family name
Spring In Newfoundland
Spring in Newfoundland
It's spring in Newfoundland again
the equinox has come
But we don't have spring weather yet
for winter time still runs
The woods are still in winter garb
there' lots of ice and snow
And winter clothes are still required
for temperatures are cold
The equinox don't always mean
spring is reality
It's just the textbook date that we
learned in Geography
The sun may be on its way back
towards the northern line
But that provides no guarantee
that weather will be fine
For likely past the equinox
pack ice will come to shore
And with the gales of northern wind
cold weather is in store
The skies will be more grey than blue
no tender shoots of green
Upon the alders and the birch
until May will be seen
But once the date of equinox
comes by, to us it seems
That winter sometime will pass by
and spring is not a dream
A time when nature warms a bit
A time with softer wind
A time to look to summertime
Before autumn starts again.
Wayne Taylor (Bonavista)
I walked along the snowy lane,
between the fence on either side;
out to the barren harbour point,
now ringed with ice up to high tide
And looking cross the heaving ocean
an ancient saltbox staring west
grey and weathered, solitary
like some seabird on cliff-top nest
It stood upon this rocky outcrop,
encrusted with the frozen spray;
That was created by the west wind
that had been raging down the bay
The bay and sky and house were weathered
the same color, a dirty grey
Not much splash of color offered
on this drab, February day
And then I noticed in one window
behind the tatters of old lace
A little splash of red that showed
itself within just one glass space
A plastic rose, in parlor window
that in this time seemed out of place
Yet it spoke of some warmer moments
that had now vanished without trace
Wayne Taylor (Bonavista)
Making Sarah Cry
Making Sarah Cry
He stood among his friends from school, he joined their childhood games.
Laughing as they played kickball, and when they called poor Sarah names..
Sarah was unlike the rest, she was slow and not as smart.
And it would seem to all his friends, she was born without a heart.
And so he gladly joined their fun of Making Sarah Cry,
but somewhere deep within his heart he never knew just why?
For he could hear his Mothers voice, her lessons of right and wrong.
Playing over and over in his head, just like a favorite song.
"Treat others with respect son, the way you would want them treating you,
and remember when you hurt others, someday someone might hurt you"
He knew his Mother wouldn't understand the purpose of their game.
Of teasing Sarah, who made them laugh as her own tears fell like rain.
The funny faces that she made, and the way she'd stomp her feet.
Whenever they mocked the way she walked, or the stutter when she'd speak.
To him she must deserve it, because she never tried to hide?
And if she truly wanted to be left alone, then she should stay inside.
But everyday she'd do the same, she'd come outside to play.
And stand there with tears upon her face, to upset to run away.
The game would soon be over though, as the tears dropped from her eyes.
For the purpose of their fun, was Making Sarah Cry.
It was nearly two whole months had past, he hadn't seen his friends.
And he was certain they all must wonder,
What had happened and where'd he been?
So he felt a little nervous as he limped his way to class,
He hoped no one would notice...
He prayed no one would ask.
About that awful day..
The day his bike met with a car,
And left him with a dreadful limp,
And a jagged-looking scar.
So he held his breath a little, as he hobbled into the room.
Where inside he saw a "Wecome Back!" banner,
And lots of red balloons.
He felt a smile cross his face, as his friends all smiled too.
And he couldn't wait to play outside...
His favorite thing to do.
So the second that he stepped outdoors and saw his friends all waiting there,
He expected a few pats on the back but instead,
They all stood back and stared..
He felt his face grow hotter, as he limped to join their side.
For a friendly game of kickball, and Making Sarah Cry.
An awkward smile crossed his face, as he heard somebody laugh.
And he heard the words " Hey freak! Where'd you get the ugly mask?"
He turned expecting Sarah, but Sarah was not to be seen.
It was the scar upon his own face, that caused such words, so mean.
He joined their growing laughter, trying hard not to give in.
To the awful urge inside to cry, or the quivering of his chin.
" They are only teasing", he made himself believe.
" They are still my friends, they'd never think of hurting me"
But the cruel remarks continued, about his scar and then his limp.
And he knew if he shed a single tear, they'd label him a whimp.
And so the hurtful words went on, and in his heart he wondered why?
But he knew without a doubt that the hurtful game would never end,
Until they made him cry..
And just when a single tear had formed,
He heard a voice speak out from behind..
" Leave him alone you bullies, for he's a friend of mine!"
He turned to see poor Sarah, determination on her face.
Standing up for one of her own tormentors,
And willing to take his place.
And when his friends done just that,
Trying to make poor Sarah cry.
The time he didn't join in,
And at last understood why.
" Treat others with respect son, the way you would want them treating you,
And remember when you hurt others,
Someday someone might hurt you "
It took a lot of courage, but he knew he must be strong.
For at last he saw the difference between what is right and wrong.
And Sarah didn't seem so weird, through his understanding eyes.
And now he knew he'd never play again, the game of Making Sarah Cry.
It took several days of teasing, and razzing from his friends,
But when they saw his strength they chose to be like him.
And now out on the playground a group of kids meets everyday,
For a friendly game of kickball,
And teaching their new friend Sarah, how to play...
A Heartful Poem by: Mike Hannon
There were toys to make Hay to rake Whistles to whistle Tin can for a kettle Rubber for slingshots Cans for crab and tansy pots A need to build toy boats And chasing old stinky goats Mixing pies from the mucks And building toy trucks In the spring the snow melts We have to make stilts Hockey sticks from crooked trees Boat builder used them for knees Playing hide and seek You wouldn't find some for a week There were slides to ride Crab apples to hide Catching frogs in the bogs Carving boats from short logs Playing hopscotch, piddley and four corner cush Building old smoky camps on the hill in the bush Pushing our rollers, bikes and barrel hoops Stealing crab apples - oops! Catching old stinky, sticky conners Pushing snow off the ice with our slide runners Our mothers used to say sometimes we were harden Because we were late coming home from Am Perry's garden Going berry picking at Island Pond Brook Bologna and caplin on a smoky fire to cook Some would drink tea, enjoy it and whistle Most of us had good old lemon crystal Trouting had to be the best fun of all We wanted to do it winter, spring, summer and fall CArching conners, flatties, sculpins, caplin, tom cods and squid We used homemade jiggers from hot melted lead Squid jigging was dirty, disgusting and caused quite a fuss But that was just right for boys like us Climbing rocks, cliffs, old barns and trees Getting spanked on going home for having pants with no knees On the wharfs after supper with no adults around Thanks be to God that none of us drowned Killing the gannets that came to our barrel head for scraps In the afternoon going with fishermen to their traps Borrowing the old punt from old Mr. Ed And going out in the evening to jig us some squid Playing spotlight at night On windy days flying a kite Chasing Jack-O-Lantern and spooks Wearing tin cans on our boots Tying old coats and brin bags behind our bikes was a must That way we could fly lots of dust We were always on the run Having some kind of fun Doing all the above was exciting and cool It's a wonder we found time to turn up at school I think for now that's enough of my garbles Before some of you think I have lost my MARBLES!