The Perfect Shore

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


The Perfect Shore is a short story told in verse. The sea captain's tale

Submitted: April 17, 2018

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Submitted: April 17, 2018

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 The Perfect Shore

 

By

 

Billy Lou Silver

 

 

Through smoke of cigar

at the end of the bar,

his presence every night.

quietly drinking

quietly thinking

sinking his thoughts out of sight.

 

 

The whisky soaked lugger

that briny old bugger

would morning sun set sail. 

and for the price of  drink

he’d change how I think

as he began to tell me his tale

 

 

That four sheeted skipper

was no day-tripper

but a sailor of seven seas

-Til a storm left him battered

and his ship mates were scattered,

sea water up to his knees

 

 

Abandoned alone

lost and wind blown,

A captain without a crew

No rudder, no mast,

he was the last

and knew his days were few.

 

 

Parched and delirious

his state became serious 

and made final words to his maker.

But his soul’s introspection

Found a paltry collection  

due to the deep blue undertaker.

 

 

 

“To the lovers I’ve promised,

to good friends-dishonest

to the hopes of all others deserving.

To the dreams I’ve snuffed out

by my ego- puffed out

selfish, jealousy serving

 

 

I’m a man who fell short

this, my final report

On love- I turned my back.”

Then faded to dark

while his lost lonely barque..

lit golden, rising from black

 

 

It was not the sound

of running aground

but the smell of corn cakes cooking.

Then laughter he heard

and a calling seabird.

To the bridge he frailly went looking

 

 

“An island, it seemed, 

as I could not have dreamed.

All lush, mountains and mists.

From wide sweeping sands.

I saw waving hands.

It’s true,” the captain insists.

 

 

“There, smiling faces,

then friendly embraces

As if I'd been expected”

How shaking he’d stepped

then gratefully wept.

“Like family I was accepted.”

 

 

 

Of that place and his days

He seldom says

but calls it The Perfect Shore.

If each day is a measure

filled mostly with pleasure,

Then work is work no more.

 

 

His blessings were crowned 

when a woman he found 

who’d love him for forever.

“How could it have been

that she had seen

the man that I had never?”

 

 

“How perfectly, 

she belonged to me. 

We could not come undone.

But I knew my worth 

was like sand to the earth,

Like a candle to her sun”.

 

 

Says the drunken old salt,

“There’s something at fault

when heaven’s grace be given.”

Then drains his drink

and begins to think.

“Must to its end always be driven?”

 

 

Oh happy life

hand in hand with wife

telling her his stories

Of former days

and drunken ways.

A braggarts former glories

 

 

Pay heed pay heed

for it’s here as you read

another storm arises.

The braggart, the drink

leads not where they think

no matter who advises

 

 

“Just a little tipple.

I’m sure my ship’ll

get me there and here.

See old faces again,

a chance to explain

over a jug of beer”

 

 

When anchor was dropped

in the tavern he stopped

and started to exclaim

Of his amazing return

But would sadly then learn

No one remembered his name

 

 

And as each year goes by

he sets out to try 

find his island wife-once more.

But in an ocean of forever

he has never never never

found that perfect shore

 

 

And so there he sits

broken in bits

talking of yesterday.

Once lovers beach walking,

now stuck here slurred talking

growing old, lonely and grey.

 

 

 

 


© Copyright 2020 BillyLouSilver. All rights reserved.

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