The Ol’ Lighthouse

“Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.” —W.H. Auden

“Meraki: (V.) To do something with soul, creativity, or love; to leave a piece and essence of yourself in your work.”

“I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry: that is, prose = words in their best order; poetry = the best words in the best order.” –Samuel Taylor Coleridge

There sure is no better definition of what I’m doing as I write these true stories in prose than that described above by W.H. Auden. For I’m expressing my memorized feelings of events and places from years and years ago. Events that happened on the sea and places I adored during my fishing career. The ol’ Lighthouse on Boar’s Head close to my home port was one of those places I adored. This little poem is an expression of my feelings I held for that ol’ Boar’s Head Light.


The Lighthouse

It sits high up on a piece of ledge overlooking the passage and the bay.
Since time immemorial it has been doing the same thing in the same way.
It sits there patiently all through the day waiting for the night.
For that’s when it will find its purpose and shine its light.

But it’s more than a lighthouse for it has a dual function to play.
It’s equipped with a foghorn which it blows night or day.
This function was a Godsend to fishermen and mariners before radar,
For it’s difficult to find the passage when fog hides the light from afar.

That ol’ lighthouse may seem like a trivial thing to those who don’t go to sea,
But that’s a false assumption; it’s as far from that as it can possibly be.
I’ve sailed past that old familiar lighthouse more times than I can tell,
Whenever I was leaving the port, it always seemed to bid me farewell.

Each time I sailed past it I felt a sense of security without fail,
I knew that on my return it would be there to guide me, even in a gale.
As it receded into the distance it seemed its gaze followed our boat,
And also, for others, it seemed to be keeping an eye out.

My intellect knows it’s an inanimate object and on its own plays no active role,
But to the feelings of my heart it’s not that at all, but actually has a soul.
I like to believe that when I returned, which was usually at night,
It was watching for my boat and really happy to show me its light.

Or if it was foggy, which is more likely than not, it was happy to warn,
With that mournful, but reassuring, sound of its horn.
Many boats found their way safely home in days past,
Following nothing but the sound of that ol’ foghorn’s blast.

It seems those who follow the sea build relationships with foghorns and lights,
For deep inside they know how truly paramount are their sounds and sights.
It’s difficult to explain just how reassuring it was, when on a dark and windy night,
The familiar flashes from that ol’ lighthouse came into sight.

They were far more than flashes of light for there was a message in their rays,
Which could only be read by those who truly followed the sea and its ways.
“Your navigating is right, you have once again come safely home with your boat,”
was the silent message that reassured my heart and canceled all doubt.

It’s difficult to explain the attachment developed with that lighthouse over the years,
It built up because of the steadfastness and reliability that lessened some fears.
For there’s not much in this world that one can totally depend on for sure,
But that ol’ lighthouse is an exception, always dependable and secure.

I’ve long since retired from the sea but some experiences will never leave my mind,
Like that fateful night long ago while I struggled, that ol’ lighthouse seemed so kind.
It seemed to be flashing just for me, telling me that I would be okay,
Whether that’s true or not; who among us knows enough about life to say?

It seemed real to me as I struggled in the whirlpools going around and around,
For each time I saw that ol’ lighthouse flash, my directions were found.
As I sit here and think of that experience, that long ago night,
I find it so fresh in my mind, as if that ol’ lighthouse is helping me write.
The end…


Thank you for visiting this site. I am truly grateful.

“Love is your safety. Fear does not exist. Identify with love, and you are safe. Identify with love, and you are home. Identify with love, and find your Self.” –ACIM

“Veganism is believing that an animal’s life is worth more than a sandwich. That’s it! That’s how simple it is.” –The Spiritual Vegan



8 thoughts on “The Ol’ Lighthouse

  1. “My intellect knows is an inanimate object and on its own plays no active role, But to the feelings of my heart it’s not that at all, but actually has a soul. /…”Your navigating is right, you have once again came safely home…”/ …It seemed to be flashing just for me”.
    A deep journey within the Soul. It’s very profound Walter. Thanks so much for sharing this. Blessings. Always LOVE to you. Gratitude.! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Any words I write will not do justice to how your poetry makes one feel. It elevates us and makes us part of your journey, of your experiences, your trials, your landscapes. We become a small part in all and are grateful for it. Keep writing, Walter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for this. I truly appreciate it


      • I was born on an island with its very own lighthouse. There is an aura about them that your poem captures beautifully. My affinity for them makes me see the affection for the one you describe clearly, as only a poet like you could write about. I thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Walter, my words cannot fully explain the way your passion always comes through in your poems. You transform my imagination into being right there as you tell of all your experiences of your fishing days . This poem I especially like because of your deep soul connection with that lighthouse that faithfully guided you back to shore every time . I’ve always had a fascination and love for lighthouses also. Thankful that we can be a part of your journey by going back with you, as you so vividly explain to us your thoughts and feelings. Thank you for sharing, and keep on writing your beautiful poetry.


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