The Quarryman

The Quarryman
721 The quarryman surveys his lot,
With years of mining done.
The layers of the earth lay bare,
Most granite stones expunged.
725 And underneath those mighty rocks
The secrets of the land
Revealed themselves to quarryman
From pebbles and loose sand.
Throughout the project he had found
730 The types of myst’ries three –
The first of which were things you hide
For never to be seen.
Quite early in the harvest dig,
He chanced on a sealed box.
735 He fumbled for his heavy spade,
Then struck the pesky lock.
Within were letters never sent,
A love that could have been.
But some revealed a jealousy
740 Akin to spiteful sin.
The box was hidden here one day
To aid someone forget –
A purposeful concealment of
A cache of life’s regrets.
745 The second type of thing unearthed
Were knickknacks that were lost.
These treasures found beneath the dirt
Weren’t missed so much as dropped.
The man collected pennies and
750 He had a stash of beads,
But as he dug still further down
He found antiquities.
An arrowhead of flint revealed
A tussle long ago –
755 Perhaps a battle ‘tween two tribes,
Or hunting with a bow.
And as the quarry rocks were broke
By years of strain and toil,
A fossil may appear as proof
760 Of life lost in this soil.
Now as the project starts to wrap,
The quarryman looks up.
He sees the final mystery
A hundred yards at once.
765 The layers show not something lost,
Nor hidden for to find,
But rather something that has grown,
Developed over time.
The folds of earth show gradu’l change,
770 The shifting of the plates.
And rising granite falls submerged,
A sed’ment cap its fate.
Some pass their days by searching hard
For meaning or for loot.
775 They search and seek without relent
Like hunters in pursuit.
But quarry shows this laborer
Things hidden, lost, or grown
Need not be sought, but can be found
780 By looking ’round alone.


<< Previous Poem (The Fisher)

The Fisher

The Fisher
661 Out on Ventura’s wooden pier,
The fisher cast his line.
The bait of squid, both pale and clear
Reflected sun’s first shine.
665 Some silent groups of grizzled men
In old and tattered hoods
Had rods stacked neatly in their rows
To catch more if they could.
So nothing was unusual
670 For fisher on that day.
He fit right in, just indistinct,
A smelly, coffeed stray.
But maybe that squid had a fate
Submersed beneath the sea,
675 For as it hit the water’s foam
Out jumped an enemy!
It rose! Its body, twelve feet long,
So huge, it seemed so near.
Its dorsal fin arced through the air
680 Then crash! It disappeared.
“Did you see that?!” The fisher screamed,
And broke the silent pact.
And though the group looked down on noise
A couple came to chat.
685 The fisher said just what he’d seen.
His line was taut as hell.
And though the others had their doubts,
They stayed and were compelled.
The fisher fought as the crowd grew,
690 For tourists heard and came.
A throng of forty intrigued fans
Propelled the stray to fame.
An hour passed, the burden grew.
The fisher dripped with sweat.
695 He doffed his jacket, then his shirt.
His arms were gleaming wet.
And then they saw the trophy fish,
A great white shark in flesh.
It surfaced with its giant nose
700 And puffed its fishy breast.
The shark resisted with great force.
The fisher strained and moaned.
All other fishers cut their lines;
The pier was his alone.
705 At first it led him ‘round the pier,
But soon, and as it fought,
It zig-zagged ‘tween the pylon trunks
And tangled up a knot.
The monster was so very stout,
710 And now the line was caught.
An hours-long grand spectacle
Had finally been lost.
The fisher cut his storied line.
The shark then swam away.
715 The crowd stood staring at the fish
Escaping from the fray.
Some fishing stories don’t seem real,
For men embellish tales.
But that day there were witnesses
720 Who saw him catch a whale.

Photo by Randy from Newbury Park, California, USA – The Early Man Catches the FishUploaded by PDTillman, CC BY 2.0, Link

<< Previous Poem (The Blacksmith)

Next Poem (The Quarryman) >>

The Blacksmith

The Blacksmith
601 A humble blacksmith lived down south.
His forge was too his home.
He was a serf to heat and steel,
so proved his ashened clothes.
605 The days of hamm’ring steel passed by.
His thoughts at times distract,
and though he forged with diligence,
his mind shifts to his craft.
He’s dedicated years to arms
610 that only hurt and kill,
but justice also flows from swords
to those men rife with guilt.
And smiths have armor to produce
which shield those gallant knights,
615 but armor saves some cruel bad men
who spread distrust and fright.
So is the blacksmith good or bad?
And is he wanting fault?
Are vendors too responsible
620 for deeds of he who bought?
One day a famous rebel man
came riding on his horse.
He galloped to the blacksmith’s house
and dictated with force:
625 “Make me a thousand breastplates, sir.
Meld twice as many swords.
Make spears and arrowheads abound.
I’m stocking up for war!”
Smith stared upon that rebel man
630 unable to believe.
An order such as this would make
him wealthy like the queen!
But then a sense of caution crept.
He asked quite practically:
635 “Why do you need these weapons, lord?
How will you pay your fee?”
The lord dissenter answered him:
“My reasons are my own.
But know that when I win this war
640 I’ll take my mighty throne.
I’ll pay you from the treasury.
The realm will hold no debt.
But first, produce the weapons, sir.
You’ll get no money yet .”
645 The smith thought hard and gave response:
Declined with an head shake.
The world stood still with lord provoked.
Had smith made a mistake?
Dissenter grunted grimly then
650 but did not brandish arms.
He spurred his warhorse onwards to
vast endless lands of farms.
The blacksmith breathed deep with relief,
reflected on the scene.
655 He just refused an evil man
and gold he could have gleaned.
But he’d refuse a good man, too
in similar event.
The reason smith denied that man:
660 A credit pays no rent.


<< Previous Poem (The Security Guard)

Next Poem (The Fisher) >>