THE INN AT THE END OF A LIFE

The sign at the inn swung like a gallows

the light lay low on the heath.

Old Ben was in his settle

sucking baccy through his teeth.

 

Puddles formed on the flagstones

where a one - eyed dog stood watch;

underneath a ragged sky

the inn was dark as a crotch,

 

except for a fire - lit window

that glowed like a winter star,

through which a cluster of faces took in

a man who stood at the bar.

 

They surrounded the place with pistols drawn

in the blackest of capes under the eaves

that dripped and dripped like widow's tears

from their hats and from their sleeves.

 

The man at the bar wore a coat and sword,

his hair held tight in a lavish bow;

all about was still with fear

like the shadows behind his back,

 

and in that silence that marks despair

he sensed his luck was running short

and crossed himself with a muttered prayer

as he thought of a maiden's loving sport.

 

The swordsman turned and left the inn

not a single word he'd uttered,

and in the draught a candle went out,

"good riddance," the barman muttered.

 

And so into the reckless night

they took him far across the moor,

this royalist they so despised

to face the bastard common law.

◄ LETTER FROM THE STREETS part 2

THE INN AT THE END OF A LIFE ►

Comments

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raypool

Sun 6th Jan 2019 21:22

Hi Martin. You put me in illustrious company, but I know how you mean, with the setting and the characters. Many thanks, and a happy new year to you too.

Ray

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Martin Elder

Sun 6th Jan 2019 14:55

This has elements of Treasure island in it for me and I cannot but expect to see Jim Hawkins and long John Silver present at the Admiral Benbow.
Great poem Ray
and a Happy New year too you

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raypool

Tue 1st Jan 2019 13:41

Cheers Big Sal. There's a certain comfort in rhyming, as you know; mine is like a big slipper compared with your fakir mat if I may make so bold! I re posted this as it fell off the end of the year.

Thanks for liking too Brian.

Ray

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Big Sal

Mon 31st Dec 2018 23:58

Beautifully woven tapestry here, Ray. I will return to read more for the New Year, that you can be sure of.

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