The Fisherman

Sitting on the beach watching the fisherman
casting their nets, hoping for a catch of the day.
Dreaming of a time when I am ready
to buy my own boat and nets to go fishing.
Equipment is important, as is experience out at sea,
you cannot hope to catch a fish without either.
I spend my days researching the best boats and nets,
watching the fishermen everyday, learning their skills.

The time eventually came when I bought a boat,
my nets were second-hand but in good order.
I spent my days dreaming of that big catch,
casting my nets to no avail, going hungry.
Still I dreamt of the good times ahead,
catching the one that would sustain my life.
Then out of the deep blue sea I caught my fish,
it came in easily, bringing much needed life.

After such a fine catch, I considered myself complete.
I forgot about my boat and nets, not thinking of the future.
They lay abandoned on the beach, bleaching in the sun
as I gorged myself on this wondrous bounty I had snared.
I thought this fish would last me a lifetime,
never thinking that the sustenance would run out.
Run out it did, now I find myself back on the beach,
repairing my nets, patching holes in my boat.

As I carry out my repairs, I look out to sea
watching the fishermen casting their nets once again.
I realise I am still so inexperienced as a fisherman,
having caught just one fish in all my life.
Needing to learn to cast my nets more efficiently,
spending more time assessing the other fishermen’s tactics.
Some seem careless, casting their nets hither and thither,
others seem more careful, waiting for tide and light.

Once again I am ready to go fishing,
to catch the fish of my dreams, sustain myself.
Will I do the same as before? Catch my fish,
abandoning my boat and nets, probably!
Greedy is not how I would describe myself,
one fish at a time is ample sustenance for me.
I do not fish for more when I have fish in my basket,
so I’ll sit in my boat, casting my nets, dreaming.

©2011 Trevor Litchfield

One Shot Wednesday

One Shot Wednesday- Week 51

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The Allotment (an afternoon in the sun)

Raised Bed Garden

Raised Bed Garden (Image by VeggieGardeningTips via Flickr)

Gardeners tend the soil,
weeding and feeding their bounty.
Building raised beds
for herbs and delicate plants.
Removing pests by hand,
or more innovative means.
Coffee grinds ward off slugs,
caring yet effective against the pests

Hoses lead across the paths,
bringing much need water.
Water soaks into the ground,
a cool drink in the midday sun.
Potatoes soak up the moisture,
cabbage funnel it down leaves.
This artificial irrigation,
keeping these plants alive.

Their tools kept clean and tidy,
their sheds fit for a kings visit.
Nets lay over the fruit bushes,
birds sit on the outside looking in.
Bees flit from flower to flower,
pollinating and collecting as they go,
this is the life many of us don’t know.

©2011 Trevor Litchfield

This poem is my entry for this weeks One Shot Wednesday

One Shot Wednesday

One Shot Wednesday

Friends, Soul Mates, Lovers.

This is a stream of thoughts, yet there is an inner meaning to these words and yes, it is hoped that a certain person reads this. This is very different from my normal poetry, I hope you like it. I have opened myself for you to discover if you so desire.

Friends, Soul Mates, Lovers.
All require different levels of commitment,
all require different levels of attention.
All but one are missing in this life.

Friends are that most important of acquaintances,
they share things you would not share with the other groups.
They share your desires,your secrets.
They share all the fun things in your life.

They could and often do become one of the others,
yet they will always remain friends first
because they know your desires,
they know your secrets.

Soul Mates, special in every way
yet difficult to describe.
They mean more to you than life itself,
maybe even more than a lover!

They know more than your desires,
they know the innermost you.
The you no one else sees,
the you, you hide from the world.

They understand that innermost you,
they empathise with it,
they compensate for it,
they are the one you never lose, even in parting.

Lovers! The one you give your heart to,
the one that destroys you when they leave.
The one you hope will understand you most
yet invariably, they understand you least.

If a Friend or Soul Mate becomes a lover,
the understanding you once had, is lost.
All reason seems to disappear,
when you become entangled in the bed sheets.

These words may be coming from hard earned lessons,
these remarks might seem jaded.
I would happily give my heart again,
I would like to meet the others first.

To meet a Soul Mate would be my desire,
one I could share the innermost me with.
Learn the innermost them.
Become more than a friend or lover.

I write in secret hope that you discover
these words specifically for you.
I already know what is to come
I already know it will be for life.

I do not ache within, as a lover might.
I know there is no ache within you.
Yet, we both know it will happen
when the time is right.

Soul Mate, if you read this, as I know you may.
I wait patiently, my world awaits you.
When you are ready to share your life with me.
I am ready to share my life with you.

©2011 Trevor Litchfield

Along the riverbank

Along the riverbank, where the tall reeds grow
Is a place of solitude with only natures silence
The sun shines through, reaching the reedy glade
Offering light for the thoughts within me
I lay me down on the flattened grass
A place I have lain so often this summer
Staring up into the blue and white heavens
Letting my world slip away, easing my soul
Muscles relax after the long walk by the water
Aches seem to drift away, even on this hard ground
As my muscles ease and so my mind is freed
Thinking of what might have been
Thinking of nothing at all, at least trying!
The swirls in the clouds bring life to the sky
Shapes of everyday common objects, formed
I delight in seeing these familiar visions
Common, yet shaped within my thoughts
Reeds rustle as the evening breeze moves in
Time to leave my place of hiding
Taking my place in a misunderstanding world

Marlow

Marlow

©2011 Trevor Litchfield

The Shining Levels: Book Review

The Shining Levels

You all know that I don’t normally write book reviews but today is different.

Over the weekend I read one of those books out of that box of books I bought Saturday afternoon. It was The Shining Levels by John Wyatt, it is autobiographical of his time as an estate worker in the Lake District.

As far as I can remember, this is only the second autobiography I’ve ever read, the other being Gordon Banks autobiography aeons ago. I find I have to let you all in on this one though. Although my copy is rather tired it is a fantastic read, especially if you are interested in a way of life that has all but disappeared. Mr Wyatt takes a job as an estate worker, his main tasks are coppicing, ditch digging and what ever else his employer sees fit. This includes things like catching moths for the Majors (the estate owner) collection, or gathering information about the local fauna and flora.

We also discover how it is to really live in the wild as Mr Wyatt builds his own hut in the woods and lives in it when he is out coppicing. We learn how he builds his own oven and the meals he learns to cook out in the open. We also learn what it is like to have a job you love yet receive little more than a small stone hut to live in, food and a wonderful way of life in payment.

You also get to meet several characters along the way, Dave who is a local farmhand who has a secret love of trees and will drive miles to see a certain specimen. George a big hulk of a man who like the Major, likes nothing more than going on a moth hunt. The Major himself who regularly goes on deer hunts yet bags nothing more than a covering of bites.

Most of the story is backdropped by the roe deer that Mr Wyatt adopts, he calls the deer ‘Buck’ and we get to learn all about Bucks behaviour and the way he takes to his new ‘mother’.

There is also quite a bit of humour, one account of the author going out with a few mates to see if they could bag some pheasants is hilarious.

To say I enjoyed this book would be an understatement. It reminded me of when I was a kid growing up in a village surrounded by a large estate with workers living a very similar life to the one written about in this book. These men may have had very little by most peoples standards but they were rich beyond compare in their way of life. It may have been hard but those I knew would not have swapped it for anything.

The Shining Levels by John Wyatt
Published by Penguin
187 pages
First published in1973 (Penguin 1976)

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