Before the Ships Came to Take Them Inland

His kindness never bade them stay for long.
Their welcome was not worn by his being weary.
Instead he gave them hope with every stroke
Though sinking himself into the darkness where they trembled.

The master fixed his own light house
Securely upon truth-rocks carpeted with love
Treasures of the deep rose to see the light
Even if only for a moment to feel the beams of hope it gave.

The island coasted by a sea of trouble
Bid ships on their way pass merrily, warily by
They did not need his light except to know
His rocks nearby could sink them or capsize

The sea creatures knew this lighthouse well
The mermaids frequented the rocks nearby
He gave them music and wonder and joy
And they were gladdened by this caring reminder of sunlight.

Only after basking for a little while, to dive at length
Far from the reaches of his beams of grace
Down into the hole which they could not escape
Where their dark safety was promised in frigid under-water caves

The lighthouse sometimes guided the merpeople
To cast off their fins and scales from their lives
And walk on two legs on the island of Hope
But they even then did not stay long,

Before the ships came by to take them inland.

Ships with sails and steam and steering wheels
Ships that carried cargoes precious to cross the bar
Ships that wheeled their world-wide way
Ships that felt the light, but could not touch the house

The house that kept its lenses burning bright
The house that ocean brine had crusted green
The house that learned the value of its light
By staying on that lonely island of hope.

The island small but never sinking
The island seeing all and never blinking
The island choosing good and not despairing
The island swept by waves of tears and caring.

O that dark clouds may part and let sunshine come out
So the hope of many wanderers may be refreshed
By the light and the warmth of the sun dancing on calm seas
Which is the only comfort this light-bearing soul breathes!

And yet, one day, the hope remains
That the island of hope may have room for two
For two houses to shine yea in two-streamed directions
Kept warm by the fire of the other’s undivided heart.

For now the island of hope is shadowed by grey clouds
The mockery of lightning’s torturous and cold subtlety.
Who will warm the lighthouse and scrub him clean
So the thunder rolling will not cause his own brick to quake?

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