Ghosts and Wine of ol’Reunion Way

River, creek, sea

Here is a short poem, an attempt to write something with a bit humour, and maybe a slight folk feel about it’s origins. Started writing it in my head while sitting in an old building down near the river here, listening to Scottish folk tunes from the 1600s being played by a live band last Sunday. Enjoy…

Ghosts and Wine of ol’Reunion Way
(Taken from the voyages of “The Wild Sea-Rose”)

It came a foggy autumn, in the short hours of the morning,
We eight of different colour, aboard The Wild Sea-Rose,
After rounding cape, and island, we run upon high tide,
As we came unto the yawning mouth, the river running deep,

So we tack fast ourselves a reach, upstream sure between the rocks,
No time to wait another moment, these four hundred years past gone,
Our schooner and her captain, ship’s master, Kate O’Malley,
As ghost, she came a searching, for we eight of men and women,

Now sober in the damp and cold we play, a song all-swift with dance,
When the beacon shout rings out, the wharf here have we made,
Where the ancient mariner of many tides, he tends his lone lit lamp,
To come alongside in the dark of darks, to hear revelling, what a chance,

For we know who plays this foggy night, we’ve heard their many tales
The legend speaks of Ghosts and Wine, of their fate at ol’Reunion Way,
But ol’Walter’s ghost, he guards the way, to ensure he keeps his prize,
For four hundred years his treasure, the lost songs of Ghosts and Wine,

To once we set foot upon the wharf, making for the ol’ruin Reid,
Tall piers of pounding timbers, far to the depths in river clay,
For first a slippery slope of grass, and dew, hither to we now must make,
With each one our instruments, each one in our tar stained hands,

We bolt across the old broken Quay, a rush between decay of buildings,
To find the narrow entrance, here in weathered ol’Quay lane,
Stumbling, running fast, in a living dance, the music in our souls,
To which we leap upon the old dock door, fight with it to open,

Hey flies the call not far hither, stop right there shanty rabble,
For ol’Walter’s ghost, five coppers, they’re onto us thick an fast,
Quick fast, hither to the rush, just pry door, be no time to haggle,
Launch past through the open way, feet unto the battered timber,

Catch the faded light, these figures one each of Ghosts and Wine,
Face to face, the music stops, we eight, we claim each others souls,
Flesh and bone now once again, coppers’ ghosts they race to stop,
Ol’Walter’s prize from fleeing, to we make for ol’Reunion Way,

Three floors and moments later, steel ladder through the hatch,
For old times we’re here again, not drunk, but sober in our truth,
Each in these legs be young, be fast, here we stand at the tall Reid’s edge,
We sum of eight, and eight race fast, oh fiddler lass, please play wild,

A tune in each our leap of faith we take, as the music races to our tune,
Across the sparse spun distance, the wide gap of ol’Reunion Way,
To jump, we bolt the empty space, here once a bridge now gone,
The fiddler her skill of heart, in tune, never drops a note,

We land upon the other side, across the rooftops here we sprint,
Making for The Wild Sea-Rose, we sixteen, each now as a pair.
To slip down on a canvas awning, to make good our escape,
The coppers ghosts we left far behind, and ol’Walter’s ghost for sure,

As we shouted to the captain, ship’s master Kate O’Malley,
Make way, make way, time to leave this place, not stay another day,
Here stumbling down the grassy slope, we board The Wild Sea-Rose,
We bid our farewell to the ancient mariner, his beacon now to our backs,

Making for the open sea, towards the oceans born so grand,
For no prize now shall we ever be, nor tethered in such bondage,
In each we sum of eight and eight, here unfurl with every sail,
Striking up in song and dance, upon the deck of The Wild Sea-Rose…

_____________ SB

Here is where the poem first started it’s life, a simple logging of events of sorts. Originally I was unsure if this would turn out a poem or a short story, so I took a few days to rest. Then it came in a rush, and the above is the transformation from events to something a little more, well more than how it started.

Ghosts and Wine: Old reunion way
(Taken from the voyages of “The Wild Sea-Rose”)

Ghosts and Wine of Old reunion way
(Taken from the voyages of “The Wild Sea-Rose”)
It’s been four hundred years, since the fatal night,
Aboard The Wild Sea-Rose, we sum of eight,
Her seasoned schooner, upon the Foggy River,
Here in the short hours, damp cold the morning,
We young musicians, so sober searching,
As we come abreast, the archaic wharf,
Ancient the mariner, he tends the beacon,
We hear the music loud, not far off,
To ask the question, Who plays our foggy night,
It’s the once ol’tunes of Ghosts and Wine,
To which they pound old timbers to the deserted Reid,
Watch out for old Walter’s ghost, careful as you go
Hither to we make at first a slippery slope,
Our instruments in our tar stained hands,
As we blot across the old broken Quay
In a rush between decaying structures,
To find the narrow, weathered ol’Quay lane,
Running fast, a living dance, the music in our souls,
Leap up to the old dock door, fight upon it open,
Hey flies the call, stop right there shanty rabble,
Coppers, fast, just rush pry door, no time to haggle,
Launch past up through the open way,
Catch the faded light these Ghosts and Wine,
Face to face, the music stops, they walk into another,
Copper’s, not again, what have these lads done,
time to make for Old reunion way,
three floors, a few moments later,
Up the steel ladder, through the hatch,
Just like old times we’re here again,
Though not drunk, these legs are young,
As we stand at the tall Reid’s edge,
The leap, this our old reunion way,
Here, back up, take a running jump
we crossed the old way, as we now bolt across the rooftops,
Tumbling for The Wild Sea-Rose

9 responses to “Ghosts and Wine of ol’Reunion Way

  1. You did such a great job Sean! You weave the words perfectly that I could vividly visualise the Wild Sea Rose and the man who seemed to be talking wistfully about her glorious past. Great post, wished you could publish this in some way, could you?

    • Thanks, Sandra! Still needs a bit of work around the edges, but all the story is there. I need to take a moment or two to think about the concept of publish. I actually have not even placed much thought towards the direction since recycling this blog back in September of last year. Going to go ponder a bit. Thanks again…

    • Possibly, still needs work as a poem, as in places it’s still a little scatter brain in terms of my thoughts at the time. And a chorus, refrain, etc for a song, not sure where to start at the moment, I’d have to read again a few times out loud to think about it.

      What do you see as the strong parts (or does any look to be filler), have a fiddle if you like? I tend to linger on the relaxed side when it comes to what I write, as it’s all an experiment to see, or find the ways it can travel.

      Thanks, Meggie!

      • hmmm, not sure what are the strongest parts – I guess I see it most as a story song. have you ever thought about putting your work to a guitar or something?

      • Just did the story seem off anywhere, did it seem to loose any momentum? A story song, yes that is the intention, and it started with just a few little thoughts initially of; “Wild Sea Rose” (the schooner), “Ghosts and Wine” (the band), and “ol’Reuion Way” (a cross walk between two buildings across a laneway three warehouse floors up, so about six to eight standard floors). I like how it has turned out and evolved during the process of the writing.

        I’d have to hunt someone down to play the guitar, for skill with a musical instrument, is something I lack…

      • There’s ebb and flow in it, I think that’s why I see it as a song, but to say it loses momentum in places – no I don’t think so.

        I love to see how things evolve in the writing process. I myself am currently taking old poetry/sentiments and trying to turn them into songs. It’s interesting…

  2. Pingback: A forgotten beginning | Sean Bidd·

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