Poetry & Music

The sound of a word…

  • The Ballad of Orentz O’dall

    by Keegan Burke (inspired by the character created by Wolfe Schaaf)


    There once was a man they called Orentz O’dall,
    he came from a mountain that wasn’t that tall,
    As a boy he would play with clay ships in the river.
    Always by the water, ’tis where he would wander.

    At 14 years old he would lose his dear mother
    and soon to follow dear departed his father.
    So he took to the long road that led to the sea,
    To seek his fortune in swarthy company.

    By the time he was 16, he’d met an old captain
    who took him under his wing as a boy in the cabin.
    He’d left one older brother and six sisters at home.
    To the turbulent ocean is where he would roam.

    He’d write them a letter each month to fare well,
    they would read them together on a rug the Dell.
    He would describe the white wake and the cold swollen swell.
    Each month they’d look forward to his post in the mail.

    And away he was bound, to the sea, to the sea,
    ’Til he met a fair lady named Gilly McGee,
    After a long haul on a too short shore leave,
    He knew that he loved her, requited he believed.

    And away he would send her a letter or three,
    Orentz dreamt of her dancing and looking for bees.
    And away they would send him to the sea, to the sea,
    ‘Til the storm that passed by him took Gilly McGee.

    And away the birds stole her soul out to the sea,
    where she painted the sky-y so brilliantly.
    That away many days sail from his bride to be,
    Orentz hung down his head. ‘Twas heavy as could be.

    Then away he gazed over the star-spangled sea,
    and knew that he’d lost his dear Gilly McGee.
    And away she had sent him a message or three,
    she spelled out her love in clouds over the sea.

    And away…he would find her,
    in a way he was blinder,
    ‘Twas that day that Orentz lost his love for the sea,
    but he vowed to love always his Gilly McGee.

    2 responses to “The Ballad of Orentz O’dall”

    1. Foleo Avatar

      Your post is one of the finest I found on WordPress…… loved it 😊😊😊 please also check my page …. hope you all like it❤💙💚

      Like

      1. writerkburke Avatar

        Thank you Foleo! I’ll be sure to add more posts like this one.

        Like

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  • The Ball of Yarn

    by Keegan Burke




    Life began long ago.
    It was something new, but something of the same.
    It turned, as all things do, around, to face itself.
    It turned again, time passed, and it saw itself as it had been.

    It intertwined, the present and the past, through time,
    turning and twisting, and meeting itself again and again and again,
    until it formed a ball.
    The ball, like yarn, is one strand, made of many, frayed and busy.

    It has a beginning, at its center, where it began,
    and it has an end, this moment, where we look upon it now.
    Yet its beginning is not where it was born,
    and its end is not a death.

    The yarn was once many tufts of cotton seeds, made to be carried on the wind,
    many hairs on the back of a sheep, twisted and curled to keep it warm,
    the caterpillar’s web, preparing to change into a different form.
    None of these things come from death.

    They are each a source, that nurtures and protects.
    Before it was a yarn, the life was drawn together on a spinning wheel.
    It was twisted countless times with many others, until it became strong.
    Only then, could the ball of yarn be born.

    The sun lets out its strands of light that feed the hungry loom.
    As one wheel turns three hundred times, another turns just once.
    One, with the slow pump of a pedal, and one so fast, it’s hardly seen.
    The worm matures, the wool thickens, the flowers bloom.

    The moth forms, the fleece is shed, the pod opens, and the seeds begin to blow.
    As time passes – seconds, minutes, days, years…
    life is added, and the ball grows with the turning of the gears,
    Each strand of life encounters others, and some lives intertwine.

    Knots are formed, new strands are born, some break, some are buried,
    but none is alone.
    Some strands are long and strong, while some are brief and fragile,
    and some are so tightly wrapped together that they seem to act as one.

    Some lives seem to repeat themselves, ordered and mundane,
    while others plunge deep, transcending time, wizened, and surface again.
    Yet all these strands are one –
    one twisting ball of yarn, one life, with one beginning at the center of time.

    The ball of yarn forever grows, with the rhythmic passing time,
    until one day when it’s unraveled,
    knitted, knotted, eaten, burned, or scattered to the wind.
    When the fleece is finally shed and the chrysalis is spun, and the cotton withers,

    and the spinster’s hands are curled, arthritic and numb,
    when the wheel is finally broken,
    and the strands of life cease to arrive from the seemingly ceaseless sun,
    only then is life itself finally undone,

    Then, perhaps, the spinster’s daughter must begin again,
    to gather seeds, to sheer the sheep, to collect the worms from mulberry leaves
    and to build a new wheel,
    upon which new life can be spun.

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