Saturday, July 14, 2007

The oddly foreboding lighthouse at Cape May Point

Another life-affirming sonnet from the tireless ball-point pen of Arnold Schnabel. First published in the Olney Times of July 20, 1963, and brought to you thanks to the wonderful people of the Arnold Schnabel Society.

“Swimming”

Off to my right a girl’s dollhouse convent
And a little boy’s toy lighthouse model;
The yawning sun begins its grand descent
And the gulls and jackdaws cheer and yodel
As the bay catches fire one last time;
My arms and legs in animal motion,
My breath the meter, my muscles the rhyme,
I feel I could swim across this ocean;
I take one great lungful of breath and dive
Down deep to where all is green and quiet
Down through a world where the dead are alive,
And, strange to say, so also am I, yet
Up I burst to the light, and head towards
The shore, and home, to write these words.

(For links to many other stunning Arnold Schnabel poems and to his award-winning memoir Railroad Train to Heaven, please go to the sidebar.)

2 comments:

King Willie's Cricket Bat polisher said...

Another moment distilled from the wit and wisdom of Mr. Schnabel. I have to wonder where the jackdaws came from. As far as this humble writer knows, they are native only to Europe. My personal experience of them is limited to listening to the band Audience:
JACKDAW

Jackdaw… keep away from my back door
Jackdaw, don't build your nest round here no more
I think it's time that you flew
Nothin' left for you

Stole my money
Every cent
Seems that I've got to
Rent a tent
You've stolen half my life
Even stole my wife

In 1971 I had to go to the dictionary to find out what the hell a Jackdaw was, at first I thought it was someone's name.

Dan Leo said...

I think Arnold probably was referring to blackbirds, but, hey, he was from Olney, what the hell did he know from birds?