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richard lloyd cederberg

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  the abandoned castle ... 11
by richard lloyd cederberg
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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Recent poems by richard lloyd cederberg
•  Withdrawn...
•  that morning along the mezzanine...
•  a season of singing...
•  Christmas (hope)
•  mismatched envelopes...
           >> View all 126




ELEVENTH SCENE is a burgeoning series of Tarzan Story-Poems. John Greystoke makes a remarkable discovery at an abandoned castle near Dornie in the Highlands…


Evil eyes glistered as
The men toasted their heinous
Plan (swilling whiskey) and both becoming
Mordant in demeanor, downing another, and another,
Until the bottle was emptied and cast aside …
Shocked at how far the
Miscreants were willing to go,
To carry out their hideous plan, to
Arrogate the Greystoke fortune, at the
Expense of a three and a half year old child;
John strained to hear any clue as to where Jonathan
Was being held (but could not) in the taverns clamor…
Furtively the men exchanged
A bulging leathern sack; this transaction
(Having released the Captain) gave the other the
Responsibility of Jonathan, who would, at some point,
Take possession of the youngster and transport him to another
Locale where a hearty ransom would be demanded of the Greystoke’s…
“We’ll be sailin’ at fife,” the Captain noted…

“Awe rite Keptin’,” the other nodded briskly, “I’ll see ye ‘en.
And when its dain, mah mukker, we’ll baith be jiggin’ a strathspey”…

“Aye … baith,” the Captain scoffed…

How consummate John’s
Thwarting seemed – feeling now
As if his heart was being flagellated - as he
Watched each of them exit a different door; the
Buyer vanishing into a deepening mist and the
Seller re-boarding the Black Beldame…
Having awakened Jane,
To inform her of everything that
Had transpired earlier, and feeling her
Heart fraught with fervent feelings at the thought
Of being separated from him again, he was able; finally,
To assure her that there was no other plan but
To follow the clues where they led…
Seeing the soundness of it
She agreed at last,
(Amidst melancholy sighs)
Following which John booked her
Passage home and they dined a last
Time together…
With many tears,
And troublesome words -
Where the delicateness of her
Nature and heart, concerning Jonathan,
Was an open book to him - he was able to console
His beloved wife, and later, obscured in a rambling fog,
Slip aboard the Black Beldame, where he remained
As a phantom for five long days in passage,
Unbeknownst to anyone, stealing the
Sustenance required for surviving,
Hidden always in the shadows,
Watching and listening,
And at night, in the crow’s nest,
Finding rest from the days clandestine rigors,
As the vessel made its way north past Anglesey, and
The Isle of Man, into the Irish Sea, past Donaghadee and the
Isle of Mull up through the North Channel towards an abandoned
Castle near Dornie in the Highlands…

His was a sullen heart,
Brooding his grandson’s dilemma,
And each day its burden felt as a mill stone
About his neck, accompanied with a persistent
Anguish in his soul for the suffering Jack and Meriem
Were forced to bear as they waited
Uneasily for any news
Of their precious
Sons return…
Oh how his heart ached, and
His eyes, for hours at a time, being
Drunk with tears (those long days sailing)
Waiting for some resolve to come, or to chance
Upon some clue that would at least reveal to him the
Beloved child’s whereabouts; John knew, in his aching heart,
That there had been no greater summons (in his life) than
The one Providence had lain upon him now - but not
Knowing was more than he could bear, and
It hounded him like
Some harrying carnivore, as
Did the knowledge that aboard this
Very vessel the architects of his family’s misery
Swaggered about devil-may-care, for he was helpless
To do anything,
Except remain a phantom,
Patiently poised, soundless, collected,
Balanced, a brooding Numa measuring its prey,
Listening and watching with eyes ablaze, waiting for
That time when his stewing vengeance would be unleashed
Upon these heinous outlaws…

Early forenoon,
The sixth day, a cry from the
Watch echoed across the waters:
“Castle aheid, keptin, aff th’ larboard baw!”
Skilled sailors and lubbers scurried topside and
Began bristling as they broke into an old sea shanty
With the Bo ‘suns pipe adding color and
Now the Captain,
With veins popping in his
Neck, was bellowing to heave to and
Lower topsails and jib, to loosen the mainsheet,
Lower the mizzen and the foremast, and to unlock
The capstan and prepare to drop the anchor
As the sailors, determined and focused,
Saw nothing of what was transpiring
Around them…
Seeing this, and
Weighing the context, Tarzans
Mind was made (in an instant) and into a
Nigrescent sea he dove, from the port stern, with no
Sound of splashing, swimming smoothly in silent strong strokes,
His body soon racked by frigid water, and a peculiar swooning,
In his head, lessening his focus as he made his way
Towards a heavily bouldered shoreline, where,
Upon reaching it, he clambered soaking
Past a crumbling jetty,
Through slime and wrack and
The oddments of countless tides-
Shivering now, and being mostly numb
From the swim, he stealthily hobbled his way
Towards the castles barren bulwarks, it’s stained
Menacing walls (being of great height and strength) rose to a
Height of eighty feet and all were pierced with spy slits and
Small windows, and, around its entire perimeter, a moat
Rife of muck and weeds reeked of rot and death-
He observed, too, as he neared,
Upon the few monolithic oaken doors,
Visible about its base, geometric motifs depicting
Shields and characters with emblems, perhaps as allegories,
Suggestive of historical events and the achievements
Of the lords and ladies who once ruled this land…

Being now fully recovered,
And in possession of his faculties, Tarzan
Entered through a side entrance adjacent the Captain
And Sholto, the tattered man, who had entered moments before
With a dozen of the crew, and who also, [despite] being armed to the hilt,
Were maundering about the inauspicious circumstances as they made
Their way towards the main staircase leading up to the balcony…
“Awrite abune!” the Captain hollered in a cupped hand…

A voice filtered down asking:
“Who be ye, an’ whit be th’ watchword?” …

“Ye blimey dimwit, open th’ duir ur I’ll slit yer gullit!”
The Captain menaced…

“Aye keptin, nae offense, jist daein' as ye tauld me…”

“Sholto is haur fur th’ brat,” the Captain spat…

“I’ll gang fetch heem keptin!”

“An’ be quick abit it. An’ he better be weel, ur i’ll flin’
ye tae th’ feckin’ sharks,” the Captain menaced…

From across the room, hidden in the
Overshadows of a sagging tapestry, Tarzan
Watched the men mounting up the flight of stairs,
As an ill wind started moaning outside, and the shuffling
Of boots and groaning balustrades aroused a storm of
Feathers from a passel of stirred up pigeons flapping
From beam to beam – cautiously all
Ascended the
Creaking wooden treads,
Past languished paintings of departed
Hierarchy, the fluttering torches playing tricks
As the eyes seemed to stare sullenly at each man,
Following them, a morbid mask raising their superstitions
And every fear the circumstances could conjure…
The rogue at last
Ambled through the doorway,
Clutched in his hand a ragamuffin boy
Was standing defiant and tugging to be free,
The child was small in stature, but well muscled, with
Dirty blonde hair and a face smeared with dirt and tears;
When he saw the others he began sobbing fitfully…

“Haur he is, keptin’, braw as a fiddle…”

“Shaw th’ bairn tae Sholto,” the Captain pointed…

Turning him into the torchlight
The child’s face was fully illuminated…

Tarzan gasped …

“Aye, that’s th’ brat Jonathan,” Sholto smiled scornfully…


richard lloyd cederberg
9/11
 

A Monumental Journey Novels


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Reviewed by Sheila Roy 10/10/2011
True suspense at the end, Richard. Strong sense of credibility in the dialogue, and for me, that really makes the characters come alive. By the way, my dream is to one day have a secluded home with a moat to keep out the unwanted. When I got to the moat part, I laughed, and couldn't help but compare it to the one I've dreamt up. Yours is decidedly more eerie! Keep them coming. Love and hugs,
Sheila
Reviewed by Gene Williamson 10/7/2011
I continue to delight at the disciplined control, erudition,
and obvious scholarship invested, line by line, in this ongoing
poetic adventure. Superb writing, Richard, with great dialogue.
In admiration, gene.
Reviewed by Christine Tsen 10/7/2011
This is all the others are raving about, I like what John said especially, and I might add sonically magnificent!
(which is no surprise because I happen to know you are a musician)
Blessings,
Christine
Reviewed by Liana Margiva 10/7/2011
EXCELLENT WORK!!!!!!!!!!! Liana Margiva
Reviewed by Ronald Hull 10/6/2011
You have left us hanging, lusting for more. When it comes, I trust we will not be disappointed. Your pirates' vernacular is outstanding.

Ron
Reviewed by John Flanagan 10/6/2011
Staggering detail, Richard, in writing with
power and distinct style; i've read entire novels
that give us much less in every way - character, setting,
dialogue and plot - this is tremendous work
and i hope there's more to come.
Kudos again!

John
Reviewed by Morgan Merriweather 10/5/2011
I give you kudo's for all of these fabulous poems.

I love this series of poems and I can so picture this once spying know everything castle with the disgusting moat. suspensful!!!! and characters have flavor. always have a strong sense of place/setting.

enjoyed very much!!!!! MM

this one goes to 11...old joke,couldn't resist
Reviewed by Ed Matlack 10/5/2011
Man, buddy, this series has to become a book eventually...the pic surely does compliment this chapter...e

Books by
richard lloyd cederberg



Between the Cracks

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NEW THIRD EDITION available now @richardlloydcederberg.com

Buy Options
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In Search of the First Tribe

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The Underground River

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Beyond Understanding

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A Monumental Journey - first edition cover




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