On a lonesome rocky weathered shore
The peril of waves in sailor lore
Where gray gulls beg and the widows weep
All alone sits the keep

Silent light breaks the haze
Making way for a sailor’s gaze
Hazard, danger, and death to all
Head the warning, or not at all

The keeper watches, weary and cold
The life he lives is growing old
Choices are made every day
Some refuse to heed the ray

When they do, he simply sighs
Watching the scene with sad, tired eyes
Men will die this very night
To serve as a warning in the coming light

This poem was written during my mid 20’s when I was suffering through a period of depression. I was living alone, and the keep represents the home that I lived in. It was a little townhouse, the first home that I purchased, and I felt so displaced from the rest of the world while living there. I felt that I was living in a lighthouse of sorts, where my life choices served as a warning for others so that they would not get drawn into my sadness. The keeper, also me, felt very tired and old during that time. I did not make a lot of choices good or bad, but that is not what hurt me. The choices that I did not make are what left their mark. I refused to heed my own ray. The folks that did enter my life during that time, well, they were pulled into orbit around my self-loathing, and that was not ideal for them or for me. Them, for obvious reasons, but also me for the guilt that I experienced by not being a better example to them. I allowed my negativity to impact others while they also allowed me to impact them in this way. I could have done more to prevent that pain to them.

This poem is one of my favorites because it serves as a reminder of who I was, but not who I would become. The keeper finally did move out of that lighthouse.