The Unlucky 13

Today is Friday the thirteenth and many fear this day. There are many theories and ideas as to why this day is unlucky. The superstition has thought to have come during the Middle Ages. Some historians claim it was the day on which Eve bit the apple from the Tree of Knowledge.  Templar Jacques de Molay cursed the Pope and the King of France on Friday the thirteenth and  misfortunes  followed.

I find it interesting that many buildings and hotels are missing the thirteenth floor in Western countries. Houses often don’t have the number thirteen either. It is considered unlucky for thirteen people to dine together and the first one to rise will reach serious misfortune. Did you know that President Roosevelt refused to travel on Friday the 13th?

Some real misfortunes have happened in history on Friday the 13th.  In 1976, a man by the name, Dan Baxter decided the safest place to stay on one Friday the 13th, was his bed. He was killed when the floor of his apartment collapsed that day. Another mysterious tale involves a thirteen year old boy who was struck by lightening on Friday the 13th at 13: 13. Some people believe if you call the doctor on Friday the 13th for the first time it is an omen of death.

The greatest danger on Friday the 13th is those who believe in the superstition strongly. As a result, they become anxious and distracted, thereby causing their own accidents and it becoming a fulfilled prophecy. If you tell someone they are cursed and they believe it, their blood pressure rises and they put themselves at risk. IMG_0259

The Scourge of Parson Dodge

I thought with Halloween approaching that I would share a mysterious legend. The village of Talland lies along the eastern coast of Cornwall. It was known for an area of smuggling goods. Between 1713 through 1747, a vicar by the name of Parson Richard Dodge acquired a reputation as a Ghost Hunter and an Exorcist. IMG_0426

Dodge spread the tale that he saw the devil  driving a sable coach drawn by two headless horses. He spoke of demons near the Bridle Lane path which lead to the beach. The Parson ensured with this story that God-fearing folk would steer clear of the area at night and not disturb his illegal trade. He also let it be known that on his approach, evil spirits would cry out, ‘Dodge has come. I must be gone!’

His reputation as the scourge of evil spread far and wide. Legend states that the original church was to have been constructed at a nearby pulpit and work had commenced. But each day, the stones that had been laid had transported over to the present site.

A chilling voice had been rumored to command, “Fulfill my wish and build the church on Talland Hill.”

The superstitious masons complied and there it stands today.

Guide The Fisherman

Here is a poem I envisioned about the strain of a wife waiting for her fisherman to return to her.

THE WISH OF THE FISHERMAN’S WIFE

Guard my man that treads the skirts of the ocean miles,

For many empty days have I spent without my husband’s smile,

And waiting ’til the pang of partings has ceased.

May the moon bathe him with my love,

Drowning the burn in my heart,

And guide him through the furrow of the seas.

May he not be broken or lame,

Nor lose all his money playing games,

Or step on other’s toes,

When times are often slow.

Keep his will sturdy and brave,

And not lead him to his watery grave,

Or allow him to sit around and mope,

But make his arms strong

To reel in a full catch of fat fish,

And give him a reason to hope.

My eyes gazed out upon the heavenly view

And I dared not utter a clue,

In case my eyes had deceived me.

Across the velvet waters the schooner came about,

And my heart began to flutter,

My worries had been set free.

I wiped my tears on the corner of my ragged apron

And raced across the dock in anticipation.

The fisher-wives and I waved our aprons over our head,

Signaling to our men that we missed them from our bed.

As the schooner steered close to the dock,

The weathered men smiled and waved at our flock.

I shoved through the wives to get a good look at my man,

But my eyes didn’t see my sweet love,

And I began to fret and shout to the sky with my wounded pride,

All for the loss of my fisherman.

I wondered how I would ever pay the rent

And I began all over  to wither and fret.

Then a shock of red hair flared in my eyes

And  his face smirked at my disgrace.

Bill winked and I ran into his arms, smelling of fish,

And I dried my weepy eyes,

Thanking God for granting my wish.IMG_0723

The Secret Recipe

Here is a fun poem I wrote about my husband, (when he was a kid) and his grandmother.

I was three-foot-five and she was five-foot-three.

I was five years old and she was eighty three,

That special day I helped her make her secret recipe.

I stood upon a chair so I could reach the bowl,

While Grandma lined the counter with the ingredients, row by row.

She put in a pinch of this and a tad bit of that

And when I asked her what it was, she said. “To make us fat.”

I gave her a puzzled look and she gave me a wink,

But when I tried to copy her, all I did was blink.

Grandma laughed with jellied glee and slapped her bony knees.

Then she tweaked my nose and said, “A little butter, if you please.”

I gave her a tiny smirk and handed her a stick,

But she pushed out her lower lip and said, “Give me two more sticks.”

I chopped that butter up with a big ole’ wooden spoon,

While she dumped in half a moon of thick molasses.

I beamed up at Grandma and dreamed of that taste,

And how the neighboring lasses would be begging me for a piece.

“Best clean that gleam from your eyes,” Grandma uttered.

Then she added in a pint of sugar and I stirred it in until it looked like cream.

I poured in the vanilla, while she cracked a dozen farm-fresh eggs,

But she held up her hand and said, “Hold up a peg.”

Then she added in the flour, a cup or two or three,

Plus some that splattered onto my navy-blue jeans.

Grandma dropped in a spoon pf baking powder,

Some raisins drowned in rum,

And added enough corn syrup to fill a small wooden drum.

I stirred it all together, but that batter was mighty thick

And I pondered for a minute if this was some kind of trick,

But Grandma greased an iron pan and scooped that batter in.

Which made me wonder how she ever lifted that heavy pan?

She turned the oven on to three-twenty-five and placed that pan way deep inside,

While I stared at the door as the minutes ticked by.

That heavenly scent of cinnamon and ginger went ’round the room with its spicy flavor,

Which made the cowpokes beg for Grandma’s favor.

But they’ll have to step in the back of the line,

For I get that first piece, oh yes, it’s mine.

We’ll all have to wait for an hour or two,

Until that sweet cake is completely through.

“Hold onto your hats, boys. For that cake’s got to cool.”

Grandma’s brows creased as I snatched a small piece by the skin of my teeth

And I ran from the room and her hand with the spoon.

Fairy Garden

Here is a fantasy poem to delight the soul:

Nestled deep in the forest glade,

Past the circle of the toadstool’s shade,

Follow the mossy carpet path,

And find the place where the fairies play.

Did you hear their trumpeting from the tiger lilies?

Perhaps you saw their pixie dust glittering off the Rhodies?

Did you see them flying by on moths and butterflies?

Perhaps you heard them singing their babies lullabies?

Did you see them riding on the slugs and on the snails?

Perhaps you heard them squealing upside down from a wildcat’s tail?

No? Well, oIMG_0166pen your eyes wide

And perhaps you’ll see where they hide,

Among the shadows and the dapple of light,

And draw the fairies out with a dance in the pale moonlight.

Goodnight My Darling

With all the tragedies out there, I decided to write a sad poem.

GOODNIGHT MY DARLING

By Theresa Gage

Her velvet paws caressed my back,

As my dog snuggled close to my side.

I welcomed her warmth,

For it attacked the coldness of my grief,

That I had tried to hide.

My tears rolled free

Like the waves of the tide,

As I clawed the edge of our boat,

In my attempt to save him.

My boy was lost to the sea.

But I will see him in my dreams,

For our souls are surely tied,

And remember all the good times we had.

Goodnight, my darling boy.IMG_0445