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Wide Eyes Jun 2014
The lonely innkeeper sat by the solitary window...
Hazel eyes on the sea, she recalled her every woe.
The bright-eyed children of #201 toward her desk came.
‘Tell us a story of the sea!’ they begged the lonely dame.

Within moments, the story formed on the innkeeper’s lips,
‘On a wide dock, there once were two ships.
The first was huge and beautiful, the second, plain and pale.
Despite this, as one, the two ships set sail.

At the very beginning, the strong wind was a perfect guide,
The two ships, in symphony, sailed side by side.
Through the smooth sail, they stuck together like man and wife,
Like they were built to be eternal companions in the sea of life.

Then came tumult, and everything was a blur.
The storm took over the first ship like a puppet-master.
To a deserted land the first ship was sent,
With an adoration so bizarre, in its pursuit the second ship went.

Desolate was the land; the wind was stubborn,
Two whole days there were spent, and events took a sorry turn.
In the hull of the second ship now lay a gaping dent,
And just then, a powerful wind from the skies was sent.

The second ship, a *******, could only watch with pain,
As the silhouette of the first ship began to wane.
On the lonely land remained the helpless ship,
Now in ruins, happiness spiraled out of its grip.’

‘Did the second ship live happily ever after?’ asked the bright-eyed lad,
The lonely innkeeper retorted with a smile so sad.
A sea could be drowned in her excessively deep pain,
Perhaps it was time for the crippled innkeeper to set sail again.

THE Cook of London, while the Reeve thus spake,
For joy he laugh'd and clapp'd him on the back:
"Aha!" quoth he, "for Christes passion,
This Miller had a sharp conclusion,
Upon this argument of herbergage.                              lodging
Well saide Solomon in his language,
Bring thou not every man into thine house,
For harbouring by night is perilous.
Well ought a man avised for to be        a man should take good heed
Whom that he brought into his privity.
I pray to God to give me sorrow and care
If ever, since I highte* Hodge of Ware,                      was called
Heard I a miller better *set a-work
;                           handled
He had a jape
of malice in the derk.                             trick
But God forbid that we should stinte
here,                        stop
And therefore if ye will vouchsafe to hear
A tale of me, that am a poore man,
I will you tell as well as e'er I can
A little jape that fell in our city."

Our Host answer'd and said; "I grant it thee.
Roger, tell on; and look that it be good,
For many a pasty hast thou letten blood,
And many a Jack of Dover hast thou sold,
That had been twice hot and twice cold.
Of many a pilgrim hast thou Christe's curse,
For of thy parsley yet fare they the worse.
That they have eaten in thy stubble goose:
For in thy shop doth many a fly go loose.
Now tell on, gentle Roger, by thy name,
But yet I pray thee be not *wroth for game
;     angry with my jesting
A man may say full sooth in game and play."
"Thou sayst full sooth," quoth Roger, "by my fay;
But sooth play quad play, as the Fleming saith,
And therefore, Harry Bailly, by thy faith,
Be thou not wroth, else we departe* here,                  part company
Though that my tale be of an hostelere.
But natheless, I will not tell it yet,
But ere we part, y-wis
thou shalt be quit."               assuredly
And therewithal he laugh'd and made cheer,
And told his tale, as ye shall after hear.

Notes to the Prologue to the Cook's Tale

1. Jack of Dover:  an article of cookery. (Transcriber's note:
suggested by some commentators to be a kind of pie, and by
others to be a fish)

2. Sooth play quad play: true jest is no jest.

3. It may be remembered that each pilgrim was bound to tell
two stories; one on the way to Canterbury, the other returning.

4. Made cheer: French, "fit bonne mine;" put on a pleasant


A prentice whilom dwelt in our city,
And of a craft of victuallers was he:
he was, as goldfinch in the shaw*,            lively *grove
Brown as a berry, a proper short fellaw:
With lockes black, combed full fetisly.
And dance he could so well and jollily,
That he was called Perkin Revellour.
He was as full of love and paramour,
As is the honeycomb of honey sweet;
Well was the wenche that with him might meet.
At every bridal would he sing and hop;
He better lov'd the tavern than the shop.
For when there any riding was in Cheap,
Out of the shoppe thither would he leap,
And, till that he had all the sight y-seen,
And danced well, he would not come again;
And gather'd him a meinie
of his sort,              company of fellows
To hop and sing, and make such disport:
And there they *sette steven
for to meet             made appointment
To playen at the dice in such a street.
For in the towne was there no prentice
That fairer coulde cast a pair of dice
Than Perkin could; and thereto he was free    he spent money liberally
Of his dispence, in place of privity.       where he would not be seen
That found his master well in his chaffare,                merchandise
For oftentime he found his box full bare.
For, soothely, a prentice revellour,
That haunteth dice, riot, and paramour,
His master shall it in his shop abie,                       *suffer for
have he no part of the minstrelsy.                        although
For theft and riot they be convertible,
All can they play on *gitern or ribible.
             guitar or rebeck
Revel and truth, as in a low degree,
They be full wroth* all day, as men may see.                at variance

This jolly prentice with his master bode,
Till he was nigh out of his prenticehood,
All were he snubbed
both early and late,                       rebuked
And sometimes led with revel to Newgate.
But at the last his master him bethought,
Upon a day when he his paper sought,
Of a proverb, that saith this same word;
Better is rotten apple out of hoard,
Than that it should rot all the remenant:
So fares it by a riotous servant;
It is well lesse harm to let him pace
,                        pass, go
Than he shend
all the servants in the place.                   corrupt
Therefore his master gave him a quittance,
And bade him go, with sorrow and mischance.
And thus this jolly prentice had his leve
:                      desire
Now let him riot all the night, or leave
.                      refrain
And, for there is no thief without a louke,
That helpeth him to wasten and to souk
Of that he bribe
can, or borrow may,                             steal
Anon he sent his bed and his array
Unto a compere
of his owen sort,                               comrade
That loved dice, and riot, and disport;
And had a wife, that held *for countenance
            for appearances
A shop, and swived* for her sustenance.             *prostituted herself
       .       .       .       .       .       .       .

Notes to the Cook's Tale

1. Cheapside, where jousts were sometimes held, and which
was the great scene of city revels and processions.

2. His paper: his certificate of completion of his apprenticeship.

3. Louke:  The precise meaning of the word is unknown, but it
is doubtless included in the cant term "pal".

4. The Cook's Tale is unfinished in all the manuscripts; but in
some, of minor authority, the Cook is made to break off his
tale, because "it is so foul," and to tell the story of Gamelyn, on
which Shakespeare's "As You Like It" is founded. The story is
not Chaucer's, and is different in metre, and inferior in
composition to the Tales. It is supposed that Chaucer expunged
the Cook's Tale for the same reason that made him on his death-
bed lament that he had written so much "ribaldry."
derelictmemory Aug 2013
Motions and lies
Oceans and tides
Highs and lows
Waves and thrones

Photographs and movies
like the words you've said to me
Typewriters and documents
Lonesome loneliness

Paintings and art
scientists using starch
Differences and combinations
Treasures and abominations

Pinnacles and roots
Ratty old boots
Holes and patches
Irreplaceable mismatches

An old rhyme
a new game
rules and regulations
all the same
When and where did I begin, do I begin, shall I begin?

With vague childhood memories of growing up, in not too wealthy circumstances during the years after World War II, in a small part of a big town house in a little district town surrounded by mountains?
With being afraid of the chicken and geese my grandmother kept in our backyard? Of the delirious fever fantasies I still remember during two attacks of scarlet fever exactly around Xmas-time in two consecu¬tive years when I was 4 and 5 years old? (Must have been a real treat for my parents, and my grandmother, who was living with us!) Or with the fears and nightmares I had about having to go and fetch a bucket of coal from the dimly lit basement, whose dark corners in my imagination were full of hidden dangers and hideous monsters?
Or with the routine of crossing main street to go into the smoky old little pub with an empty mug, worm my way through the forest of trousered legs, hold up my mug and a few coins to catch the innkeeper’s attention, watch the tap beer fill the mug until it made a nice foamy crown on top, and then carefully manage the high steps of the stairway back up to my father´s supper table without spilling any of the precious liquid?
Or with first memories of suffering injustice, of a child´s most ardent wishes coming true (rare) or remaining unfulfilled (the rule), of happily riding around on a bright red wooden fire engine, clutching my favorite cuddly animal (of off-brown cloth, stuffed with sawdust, lovingly made by my mother)? Or with spectacular (and usually ******) crashes with my first wooden scooter, then proudly and even more daring with a precious metal scooter with which one day I managed to crash through the glass door leading from the backyard to the hallway and, miraculously, only suffered some minor cuts?
With the fast years of grade school at whose end where not only my first pair of glasses (much hated) and the then obligatory entrance examination to high school? Or, on  a quite different scale, the end of the allied occupation of Austria and the birth of a new, neutral and independent state - registered by me mostly because of diverse ceremonies that interrupted the school routine and brought unusual treats like ice cream or chocolate bars from parents & uncles & aunts?
With the first two grades of highschool, when I got up at 5.15 a. m. every morning and sleepwalked/scurried to the railway station to catch the express train at 6.15 a. m. that took me to the next Gymnasium 50 km away? With the pleasures & dangers of these daily train rides, the first cigarette smoked there, on the lavatory (with much coughing and a sinking feeling in the stomach); the first strange sensations - sweet and hurting - when a certain girl walked by; the occasional fights with other boys about God-knows-what-seemed-so-serious at the time? Or the memories of the huge fist that grabbed my heart when I saw my best friend, who tried to show off while our train was entering the station, miss the iron steps and simply disappear under the carriage - and with incredible luck resurface seconds later, white as a sheet but unharmed?

Or maybe with the hours I spent, after several years of not so enthusiastic practice (which nevertheless provided me with the basic abilities) alone with the piano in my grandmother´s salon, playing sonatas and dances and ètudes with growing ease and ple¬sure? Or with the bitter, bitter tears of pain and disillusionment when, at the age of 15, I had to bury my dreams of becoming a pianist because my hands started hurting terribly after only a few minutes of playing and the doctors told me, after one year of trying all kinds of treatments, that I had developed chronic tendonitis? Maybe with the many hours I spent reading numerous books of all kinds or sitting at the piano as an adolescent, improvising then popular songs (like the Beatles), or just playing some fantasy tunes, trying to give shape to my feelings and moods? With the memories of when I ´courted´ my then girlfriend not with words but with passionate songs played on ivory keys - and of my hurt pride and feelings when she, apparently unimpressed, preferred a more world-wise class-mate of mine and left me almost wrecking the poor piano with violent dissonances in e-flat minor hammered on the bass keys?
Or maybe with the first sobering experiences at summer jobs in steel mills, on construction sites, in the roofing business? And with the first 'wild´ parties during these summers at the garden house of a friend, where only a few years before we had been playing Cowboys and Indians, fighting the neighborhood boys, and where now we were sipping wine and/or gin tonics etc., smoking expertly, dancing to loud and slow music, hugging our partners close, feeling very wise, terribly attracted and at the same time a bit afraid of what might come of it?
Or with the final two year of high school that went by like in trance, filled to the brim with a hyped-up mixture of studying, playing billiards, dance class, dating, promising glances, secret meetings on warm summer evenings and at the skating rink in frosty winter nights, summer jobs, parties, the shocks about the death of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, organizing the graduation ball, ceremoniously opening the polonaise, living through the ups and downs of the final examinations, getting terribly but wonderfully drunk on the afternoon after the oral finals and recovering sufficiently within two hours to gracefully play the role of the class speaker and deliver the public address at the farewell dinner ...
And then the final trip of the graduating class - two weeks together on the beach in what used to be a budding Yugoslav seaside resort (and now is a recovering Croatian seaside resort), with the sun and the sea during the days, dancing and wine in the evening, my first experience at a strip-tease show (rather pathetic, never saw another one) and, a few days later, a heated but somewhat inconclusive evening with a member of a group of Swedish girls that had arrived at our bungalow village...

... then coming home, parties continuing, but noticing how gradually the closeness of all the years of small class community begins to loosen, the growing awareness that a formative period of your life has come to an end, you will not go back to school again in fall ... and by mid-summer everybody has discovered that ... my highschool girl friend tells me about her plans for the future ... I tell her about mine ... and we quietly acknowledge (looking back, it is almost unbelievable how quietly this is done) that we do not appear in each other´s plans ... years of relationships grow pale and finally evaporate under the hot summer sun ... I work another four weeks in the steel mill, read, meet with friends for drinks in the evening, start thinking about how student life will be, what The City will be like ... eager to get away and yet a little hesitant of the unknown ... playing the piano often, taking my leave from people, from places full of sweet and painful memories ... sorting schoolbooks, putting things away ... already growing out of the room I have shared with my ´little brother´ ... out of my parents´ house, my grandmother´s world, my brother´s boyish affection ... growing out ... growing up?

                                                           ­                   © Walter W. Hölbling
Morgan Spiers Sep 2018
when my guilt found the spare key
my condolences became roommates
who never pay their rent.

living with the ghost of shame
changes one's routine;
tastes like apologies-
and isolation
smells like your cologne.

ive become an innkeeper,
a host,
for the parts of others
they insist on banishing.
David Nelson Nov 2013
"Master Of The House"

My band of soaks, my den of dissolute's
My ***** jokes, my always ****** as newts
My sons of ****** spend their lives in my inn,
Homing pigeons homing in
They fly through my doors,
And they crawl out on all fours

Welcome, Monsieur, sit yourself down
And meet the best innkeeper in town
As for the rest, all of 'em crooks:
Rooking their guests and crooking the books
Seldom do you see
Honest men like me
A gent of good intent
Who's content to be

Master of the house, doling out the charm
Ready with a handshake and an open palm
Tells a saucy tale, makes a little stir
Customers appreciate a bon-viveur
Glad to do a friend a favor
Doesn't cost me to be nice
But nothing gets you nothing
Everything has got a little price!

Master of the house, keeper of the zoo
Ready to relieve 'em of a sou or two
Watering the wine, making up the weight
Pickin' up their knick-knacks when they can't see straight
Everybody loves a landlord
Everybody's ***** friend
I do whatever pleases
Jesus! Won't I bleed 'em in the end!

Master of the house, quick to catch yer eye
Never wants a passerby to pass him by
Servant to the poor, butler to the great
Comforter, philosopher, and lifelong mate!
Everybody's boon companion
Everybody's chaperone
But lock up your valises
Jesus! Won't I skin you to the bone!

Food beyond compare. Food beyond belief
Mix it in a mincer and pretend it's beef
Kidney of a horse, liver of a cat
Filling up the sausages with this and that
Residents are more than welcome
Bridal suite is occupied
Reasonable charges
Plus some little extras on the side!
(Oh Santa!)

Charge 'em for the lice, extra for the mice
Two percent for looking in the mirror twice
Here a little slice, there a little cut
Three percent for sleeping with the window shut
When it comes to fixing prices
There are a lot of tricks I knows
How it all increases, all them bits and pieces
Jesus! It's amazing how it grows!

(Oh, sorry love
Let's get something done about that)
I used to dream that I would meet a prince
But God Almighty, have you seen what's happened since?

Master of the house? Isn't worth my spit!
Comforter, philosopher' and lifelong ****!
Cunning little brain, regular Voltaire
Thinks he's quite a lover but there's not much there
What a cruel trick of nature landed me with such a louse
God knows how I've lasted living with this ******* in the house!

Master of the house!
Master and a half!
Comforter, philosopher
Don't make me laugh!
Servant to the poor, butler to the great
Hypocrite and toady and inebriate!

Everybody bless the landlord!
Everybody bless his spouse!

Everybody raise a glass
Raise it up the master's ****
Everybody raise a glass to the Master of the House!

Writer(s): Jean Marc Natel, Herbert Kretzmer, Claude Michel Schonberg, Alain Albert Boublil
Copyright: Productions Bagad, Alain Boublil Music Ltd., Boublil Alain Editions

Gomer LePoet ....
I had  the wonderful experience of seeing Les Miserables performed by the local community playhouse actors this past weekend. what a performance :)
Hayley Neininger Oct 2013
Be my innkeeper
Light up the no to my vacancy sign
When I’ve had a long day
Let it flicker like the neon
Sign at the ABC store a few blocks away
And when the next day starts turn it off again
And let in those who’ve had worse days than me
Rest their heads and let them be
Remind me of myself and who I am when
You are my only tenant
But don’t let me forget that while
Yours is the most important
I always have a room for more.
Lyn Senz Nov 2013
'What happens to bad poets when they die?'
'Aye, tis a good question,' says the sotted
brute wavin his hand whilst spittle flyin
with most syllables.
'I yam told bad poets stew in alphabet soup,
and get eaten by old grannies for all eternity.'
'I eard that one, but seems a waste of good soup.'
'Aye, and why de grannies get involved, it's a
misog, misog, a ting against women I'll bet.'
'Well then, what might you think?' says the innkeeper
to the quiet sod at the end of the bar.
'Eh..I should think they go with the good ones,
cuz I'd be ****** if I can tell the difference.'
'Aye,' says all, 'aye.'

©2012 Lyn
wordvango Jan 2016
idealistic,I smile to be deluded
by realism as the windmill slaps my ***
again, romantic chivalry my duty
saving damsels righting wrongs

In La Mancha in the archives my story
resides , and i have not been sleeping much,
reading causing my brain to dry , as a result
excuse my being quick to anger,

whenever I feel Dulcinea is in danger.

and, it has been many an innkeeper
who has knighted me
and many a beating I have taken
left in the gutter

as the priest decides which of my
books to burn in an effort to dull
my ardor, ferocious giants loom
disparaging my squire

calling him unintelligent
and greedy, to them I shall draw
my sword, to the death

To my squire's defense, I ride!!
Sancho will be governor, and my

Dulcinea is crying.
work in progress
Horse Story
Whatever you do a horse will not be accepted in
bar or an inn, our horse after hours of ploughing soil
was give beer to drink, this because the home made
beer the farmer had brewed wasn’t any god.
The horse drank deeply but after a rest it got truculent
and refused the harness, The farmer gave it more
beer to mollify the horse, but no this was a day when
it said no. The horse trotted to the nearest town
found an inn and asked for a beer, deep silence, drinkers
joined AA, no good for business the innkeeper called
the police and got a the horse back to the farm where it
had to sober up in a field tied to a tree, and the farmer
had to pay a fine for giving alcohol to an animal
It doesn't matter
if you're better (off)
than me,

you see
we equalise
when we verbalise
and a balance is struck.

may be a factor
or it may be made
in a factory
for people like you
and me
and that doesn't matter
Randy Johnson Dec 2016
Joseph and Mary tried to find shelter but they were unable.
Finally, an innkeeper gave them permission to use his stable.
Jesus was born in that stable and Mary put him in a manger.
An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him that Jesus was in danger.
An evil king was sending people to **** the Son of God.
The king who did this was none other than King Herod.
Mary and Joseph took Baby Jesus away, they had to flee.
Jesus and his family wound up living in Nazareth of Galilee.
Because Jesus was perfect, he was a man who people could trust.
Jesus and his father love us so much that Jesus died for all of us.
Stu Harley Jan 2015
death is
an innkeeper
that wait
for the tired
the sick and
the weary
to come through
that door
where the
lost souls
swims for the shore
and patiently
death shall
greet you
i'm still sure

— The End —