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The Cabin-Beginnings

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Below is the poem entitled The Cabin-Beginnings which was written by poet Jane Richer. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Cabin-Beginnings

Sighing, he shouldered the old duffle bag
And followed others as they sauntered down the gangway
Free at last, from the ship's cramped and stench-filled quarters,
He smiled, at the crisp, fresh and bitingly cold, new day!

His feet, now planted firmly on the new soil,
Made him want to shout, dance, raising his hands,
'Hello, new world, I, Sven, have made it here at last!'
Others, mumbled, 'More foreigners to divide the land!'

A new land full of promise and scarcely civilized,
With Indians, vying to sell their furs and wares,
Their hands, 'signing'and voices 'tainted' with broken English,
Spotting the livery, he decided to visit the stables there!

His belly, rumbled, as a ways off he heard the supper bell rang,
He looked a peculiar sight, with his wind-blown blonde hair,
Smelling sour and sweaty, many weeks growth on his chin,
But he'd survived! Others had died of disease in the stale air!

With days adrift, without wind to unfurl the main sails,
And angry squalls that came out of the fog to frighten and surprise,
Those with weak stomachs were tossed and pitched about the floundering ship,
A shout of 'plague' and overboard the sick went before his very eyes!'

His belly would stay empty, another day it rumbled unsatisfied,
For the horse, cart and feed had been a necessary; costly price,
Across the street, stood a bustling, large general store,
With his last few coins, he bought an axe, tools and a fine hunting knife!

Some lard, flour, dried beef and a few country cakes,
Gunpowder, an old bow fiddle and some leather strips,
But most important, he had purchased the 'deed' to his own land,
Towards the open range he rode, distant, now from that fateful ship!

As he rode, he marveled at the scope of the land,
Huge timber trees, stretched out their 'necks' into space,
White wolves howled out in mourning, their cries echoing the sound,
And eagles circled in greeting, wings dipped in 'mute' grace!

Vitals in his belly; he took the old fiddle and started to play,
The tune stirring a longing; reminding him of Papa and his home,
How Ma had squeezed him extra hard; tears welling up in her eyes,
As he slowly walked up that gangplank; he'd never felt so alone!

With his saddle for a pillow, he bedded down for the night,
Looking at his two strong hands, Sven sighed as he smiled,
On his land would soon stand, a 'sweat of his brow'; pine cabin,
Ample reward for enduring those lonely and treacherous overseas miles!


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  1. Date: 4/22/2012 10:10:00 AM
    very nicely written

    Richer Avatar Jane Richer
    Date: 4/22/2012 10:36:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thank you Susan, I have been enjoying writing on the early settlers that tamed American and Canadian lands. There might have been a Sven, but he represents the many 'foreigners' that settled in the two great Countries. The 'first nation' people were really the first people on the land, but some may argue that the vikings were there first! Who knows? Love Jane