The Lighthouse Keeper – A Day in the Life

Scottish lighthouses

In December 2011 I received a Guestbook entry from a Scottish ex-lighthouse keeper who said “I was made redundant from the service in 1992 and the last Keeper retired from the service in 1998 . . .” His name is Peter Hill and he has written a few poems about his life and also a book. The poem I like the best is reproduced below. 

Peter was a keeper in Scotland and I was a keeper in Canada, and we have never met before, but he wrote in the poem below:

“I dress in darkness yet know my style, my clothes on dresser neatly piled.”

Now only a lighthouse keeper would write about this fact about dressing in the darkness to go on the morning shift. I did the same thing, as it allows our eyes to adjust to the darkness so we can see better before going outside to observe the weather for the upcoming weather report.

I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I did.

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The Lighthouse Keeper – A day in the Life

In softest echo and muffled beep, I am awakened from my shallow sleep
Anticipating that very call! It’s a wonder how I sleep at all
Accustomed and by ritual seed refreshed in body by slumbers need
My motions slow and gentle take, while sleeping Mags, am careful not to awake
I dress in darkness yet know my style, my clothes on dresser neatly piled.
Shirt and jumper left till last, washed and ready for my watch.

Just as quietly as before, I open out the double door, closing soft and handle gripped on well oiled hinge in jam it slips Continue reading