Purple's Platitudes

nothing but words …

5th September 1682

28 March 2014



September 5th, 1682


My beloved Mary,


It has been a dreadful, terrifying journey, full of evil portents and bad omens. Your letter reached me, my love, just before we sailed from Sicily and I have read it daily, and often nightly before I turn in.


We sailed up the eastern coast of Italy, but the gods turned against us, or so the unlearned crew believed. I tolerate their ignorance and try to keep a civil tongue, but they are a superstitious lot. I must admit though, these last two weeks have been quite trying. Near Naples, we lost fair sailing. Contrary winds and turbulent waters soon proved their origins as we encountered ten days of monstrous fire and brimstone, dense black smoke which fouled our vision and our lungs and blotted out the sun. A constant beastly roaring accompanied us day and night. The sailors claimed it was an angry Jove and many, in secret of course, offered all manner of appeasement in deep dark corners of the ship, away from prying eyes and ears.


As you may or may not have heard, it was just Vesuvius rearing its temperamental head once again. I would have liked to have seen it erupting, but alas, we were enshrouded in darkness and left to our imaginations.


I have heard about the trial and execution, a ghastly affair to be sure. It would seem the crew I sail with are not the only ones who cower in their superstitions and act accordingly. Are we really that naïve to accuse,, try, and hang three young women for witchcraft? Are we not enlightened enough to see beyond such fear and prejudice? Well, my love, on to last night’s vision.

This morning finds me cautious and watchful, almost fearful. Last evening I finally saw it clearly. I have spoken of it many times before, my comet. It appeared, exactly as I had predicted it would, although it is a good thing I spoke so little of it to these pagan minds. It was stunning, beautiful beyond belief as it slowly passed overhead in all its glory. The men panicked and it was all the Captain could do to maintain any control or order over them. At one point, a few even suggested putting me off the ship as if I was somehow responsible for this omen of ill. The Captain had me confined to quarters, locked in, with an armed guard at my door, a prudent, if not unconscionable precaution perhaps.


Do not worry my dearest, no harm has come to me and despite the fear the events of this journey have provoked, we have had only fair skies and favorable winds since, easing the men’s dispositions considerably. Through my round cabin window I can see a brilliant sunset, golden against the clouds and waves, so I am going topside for some air. It should be safe enough, no more comets for approximately 74 years if my calculations are correct!


I hope to be home with you in Islington before September’s end.


Your loving,




(written for Kellie Elmore’s FWF)

You find yourself in the lower level of an old ship. A calendar on the wall says  1682. There is a small window, and the view is nothing but open sea and a setting sun. There is a staircase and you can see daylight at the top…

28 March, 2014 Posted by | Fiction | , | Leave a comment

so they say

28 March 2014



so they say, in whispered fingerprint swirls

in my heart’s dust touched by innocent girls,

words unforgotten, still echo through time,

gently caressing in manner sublime,

as if proving yet, you’ve not lost your way,

so they say.


what we leave behind, we rarely forget,

love’s ghosts return in unguarded moments,

her sweetness, a kiss, eyes laughing, her tears,

her touch still felt, after all of these years,

we’ll always be haunted, the price we pay —

so they say.



28 March, 2014 Posted by | Poetry | , | Leave a comment

double you

28 March 2014



with writing, wrangling

words, while whistling wisdom warns,

winsomely waiting.

Westward, windward, wishing we

were wantonly wandering.



28 March, 2014 Posted by | Poetry | , | Leave a comment