There once lived a Princess Melancholy Pea,
Who lived in a sand castle down by the sea.
Out of sand were her windows; made of sand her doors,
And all of her walls and also her floors.
Everything around her was made of pure sand,
Not elaborate or flashy, but was truly quite grand,
For early each day when the morning sun shines,
There from her bed Princess Melancholy finds
A spectrum of colors that you’ll never see,
Unless you go visit Miss Melancholy Pea.
But no one ever does and no one ever did,
So she lived alone this Melancholy kid,
But she never knew different or thought it amiss,
To never have somone to love or to kiss.
And though her name makes you think she was sad,
Her life on the sand was actually not at all bad.
She’d awake to the colors as we’ve already said,
And lay her head down at night, content and well fed.
Alone is no different when that’s all that you know,
And alone she was until her world started to grow.
At her sandy door came a knock, a scratch, and a call,
Saying, “Hello, is there any one home, any one at all?
I’m a traveler of the sea, and I’ve lost my way.
My boat is a wreck. O melancholy day!”
She was frightened and wondered, “Who is this stranger?
O Am I? O am I? Is this some sort of danger?”
She also thought it weird to hear spoken her name,
For she’d never left here, and no one ever came,
But she rousted her courage and went to the door,
Silently stepping, tiptoeing across the floor.
“Who is it?” said she. “A wanderer,” said he.
“A wayfaring man who has traveled the sea,
But the wind came up suddenly; our boat was tossed,
And now it has sunk, and my companions are lost.
Do you have food, or shelter, where I can rest?
If you were to help, me you’d forever be blessed.”
She thought for a moment, not knowing what to do,
But her instincts took over and allowed him through.
“Come in,” she said, though her shyness was strong,
She knew to not help would be more than wrong.
So he came in, and she offered him food, that she
Cooked on her sand stove and a cup of sand tea.
Sand tea is a tasty drink, but can be quite gritty,
And they don’t make sand tea far away in the city.
She brews it in the sun in a pitcher of sea glass.
It was tangy and sweet with a slight touch of sass.
He thanked her so much for her kindness and food,
For even in his hunger, he'd never be rude,
And he liked the food, and he liked the tea,
And he'd surely come to like Miss Melancholy Pea.
For her beauty shined forth from her eyes,
Which shined like the blue aloft in the skies,
And her skin, like the sand, seemed to reflect light,
Glowing with wondrous luminescent delight.
And at once, he thought, he was lucky to be
Tossed about and wrecked left here by the sea.
Not knowing what to say, or where to start,
"Your kindness and beauty have touched my heart.,
I am amazed that your beauty has not won you fame
For never have I heard whisper of your name."
Blushing, she said, "You cannot mean me,
I am merely Princess Melancholy Pea.
I've lived here alone in the castle of sand.
I've never ventured forth out of this land.
I live a life that I love, which is simple and plain,
A life full of sunshine without any rain,
For if rain would fall, it could begin to erode
My happy life in this my sand castle abode.
Sheltered have I been, and so I must stay,
Else the life that I know could be swept away."
But that very day, her life started to change.
The feeling she felt, she thought very strange,
For never had she known the joy of a friend,
And she knew she couldn't be alone again.
When one becomes two by unforseen addition,
Even before the mind makes any admission,
The heart knows exactly what it wants and needs,
And cupid comes to plant his well known seeds,
Bringing together the kind of love that will last,
A new beginning that puts an end to the past.
And so the two lived in bliss by the sea,
This wayfaring sailor and Melancholy Pea.
He swam in the ocean. She bathed in the sun.
They talked, laughed, played games and had fun,
And you never would've thought that this happy pair
Had heartbreak lingering there in the air,
For a wayfaring man must travel around,
And could never be satisfied on one piece of ground,
Even if paradise was found there to be
In a sand castle with the lovely Melancholy Pea.
He never mentioned it in all of their talks,
Nor in the silence of their afternoon walks,
But he knew in his heart that he'd have to go,
And hoped that she would not say no,
That she would agree and come along
Into the next verse of his adventure song,
And together they could find new lands
In the companionship of wedding bands,
But he couldn't quite force the words to come out,
For something gave him pause and doubt.
"How could she leave her paradise home,
And wander the tide like the ocean's foam,
Having no aim, no goal, or destination,
Trying to see every piece of creation.
No, she's lived here at peace all her life,
Leaving would cause her undue strife,
And how could I ever cause her to grieve,
By asking her to come with me and leave."
And so he didn't ask, but kept it inside,
But his wayfaring mind dreamed of the tide.
And she sensed it too; she knew it was wrong.
There was something in him that longed to be gone.
She could see the future in his faraway look.
The adventure in his eyes she read like a book,
And though she knew he would try to stay,
She knew he could never be happy that way,
And she never thought he'd ask her to go,
And since he didn't tell her, she didn't know,
And so the short time that was filled with bliss
Was fluttering away even before their first kiss,
And so off he would go for an hour each day,
Building a raft, so he could sail away.
A secret cove he found concealed from view
And driftwood was there, and banana leaves, too.
He built a small raft with a clever mast,
Holding his banana leaf sail secure and fast.
It only took a month to complete a ship
On which he could at least begin his trip,
And in all hope, another ship's path he'd cross,
And rescue him before all would be a loss.
All that was left was to find a way to leave,
One that would not cause the princess to grieve,
For he loved her, and she had been so kind,
But the pain seemed to envelope his mind,
Not to mention his heart's throbbing and aching,
A sure sign that it too was breaking,
And so not wanting to prolong the event,
When night came the young sailor went.
He kissed her sleeping forehead and left a note.
Then sailed away softly alone in his boat.
He made it through the breakers away from the tide,
And out to the channel to wait, his time to bide,
For a ship could come today, or a month, or weeks.
He had to just wait, and pray for no leaks,
And while he waited, on the horizon the sun rose,
Shining the colors on Miss Melancholy's toes,
And when the light of the colors crept to her eyes,
The princess awoke unaware of the sad surprise
That was waiting for her just minutes away.
She could not foresee the changes to come that day.
Her dreams were pleasant, the dreams of a lover,
And she left her bed, missing the note just above her.
She thought she'd surprise him with breakfast in bed.
She poured the juice and toasted the bread,
And when she knocked softly, "tap-tap" on his door,
No call, no movement, just silence's roar,
Which she knew is the sound of an empty room,
And she opened the door and beheld her doom.
The bed was made, but the room was bare,
And she knew her sailor no longer was there.
She returned to her room and there found the note,
And read each word that her young sailor wrote:
"My dearest Princess," it opened, wrote he,
"I'm sorry to leave you and return to the sea,
But leave I must, for a sailor am I,
And a sailor on land is like a bird with no sky.
I'd wished that you could have come along,
But your happiness here is where you belong.
How can I steal from you the joy of your heart,
The home where you've lived, the source of your art?
"Having seen the beauty that fills your days,
The colors, the wonders, at which you gaze,
The simple pleasures of this your castle of sand
I could not ask you to leave something so grand,
So you being you, and I being me,
Apart we most surely are destined to be,
But this always know, my dearest Melancholy Pea,
I'll be thinking of you as I wander the sea."
"All my love," he chose with which to close his note.
"Yours always, Steven" was the name that he wrote.
"Steven my love," was Melancholy's cry,
"For you I'd have gone. For you I'd die.
Why didn't you tell me that you would go?
But somehow inside, I did surely know
That I couldn't tame you and make you stay,
But I never thought you'd so soon be away!"
And for the first time in her life, tears filled her eyes,
And as they did, storm clouds filled the skies,
As if they were connected, her tears and the rain,
Fell in a torrent, a mirror to her pain.
As the rain fell, it began washing away
The safety of her past, all the joy of her days,
And the sand roof began to run, and so too did fall,
As the rain beat down the sand from the wall.
As if the loss of her lover weren't enough,
The loss of her home, would be also as tough,
For never again would those bright colors rise
In the morning as she opened her eyes.
Then as the rain continually poured,
The ocean rose, and the floodwaters roared.
The rain didn't stop until her tear ducts were dry,
And slowly the clouds revealed the sun in the sky,
But all that was left of all her dry lands
Was the small circle where Princess Pea stands,
Wondering where can she go, what can she do,
Never having left her home, not having a clue
As to just which way her next step would be,
Completely surrounded by the blue of the sea,
And never before, at least never as yet,
Had she stepped in and gotten a single toe wet.
She thought to herself, "I surely can't stand
Here all my life on such a small piece of land,
But I can't swim because I've never swum.
O what a sad state my life has become!"
They say no clear choice forces faith to leap,
And so she stepped out into the ocean deep,
And as her feet and legs completely submerged,
They seemed to grow together, combined and merged,
And there where her legs, feet and toes had been
Grew a green, scaly, and shining new fin.
So once she was fully submerged in the water,
She laughed and splashed and swam about her,
And because she never had swum before,
You'd think her skills would surely be poor,
But she could swim, and swam around like a pro,
Going left and to right, then to and fro.
Then, just to try, she climbed back on the land,
And her legs grew back as she touched the sand,
And so, quite exhausted, she thought it best
To stop for a while just to think and rest.
She was amazed at her new found power,
So she sat and wondered for over an hour,
“A mermaid in water, a girl on earth,
Are there other secrets unknown from my birth?
Who am I really? From where did I come?
Who were my parents to whom I came from?
What other things don't I know about my self?
What other talents have I left on the shelf,
While living a life content and secure,
Afraid of what could be, alone and unsure?”
While Princess Pea sat resting and pondering,
Poor Steven's raft was drifting and wandering.
Minutes seemed days, and hours seemed weeks,
But the raft held steady without any leaks,
Yet Steven was struggling with heartbreak and hunger,
With guilt of how his leaving certainly stung her.
He thought of her face, her eyes, her smile,
And dreamed of her kindness, her caring, her style,
How she made him feel by just being around,
All that he'd given up, just so he could drown.
Because drowning or starving would soon be his fate.
No ship would come, and soon would be too late.
After days of drifting, he finally passed out
With the little raft still tossing and tossing about,
But finally one morning a ship did come,
Full of pirates and scalawags wreaking of rum.
They took him aboard, laid him in a bed,
Poured water down his throat, dressed the burns on his head,
And at the end of two weeks, he opened his eyes,
But still lacked the strength to roust or to rise.
He knew not the bearded man, who gave him care.
He knew not the place, here, there, nor where,
And looking around did not ease his mind,
For nothing but darkness there did he find,
But he recognized the familiar rock back and forth,
And knew from that he'd found a ship heading North,
For he was so skilled at sound navigation,
From the feel in the darkness he could discern situation.
He knew the heading and could tell the speed.
A glimpse at the stars is all that he'd need.
Just then the bearded stranger came in,
And by candle light, his care did begin.
He dressed Steven's skin with Aloe and lotion.
He gave to him such kindly devotion
That Steven chanced to open his eyes,
Which gave his caretaker a welcome surprise.
“Well good morning! We found you alone drifting about,
And we hoped you'd survive, but 'twas much in doubt.
Rest here. You are safe. Take care and sleep well,
Your strength will return. Only time will tell.
“My name is Washburn. I'm the ship's Doc,
The men think I'm odd 'cause I wear a clock,
But I like it, and I feel that it's no crime,
Even on a ship such as this to remember the time.”
And Steven for the first time in weeks
Had a smile form in between his cheeks.
There's no cure for sickness like finding a friend,
Especially when a time of loneliness comes to its end.
He wanted to thank this man for his care,
But when he opened his mouth, no voice was there.
It's not that he had a scratch in his throat,
Or that the sun dried it up, while adrift on the boat.
It was as if no voice had ever existed,
That his voice box was at once gnarled and twisted.
No whisper or croak, no sound could he make.
He couldn't even whistle the tune of “Lomond Lake.”
He now was a bird aloft in his own sky,
But could sing no song, nor cry no cry.
His voice he had lost, when from her torn apart
Because he did not speak the truth from his heart.