The Lighthouse Kitchen Cupboards

by Alison McFaul

Back in the day, the keepers kept

Their Lighthouse Kitchen clean and swept,

All spick and span and full of cheer

They cooked their food and ate it here.


While wicked winds raged round outside,

And ocean waves swelled with the tide,

The men inside made tasty meals

Peeling spuds and buttering ‘heels’


Of fresh baked bread; stirred sumptuous stews

And kept everything on hand, to use

In all these culinary delights

That passed the time on duty nights.   


Between the windings of the winch

They’d flavour soups with just a pinch

Of this or that kept in the cupboards,

Never empty like Mrs Hubbard’s.


The cupboards had a lot of shelves

Divided, by the men themselves,

Into cubbies for ready stocks

Of whatever they fancied from their tucker box.


The cupboards and the dresser too,

Filled with stripey china, blue,

Were central to the Keepers’ lives

Who lived alone, without their wives.


Those three strong men – so often busy

Up the tower, at heights made dizzy,

By surging surf and stinging storm –

They loved their kitchen, snug and warm.

They welcomed guests and made them tea

From a Kettle boiling merrily.

The stove fire lit, with a pie in the oven

The keepers thought they were in heaven.


No-one thought they’d soon be gone

The lighthouse left alone, forlorn.

The cupboards empty, oven cold,

Walls and surfaces specked with mould.


And then with no-one left to care

The place was stripped and soon left bare. 

But Lighthouse life and story leapt

Into my heart and so I kept


The cupboards and the dresser too

A chair, a table, a bed, not new,

But full of history, not lost,

Worth so much more than what they cost. 


I use them every single day

They’re in my work, my rest and play.

They’re part of home, they make me smile.

I love them for their soul and style. 



Alison McFaul