Poetry Month, April 2018: 3-Poem Tribute to 'The Carriage Driver' Series by Michael Friedman; the Author; White Horses

Updated on September 19, 2018
annart profile image

Ann loves to write poetry and stories. Current poetry on Trains, English Counties, Travel & beyond, including varied poetic structures.

Tales of Transition from this World to the Next

As many of you will know, the series of stories called ‘The Carriage Driver’ by Michael Friedman is a wonderful, eponymous collection of stories. Mr Friedman’s writing transports us, along with Captain Griffin Chaffey's (the Carriage Driver’s) clients, to another world, gently, with precision, compassion and discipline, all done literally by the book, as he consults a list of those departing.

The elegant and wise horse, Nuelle, pulls the carriage. She and Griffin share an apple. They are the link between this world and the next. These constant factors make each story familiar yet fresh.

I would like to include a tribute to Griffin, to Nuelle and of course to Mike in this poetry month of April 2018, with the following three poems.

Griffin & Nuelle

Click thumbnail to view full-size
First in SeriesSecond in SeriesThird in Series
First in Series
First in Series | Source
Second in Series
Second in Series
Third in Series
Third in Series

Griffin & Nuelle

The Book is key - for time, place and soul.

Griffin’s finger runs down the list,

to find the next client needing the journey,

then Nuelle proceeds through early morning mist.

She finds the person whose journey’s end

is the beginning of eternity’s rest.

She and driver share an apple, waiting

for the soul to prepare, accept what’s best.

Ethereal, yet majestic, horse and driver stand,

awaiting directions for client’s heart’s desire,

then transport, by measured and wondrous route,

the soul to dreams of which no one shall tire.

A gentle, nostalgic, youthful return

to life’s best memories, a final place

where she or he will be at peace

with past friends, finding love and grace.

AFC 2018


White-coated equine with measured pace,

well-groomed coat, face full of grace,

Nuelle draws carriage with grateful guest

to elysian fields of final rest.

Though no imprisoned life awaits

this soul calmly accepting fate.

Instead, a happy place with friends,

a painless life which never ends.

Nuelle’s rôle is knowing where

each one belongs, a wisdom rare.

She has concerns if any are late

for reunion with place or mate.

She’s proud to shelter, transport, cradle

her clients, then return to stable,

content to share an apple sweet

before her well-earned, peaceful sleep.

AFC 2018


Proud yet humble, Griffin leads

Nuelle as they cater for others’ needs,

treats her to half his apple lunch,

as they wait together… and munch.

Griffin’s job is noble and fair,

collecting clients ready to share

another life, where they can feel

a peace, see beauty forever, real.

Griffin was once a cavalier,

fighting for country, no truck with fear,

he firmly stood on freedom’s side

and fell with comrades, proudly died.

Nuelle fought with him, two as one,

so now their first endeavour’s done

they have a noble task and stay

for ever peaceful, in step, each day.

AFC 2018

Personal Review

I love these stories. The gentleness they contain, even when the subject’s past is violent or distressing, is all-pervading and leaves us with a satisfying feeling that, at last, all is well. They are comforting, they allay fears of death.

Michael Friedman uses exquisite phraseology, transporting us to a magical world of final peace for a sad, hurt, tormented or sometimes surprised soul. His stories are well-crafted, thought provoking and structured to the last precise detail.

The characters of Griffin and Nuelle are strong, in control yet obedient to the passenger’s whims. They cannot change the circumstances but they can grant their final wishes. I never tire of these tales, nor do I ever stop being amazed at the ever-surprising circumstances of each passenger and the boundless imagination of the author.

There are three series so far. I recommend you read each and every story; you will not be disappointed. Each of the series differs slightly in form but sticks to the basis of the carriage driver and his horse performing their cherished duty.

The first series offers an image of transition to the afterlife, the second further explores glimpses into that afterlife and a little further, the third gives those passing over - or is it passing through? - a chance to define their own destination of choice.

Read any of this author’s work and I'm confident you will be left wanting more.

White Horses in the Waves

Foam on Tops of Waves
Foam on Tops of Waves | Source

White Horses

White horses are significant in mythology, being associated with

  • the sun chariot
  • warrior-heroes
  • fertility
  • an end-of-time saviour (like Nuelle?)

In Greek mythology, Poseidon was the creator of horses, creating them out of the breaking waves when challenged to make a beautiful land animal. Hence the description for the foam on the top of waves in a choppy sea is commonly ‘white horses’.

There are several white horse figures carved into chalk on hillsides in Britain, such as the Westbury White Horse in Wiltshire and the White Horse at Uffington in Oxfordshire.

Horses with completely white coats are commonly referred to as 'greys'.

White Horses on Chalk Downs

Westbury White Horse, Wiltshire
Westbury White Horse, Wiltshire | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Ann Carr


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      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        6 weeks ago from SW England

        Mike is indeed a gifted writer and I've read many of his series here at HP. He has such an easy style and makes his scenes so real.

        Yes that's a great picture isn't it? I love imagery like that.

        Thanks, as always, for reading my work, Peggy. Much appreciated.


      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Ann,

        I read Mike's first book, and after reading what you wrote about the other two in this series, I'll have to add them to my reading list. His stories are most enjoyable.

        That breaking wave image with the horse's heads is amazing.

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        2 years ago from SW England

        Thank you, Nikki, for your generous comment. Mike certainly is a great writer.

        Always good to see you but don't worry that you've missed a few!


      • nikkikhan10 profile image

        Nikki Khan 

        2 years ago from London

        An awesome tribute to a great writer Micheal Friedman, I love his book of eternity which tells the tales of different people so beautifully that we actually fall in love with death and life after.

        Thanks for writing wonderful poetry, I loved reading it.

        It seems I've missed some of your hubs recently, would try'n catch up dear.

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        2 years ago from SW England

        Thank you, Maria, for your kind comment. Yes it's one of my favourites too.


      • marcoujor profile image

        Maria Jordan 

        2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

        A stellar tribute to one of my absolute favorite series ... it's thrilling to see fans of Griffin and Nuelle from all over the globe.

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        2 years ago from SW England

        Thank you very much, Mike. Phew! I am relieved that you approve and thrilled that you enjoyed the poetry. No apology necessary. I love your characters and wanted to do them, and you, justice.


      • mckbirdbks profile image


        2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

        Hello Ann - Please forgive my tardiness. Thank you. You have done justice to the team of Griffin and Nuelle. I enjoyed your poetry, as it painted a true portrait of this team as they carry out their duties to transport those who have earned their rightful place in the next realm.

        Thanks to all who have stopped by to read and comment. I do hope you all enjoy the journey that Nuelle and Griffin offer.

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        2 years ago from SW England

        Venkatachari M: Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the poems. Mike is one of my favourite authors.


      • Venkatachari M profile image

        Venkatachari M 

        2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

        Very interesting and beautiful post. Enjoyed the poems.

        It is a wonderful tribute to our "Carriage Driver Series" Author Mike. He is really a wonderful storyteller and I enjoyed some of his episodes in all these series.

        Thanks for bringing to light his wonderful works and the characters.

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        2 years ago from SW England

        Hello Dora! Thank you very much. I've always had an affinity to Nuelle; she seems so caring yet purposeful and definitely important! Great to see you today.


      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        2 years ago from SW England

        Thank you, Liz. What a lovely thing to say!


      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        2 years ago from SW England

        Thank you, Frank. You are always so supportive and I appreciate that very much.


      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        2 years ago from SW England

        Thank you, Peg, for such a lovely comment. This poetry challenge is one thing in itself but I can't let them go without some sort of tangent to go with them! Lateral thinking.


      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thank you for this very pleasant read of prose and poetry. Interesting information. Beautiful and effective poetry. Impressed that Nuelle got her own tribute; she's important to the process.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        2 years ago from UK

        I really enjoyed reading this article. It has so much variety in its content and presentation.

      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        2 years ago from Shelton

        The tribute to the Carriage Driver.. and review was so spot on.. what a nice thing to do too..bravo Ann... :)

      • PegCole17 profile image

        Peg Cole 

        2 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

        Truly inspired creations of prose to celebrate the writings of another. I loved all three of your poems and the glimpse into the history of white horses.

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        2 years ago from SW England

        Thank you, Linda, for popping in today and leaving your kind words.


      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

        Griffin and Nuelle are very interesting characters. Thank you for sharing some information about them as well as your lovely poems, Ann.

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        2 years ago from SW England

        Verlie: Thank you very much for your lovely comment. I like your description of the chalk horses as 'icing'; great analogy!


      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        2 years ago from SW England

        Thank you, bill. I admire Mike greatly and just love reading his stories.

        The warm skies have deserted us here, sadly. Spring pretended to arrive for a couple of days then decided we didn't deserve any more for a while!


      • snakeslane profile image

        Verlie Burroughs 

        2 years ago from Canada

        Ann this is beautiful, your poems capture the essence of Nuelle and Griffin's characters and deeds indeed. I enjoyed the entire page, the fine photographs, and the great introduction to the Carriage Driver series. The images of white horses on chalk downs are like sweet icing on this lovely write-up.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        2 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Mike is one of the most-giving, talented, unselfish writers I know. I salute your salute to him..a very nice thing for you to do, Ann, and well-deserved.

        Wishing you both a brilliant Monday under warm skies.


      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        2 years ago from SW England

        Thank you Mary. I hope you get round to reading this series and maybe more. He's certainly a great writer.


      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        2 years ago from SW England

        Hello Eric! It's good to get away from reality sometimes and his stories are certainly a great way to do that! Thanks for the comment.


      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Thank you for the introduction to Michael Friedman. I have read of Thomas F. but not Michael so I have to start the acquaintance going and enjoy this wordsmith's works.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Thank you Ann -- for all of it. I have to check back to reality. You and Mr. Friedman carry me away.

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        2 years ago from SW England

        manatita: Thank you for your kind words.


      • manatita44 profile image


        2 years ago from london

        Greek history are always awesome. Great piece.

      • annart profile imageAUTHOR

        Ann Carr 

        2 years ago from SW England

        Thank you Gypsy! Yes, Mike is a great writer and deserves as wide an audience as possible. Good to see you.


      • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

        Gypsy Rose Lee 

        2 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

        Loved these poems. A wonderful tribute to a terrific author Ann. Always a wonderful write from Mike on his The Carriage Driver series and others..


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