Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sailor's Nocturne



Sailor's Nocturne



I.

The nights were ours and ours alone
when I was your salt sister
when my skin was wet with love
and the tide of moonlight lashed the grassy beach
to the beat of ebbing hearts, the tall storm whistler
splitting the elegance of sky's black satin sheets.


II.
 
As the petrel thrown far out to sea 
beats to rest its wings on wreck's debris;
as Pandora's jewel was shoulder-deep
in weeping, you come back to me in sleep
braiding sulphur ribbons in my hair
sinking me in the port of your warlock stare.


III.

 Brother you're lost cold in the undertow, 
pain your pilot and your puzzle-gift,
but we speak again where the moon lights up the runes,
 all ours and ours alone;
I still am your salt sister sailing
in the sea of night dreams neverending.


~June 2013











posted for     real toads

Kerry's Wednesday Challenge: Nocturne
 Kerry O'Connor asks us to emulate, in verbal form, the musical nuance of the compositional form known as nocturne. The poem should be lyrical rather than narrative, might suggest the religious symbology of a triune service, and can be form or free verse--I tried to do a bit of all of this here.
For further, and much more lucid, details of the challenge, see above link.








Header image: Moonlit Landscape, by Camille Corot, 1874
Footer image: Boat with Two Figures, by Odilon Redon, 1902
Public Domain, via wikipaintings.org



28 comments:

  1. This is superb.. I felt every line vibrating on an emotional level, and the moodiness was sustained throughout. I love the opening lines for there rhythm and words: salt water sister *sounds* so good. Then the more structured second movement lifted me to another place, while the third took me back to where I had begun. And all through each phase, I could sense the night upon the ocean. Thoroughly satisfying read. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks for your in-depth comment, Kerry. I know you're pressed for time, so doubly appreciated.

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  2. I can taste, smell, and feel all this...rough, salty, old hemp, jibs, the works. Great art work too...I like :)) ~jackie~

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  3. I am not sure how your rhyme scheme works here but it works super well. (And that itself seems to be true of a musical nocturne. I do not know much about music but I feel like it is a format that has certain kinds of refrain, but nothing like so systematic as a sonata or fugure.) And a nocturne has a deep yearning strain - which, you have here too - sort of from the depths - I especially like the first and third parts- and the wonderful repeatitive end rhyme - (I like the second part too - the petrel and the sulfer braids - but the first and third stanzas feel more purely elemental and less iconagraphic to me, and I have a prejudice towards the elemental). The moonlight lashing the beach and the ebbing hearts -so wonderful in their double-meanings. All the double meanings--this moon light lighting up the runes is so wonderful in terms of the elucidation of night mysteries - I must run where I am or would say more - lovely poignant sort of poem -I keep wondering about Pandora's jewel - it's certainly an interesting image - I dont know if I really understand it, though I can see the pursuit of curiousity as ending up in a a kind of misery certainly. (Anyway - don't mean to say I don't like the second part! Think the whole thing terrific.) k.

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    1. Pandora's jewel is what she found in the bottom of the box of miseries--I always think of the Arthur Rackham illustration when I think of that myth--ie,hope, what permits us to carry on despite all evidence that carrying on leads to only more misery. ;_)Thanks for your insights, k. as always, and as always for reading the hidden so well.

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    2. PS I did a little rewriting on stanza II. It was not reading right for me either. I doubt I made it clearer, but at least I made it shorter. ;_)

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    3. Agh! I wasn't urging re-write - I was really touting first and third - my memory is not good enough to keep clear how it was first time, but this is STILL good, if shorter. k.

      ps -thanks for heads-up re Pandora's jewel. Makes sense. I have seen so many cartoon versions of the story, I always think of hope as some little Holy Ghost sort of figure with a high-pitched voice! I'm not in much touch with original myth! k.

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    4. LMAO. Our whole culture is a cartoon myth, I think. ;_)Thanks again, k.

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  4. nice...it is lyrical and i like how some ends rhymes play on the internal as well...the middle stanza is my fav...the braiding in the hair...and pandora ref....the satin sheet night is a cool description as well...pain your pilot and puzzle was a cool line too...

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  5. Hedge, one of my favorites of yours. Love the "salt sister"......and all of the similes, especially the petrel far out to sea........the line "pain your pilot and your puzzle-gift" is wonderful and brilliantly suggests the suffering soul......the last stanza is so loving. I hope you send this poem to him........it is a brilliant outpouring of love and support.

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  6. your song takes me, almost reluctantly, to a time years ago when I lost a loved one to addiction. I think it is the second stanza with-you come back to me in sleep-that made this move from real experience to a dreamlike one, which for me is always how my memories feel. Water and all of her metaphors are rich here. I feel myself take the helm, so to speak, in the last stanza. Your phrase "pain your pilot and your puzzle-gift" in particular reminds me of the letting go I had to do with my loved one who was feeling so much pain. THis nocturne really sings to me. I haven't been reading very much online poetry lately as my access to computer has been limited, but oh how rewarding this one is to find. Thank you.

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    1. And thanks in return, Jane. Poetry is the well where we draw the clearest water, through which the past sometimes shines darkly, I admit. The allusions of your experiences fit this well--I too have been there and the letting go is difficult indeed.

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  7. Thank you. Thank you for the almost tangible mastery of craft this displays so beautifully. Dear God, this is gorgeous and thank you!

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    1. Totally my pleasure, MZ. Thanks for your appreciative response.

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  8. Love, danger, loss so beautifully written. And of hope. I agree with all above, the words just melt of the tongue and beg a second (or third) read.

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  9. There is such beauty, myth, and lyrical mastery in this. I love each part, but the first one is my favorite...

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  10. I love this, Hedge.
    "I am your salt sister sailing, and the sea of night dreams neverending"
    You are a true poet. I am but a versifier dabbling there and there. You are rocking the prompts.
    Admiration neverending,
    K

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  11. I love the mythical magic of your lyrical dream!
    :D
    It is gorgeous...I want a salt sister ;D
    Bravo Joy!!

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  12. Complex. Powerful. And enjoyable.

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  13. The lyrical flow adds to the ebb and flow flow of the words here with the salt sister! :)

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  14. nice, the subtle rhymes here are so pleasing. pain does guide and steer.

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  15. This is so lovely ... can feel everything ... everything.

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  16. "braiding sulphur ribbons in my hair" wow....Had to mention this one...among many stunning lyrical lines. This was a pleasure to read, Hedge...well done!

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  17. I love the way this curls back around, almost unnoticed, to curl itslef around itself again at the end. Is this why circles (rings) represent love? Regardless of that, this is a special piece, Joy.

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  18. Flowing rhythm and ethereal feel of the night. Enjoyed this!

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  19. I've lived by the sea most of my life. This has its scent at night. Marvelous.

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  20. You nailed Kerry's request that the poem be more lyrical than narrative. This piece sings, and I love how you have woven the sea and myth through out the poem. RIbbons of sulfur, sea salt sister, the whole thing is brilliant. Well done!

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg