Late Afternoon on a Norfolk Wherry


My response to dVerse Poets Pub Meter-Made Mood–dVerse Meeting the Bar

Victoria has challenged us to write a poem that illustrates how meter contributes to the mood of a poem.


His face is traced and creased by Norfolk gales,

His skin tanned Van Dyke brown as wherry sails,

The wherryman sits on the tiller aft,

With steady hand he guides his graceful craft.

A waterfowl with broad vermillion hatch,

The wherry glides through reed and willow thatch,

Its sail cuts dark into the sparkling light

And startles long-necked cormorants into flight;

The wherryman observes the soaring birds

Scatter feathers in the sky like words.

As sundown is announced in gold and red

And other folk prepare themselves for bed,

The wherryman moors close to windswept beach

To watch the sun slip slowly out of reach.


© Kim M. Russell, 2016

Norfolk Wherry

Image found on


26 thoughts on “Late Afternoon on a Norfolk Wherry

  1. Admiring the character sketch of the wherryman Kim, specially :

    His face is traced and creased by Norfolk gales,

    His skin tanned Van Dyke brown as wherry sails

    Would love to watch sundown in gold and red!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I posted some photos of Norfolk sunsets with a couple of poems last August. My husband took me for meal at a local restaurant on my birthday and as we came out of the car park, all I could see was the wonderful sky! Sadly, there aren’t many wherrymen around, although I might find that I’m wrong after tonight’s talk!


  2. Wow, an incredible poem under all circumstances, so very strong with a place & time unknown to most of us. Grace nailed the lines I admired; showing her astute judgement. Your poem was so well written, so rife with ambience, the aa, bb, cc, etc rhyme scheme worked flawlessly; no sense of pushing, or fudging to make the rhyme. Over all an outstanding effort, with lots of iambs to spice it up.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is utterly gorgeous, Kim. Your create a sense of character in the wherryman, a feeling of serenity, even fulfillment in the setting and share with me a bit of culture unknown to me here in the wild west. I do believe that if I had a bucket list, travel to your piece of the world would be at the very top. It doesn’t hurt that I devour British mysteries. What a great setting that would be.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I LOVE this. I can follow the rhythmic meter and the sense of the poem flows. So much beautiful imagery here — the cormorants, the sun slipping slowly out of reach. This is quite wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

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