Waves scream gulls, they flutter sand
and scribble chaos in their wake,
snatch stones and rocks in foamy hands,
rampage on cliffs until they break.
Matchstick fishing boats struggle to resist,
their anchors taut against the tide,
but rollers coil and undertow persists,
anchors are dragged and ropes untied.
On the cliffs and on the beach,
crowds have gathered, marbled with fear,
their loved ones are far out of reach;
they cannot see them nor can they hear.
Cliff-bound, outlined on purple shroud,
the lighthouse burns fissures in the clouds
with rays of hope and steadfastness,
charms trawlers home through raging darkness.
Kim M. Russell, 2017
Joseph Mallord William Turner ‘Bell Rock Lighthouse’ 1819 – image found on tate.org.uk
My poem for dVerse poets Pub Poetics: Flexing your verbs
This week I am hosting Poetics and we are focusing on verbs, also known as ‘doing’ or ‘action’ words, – the muscles of poetry. They give a poem motion, power and tone. According to The Poetry School, we should avoid flabby ones, which include clichéd verbs, unnecessary adverbs and the continuous (-ing) form, which makes verbs passive.
We are thinking about using verbs in unexpected contexts, in a similar way to Ted Hughes, in particular in his poem ‘The Hawk in the Rain’.
The challenge is to write a poem, of any length or form, not about an animal or bird, but about a landscape, using verbs in unexpected contexts, doing their job, flexing their muscles, moving poems across chosen landscapes.