The coastline has a rugged spine of cliff,
its rocky ribs rising with every breath
of wind and wave that shifts the distant skiff;

its feet stand firm and solid in the depth
of salty water tugging at its bones
to try and drag it to a salty death.

The tides have loosened roots and bits of stones
like rotten teeth; they tumble to the beach
with earth and marram, gravel, groans and moans.

At high tide, sandy walks are out of reach,
the swell has all but washed away the scree
and crashing rollers drown out any speech.

A muted pearly light over the sea
becomes a fog that creeps towards the shore
consuming shape and colour in its way.

It sips the salt-stained lighthouse like a straw,
extinguishes the luminescent warning
and, devouring the landscape with a roar,

draws curtains on the world until the morning.

Kim M. Russell, 25th October 2018

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My response to dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar: Repetition

Jilly is behind the bar tonight, serving up repetition, which she reminds us is all around us; in music, advertising, our everyday conversation. We use it for emphasis, to drive home our meaning, to get the reader/listener’s attention; we use it to make our songs catchy and singable; we use repetition to make our words more memorable. Poets, like composers and lyricists, make use of repetition; we use repeated words, phrases and even repetition of complete lines.

Jilly takes us through different types of repetition and asks us to make use of it in a poem, selecting one or more of the types she has mentioned, or even trying our hands at repetitive forms like the villanelle. Jane Dougherty recently wrote a poem entitled ‘Shoot’ for the dVerse Open Link Night in a form I hadn’t heard of: the terzanelle, which has a strict rhyme scheme, repetition of sounds, and is written in iambic pentameter.  I thought I might give it a go.

48 thoughts on “Coast

  1. This is a lovely poem Kim and a tour de force keeping up the rhymes. A terzanelle is easier though as the second line of each stanza is repeated as the third line of the following stanza so you don’t have to work so hard 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You made me pine for the ocean, to stand in the mist and fog, hearing the gulls laugh and the crows caw. You had me at /it sips the salt-stained lighthouse like a straw/. Though the repetition was minimal, the power of your prose swept me away, hearing a whales song faintly on the wind.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a beautifully written poem of the coastline and its tides against the lighthouse and landscape. The roar in the last 4 lines were keenly felt, like an artist drawing on a canvas. The form looks challenging and kudos to you for writing in this form.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kim, you did an amazing job on with this form. I was mesmerised by the scene from the start. You personified just about every aspect of the the coast. I was caught by ‘moving ribs’ , ‘stones like rotten teeth’…..and the whole pic disappearing up a straw! Perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. i so enjoyed the use of human anatomy to describe, cliffs, sea and the rocks and surrounding views, you paired them perfectly, then you added the sounds, the groans, all so vivid yet haunting in a way, as nature tries so hard to resists its own forces

    Liked by 1 person

      1. i read that in the comments but felt this particular poem flowed so much better than a villanelle, it wasn’t forced or strained at all. look forward to the revised version as your heart seems intent on it. lovely weekend to you Kim!

        Liked by 1 person

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