Waves scream at gulls,
scribble chaos in their wake,
sculpt rocks into skulls,
pummel cliffs until they break.
Boats struggle to resist,
anchors taut against the tide,
rollers and undertow persist,
ragged sails and ropes untied.
Cliff-bound in purple shroud,
the lighthouse flashes behind clouds.
Rays of hope and steadfastness
guide sailors through the darkness.

Kim M. Russell, 6th December 2019

Artwork by Kerry O’Connor aka skyloverpoetry

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Art FLASH! / 55 in December

I can’t believe this is the last Art FLASH! prompt in The Imaginary Garden! Kerry has shared her own art in the form of two Oracle Cards: Pharos after the first lighthouse constructed in the city of Alexandria, Egypt and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and Pacifico, the Pacific Ocean, meaning ‘pacify’ or ‘peaceful’. Kerry gives us some background to the meanings of both cards.

For this challenge we can select either of the cards (or both) and write an original poem for this prompt. Alternatively, we can a Flash Fiction 55 inspired by the art, or on a subject of our choice.

I’ve reworked an old poem into a 55.


23 thoughts on “Pharos

  1. I’ve always been fascinated by lighthouses, especially the era during which there were keepers living in little quarters on site, tending the great lenses. You too?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love them, as well as Martello towers and windmills. We have quite a few windmills nearby and a magnificent red and white striped lighthouse, which is quite well known in the UK. I really enjoy ghost stories set in lighthouses.


  2. I especially like the image of rocks sculpted into skulls. I am glad this illustration put you in mind of a poem from your archives. It seems newly written, with so many sensory ties to the mood of this lighthouse.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is absolutely splendid in its imagery and mood and tone, Kim! ❤️ I especially love; “Cliff-bound in purple shroud, the lighthouse flashes behind clouds.” 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There would be no need for lighthouses without the your description of raw hands on deck against the sea. Really excellent descriptors, I felt like I was reading Pound’s translation of “The Seafarer.” Cold and brutal and wild–how welcoming then those lighthouses by the sea, with their revolving angels of grace. Really well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Vivid and full of a sense of the enmity of the elements, the struggle which men have waged against them to voyage and to survive. Your use of rhyme here is very effective, too. It’s a powerful image, the lighthouse, and everyone sees some of their own shadow in its sweep, it seems.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. scribble chaos! Love that and the whole poem. I’ve toured a few along the eastern coast and want to take a few weeks to do them all one summer!

    Liked by 1 person

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