Ship’s Log

Asail for Jamestown, weather struck an evil chord.
Young ones lashed to timbers, screamed in terror.
Women, hands clasped, lay flat rolling with the pitch
prayers heard by gales of wind, sent from hell.

What reef was that below? That jarring impact?
Yesterday’s aquamarine, myriad shades of blue
now boiling black sea wall, impossible to climb
sails reduced to shreds, precious cargo lost.

Legs like spindles flailed in white caps
wide-eyed heads and struggling arms schooled
instinctively to shore, collapsed on sand
knowing not this somewhere land.

Awake at dawn, miraculously all ashore
but up and down the sands, bits of her, everywhere.
She is beyond sail. But we are not.
We are a hearty group, this the royals knew.

There are no Others here. No conversions
or wars divert our attention. We live
amongst fowl and fish of many shapes
and harvest abundant cedar trees.

Birds, unused to four limbed walker-talls,
never learned to fear. And so we pet and grab
and spit, until their raucous calls, cahow cahow,
forshadow their impending doom.

We are users now, building for tomorrow.
Tall cedar limbs bend and crack as they grow less
our hopes grow more. The sails shall rise
and we shall once again, ride atop these seas.

1610 ~
The time has finally come. Farewell this land
your gifts to us immeasurable.
And I wonder as I write, who next
shall see this beautiful isle
beneath the skies that never end.

IMG_0760IMG_0840IMG_3431

Photos from Bermuda — the myriad shades of blue!  Written for dVerse..Kelly tending bar at dVerse asked us to write a narrative poem, somehow including a bird — in commemoration of Harper Lee’s recent death, author of To Kill A Mockingbird.  This is (with some liberty) the story of Bermuda’s discovery — totally by accident. The island was uninhabited when discovered. Sadly, the cedar timbers once so plentiful, are all but gone. And the Cahow, once thought extinct, is now making a comeback with help from naturalists here.

24 thoughts on “Ship’s Log

  1. Melinda Kucsera February 24, 2016 / 10:26 am

    wow what a narrative! It was like reading a Pirates of the Caribbean scene! Arresting poetry my friend, full of so many great lines.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 24, 2016 / 10:34 am

      Thanks, Melinda! Fun to write…better still to edit it down to readable length.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Melinda Kucsera February 24, 2016 / 10:36 am

        You’er welcome . There was more to this stunning write?

        Like

  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) February 24, 2016 / 10:26 am

    Oh.. how great it had to be to find an island like that… brings back memories of reading the Bounty Mutiny and how they spent time on Tahiti.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 24, 2016 / 10:34 am

      Fun to imagine those days!

      Like

  3. whimsygizmo February 24, 2016 / 11:55 am

    Such gorgeousness, and a fantastic narrative, Lillian. You took me there, in both time and place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 25, 2016 / 6:24 am

      Many thanks! Just getting to my reading this windy morn….wiating for my coffee to be ready! 🙂 Nice to see you here this AM.

      Like

  4. ShirleyB February 24, 2016 / 12:24 pm

    I, too, was right there in that desert island paradise. I’m amazed at the standard of work this prompt brought out. Loved every word of this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 25, 2016 / 6:24 am

      Thanks, Shirley. Turned out much longer than my norm….but a narrative takes spinning.

      Like

  5. Kim Gruenwald February 24, 2016 / 1:39 pm

    Nice job! Now I can picture the place that goes with the poem!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 25, 2016 / 6:25 am

      Ah, sipping my morning cup and reading your words….wish you were across the table again! 🙂

      Like

    • lillian February 25, 2016 / 6:25 am

      The times were gripping indeed. Amazingly hearty and resourceful folks they were.

      Like

  6. kelly February 25, 2016 / 8:08 am

    What a fascinating story! And what a telling tale of the way man seems to ever-alter the landscape of our world. A tale of survival.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 26, 2016 / 1:38 pm

      Thank you for the read and your perceptive comments here. Humans do indeed alter things wherever they land. What makes Bermuda different in its “discovery” is there were no inhabitants so there was no war, no “take over,” no conversion process. Of course, the land and its resources were still changed.

      Like

  7. Victoria C. Slotto February 25, 2016 / 2:41 pm

    I can tell you are so familiar with the ocean, lillian. And your poem, to me, reads along the lines of classical narrative poetry. Bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 25, 2016 / 6:20 pm

      Thank you, Victoria. I do appreciate so much your kind words!

      Like

  8. Walt Wojtanik February 25, 2016 / 4:46 pm

    Now, that’s a narrative poem! Picturesque and full of imagery! A great setting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 25, 2016 / 6:19 pm

      So glad you like it, Walt! Happy I am 🙂

      Like

  9. rivrvlogr February 26, 2016 / 11:04 am

    “Yesterday’s aquamarine and myriad shades of blue
    now boiling black sea wall,”

    You’re surroundings give you such inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 26, 2016 / 1:18 pm

      Bermuda is truly a muse! 🙂 Surrounded by prompts I am! Glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. katiemiafrederick March 2, 2016 / 1:22 am

    Just coming back from the beautiful
    Emerald waters.. sugar white sand..
    swaying sea oats.. and sun
    spiraling seagulls.. now..
    only deficit of
    Florida pan
    handle..
    dunes
    erased
    by Hurricane
    winds of middle
    2000’s.. i must
    say there is a muse
    oF Beach for PoeTry
    unlike any other for me..
    and this.. just more fire
    for that fuel..
    from
    Bermuda..
    so thanks..
    and thanks
    again..
    a Mocking
    Bird might say..
    to a friend.. A
    sea
    gull
    too..:)

    Liked by 1 person

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