Death Wish at Sea

big waves under cloudy sky

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The storm was predicted,
Jet black was the sky,
But I  needed to cross,
I remember not why.

The ship sailed for Dublin,
I knew I must try
To bolster my nerves
My fear to defy.

A storm was predicted,
Air pressure awry.
Not for the first time
I feared I would die.

But that storm was a beast
And I let out a cry,
‘Please Lord do listen,
Oh please let me die!’

But we made it across
That dread Irish Sea,
But I’ve never yet mastered
My fears. Let them be!

 

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‘On Lost Youth” . . . A TANKA

black and white man young lonely

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‘On Lost Youth” . . . A TANKA

 

Still lusting for life

It so defeats me to cry

Joy now comes with pain

Bringing thoughts of what has been

Youth will never come again

 

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Tanka is a genre of classical Japanese poetry meaning a short poem, and one of the major genres of Japanese literature. 

A Tanka consist of five units (often treated as separate lines when romanized or translated) usually with the pattern of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables per unit or line). Wikipedia

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Night Murmurs

adult alone backlit black and white

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Night Murmurs

 

A whimper came to me at night,
A murmur soft as a dream.
It crept into my consciousness,
As would a silk moonbeam.

This phantom sound,
This covert cry,
Caused my heart to still;
It seemed to me
It had to be
More than just a sigh.

A threat,
A promise,
A pleading voice,
A start or a cessation?
A signal meant for me alone –
Oblation or Damnation?

I held my heart in readiness,
Wept when no guidance came;
Waited too long,
The moment gone;
As ever I am to blame.

 

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Please Note:  Over the next few weeks, whilst I am downsizing and moving house, I shall  hopefully be posting only two blogs each week, rather than my usual daily publication.  I hope to return to more frequent postings in a few weeks time.

 

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Edna St. Vincent Millay – ‘“What lips my lips have kissed’

(No.60 of my favourite short poems)

emillay

This Sonnet is by Edna St. Vincent Millay, an American poet and playwright who was born in Rockland, Maine, in 1892.  I find it a moving and poignant poem looking back on her more youthful days with regret and intense longing.  Her sonnet is written in the Italian form, divided into two parts – an eight-lined octet, followed by a six-line sestet, here presented as just two sentences.  It is both reflective and filled with remorse.

Millay’s first published poem, ‘Renascence‘ was particularly well received and launched her on her writing career.  For a large part of her life Millay lived and worked among her Bohemian friends in New York’s Greenwich Village milieu.  Known to her friends as Vincent, she was openly bisexual, and gradually accrued both fame and some notoriety.   In 1923, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for ‘The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver’.   Edna St Vincent Millay died in 1950.

 

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“What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why”

By Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,

I have forgotten, and what arms have lain

Under my head till morning; but the rain

Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh

Upon the glass and listen for reply,

And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain

For unremembered lads that not again

Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.

 

Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,

Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,

Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:

I cannot say what loves have come and gone,

I only know that summer sang in me

A little while, that in me sings no more.

 

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Six Lanturnes

Japanese-Lantern

Six Lanturnes

The LANTURNE is a traditional poetic form which has a five-line verse, normally without rhyme, supposedly in the shape of a Japanese lantern.
It has a syllabic pattern of one, two, three, four, one.
Below ,I have composed six loosely connected verses in this form . . .

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  Raise
 your voice
 make it ring
don’t let it die
   sing

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 Vows
last long
when new but
promises  soon
   die

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  Love
  yields hope
 but time tells
and soon it dies
    hurt

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    Life
 brings joy
But  sorrow
Intrudes too soon
    … Damn!

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 I
alas
will die soon
leaving this life
  hurts

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   Cry
and ask
this fool world
to  forgive  your
    tears

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