Poor Poet's Scroll

"No sword
Of wrath her right arm whirl'd, [6]
But one poor poet's scroll, and with 'his' word
She shook the world." - Tennyson, 'The Poet'

I may not shake the world, but I do believe in the power of words.


15. The White Ship

Chopped as fingers rustle the dirty grey,

sighs and hisses, writes in torment.

Birds wheel in the heaven's great freedom

as the sea  slams  solid harbour walls



A face, smooth with youth,  a canvas of green,

a cloak that is wind's jealousy; snatched and coveted.

Feet tremble on the solidity of earth,

this mass of demons  a new land,

greedy for blood.


Eyes that spit out the impediments,

this golden haired youth will travel;

nature's power is feeble to prevent

the authority he will impose upon a nation.

He knows his place men will follow

on bent knee.


Man', shuffling skip, all peacock pride.

"Your majesty, you sire, you Zeus of us all.

This deck is not fit for the lowliest of your subjects.

Gates of a snowy white utopia unlocked at a single voyage

await you and yours."


Fairy dust blows from an open palm, he spins away

to conjure a mighty vessel,

white with the light of a thousand angels.

Like master, ship gloats in own pretention,

noble, graceful, swan like upon the subdued waves on which it sits,

ready to export mortal gods.


Fitzstephen, a son of a son of Poseidon's right - hand

whose hands so lovingly constructed a ship of kings before.

The Conqueror arrived safe on terra firma at pater's glowing hands,

so why should not a son see another to safety and glory?


A wave of the hand and the sun bites at golden rings.

Dazzles of a beard threaded with silver, colour in wisdom.

Father's blessing on a beloved offspring.

Crowds peel apart like a split fruit, a road to harbour,

one road to storm-blast.




Aboard, a violent hand rocking the cradle, delight

in tossing and hurling sea-sick babies, slamming and cackling.

Acidic remedy in the guise of oblivious wine.

Head spinning in unison with the attack of the waves.

Steerage, intransient as a ghost.


A feeble ink-washed light dribbles away

blanking the skies for the oncoming of night.

Greenish scum becomes blackened oil

and winds let forth from their cage

snarl with revenge.


Shadowed blackness, darkness rising from oblivion.

Wine stupor paints the night in greys and silver moon slivers.

Rivulets tear and wood is blistered

as raging sea accepts the invite

to invade.




Timbers, once bulk, bob the waves like birds

as abstract art litters the organic mass.

Bodies, whitened by death's cold hand

are limp as waves transport them

into the darkness.


Amongst them, a gleaming head,

hair bright as a majestic crown.

Hands made to command now.

Kissed by salty ripples

as the seagulls cry lament.


England divided, a crown broken.

Loyalties waver then drift as smoke

and people cower with no protection.

Water took a king to be,

Now fire rules England.

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