Eratosphere (
-   Metrical Poetry -- The Deep End (
-   -   Bligh (

Jan Iwaszkiewicz 09-09-2018 09:53 AM

Revision II


Before the wind could whisper of a gale
my tongue would taste its presence in the air,
I’d feel the swell of ocean muscle hale
itself up from the deep, though all was fair.
Before the canvas cracked, before the flail
of rigging gave, before a spar could split
along some sap-wrought weakness in its grain,
before a cloud could clear its throat and spit,

I’d know, as though I’d scried this globe of pain
together with the One Who’d fashioned it.

I’m hard and I was born for hard command.
I’ve hammered down the sun and stars and nailed
their genius to my wake. I am the Hand
of God at sea and I have never failed
in duty nor have been by fear unmanned.
Yet I, despite all this, cannot exscind
that I am man who cannot fathom man
and I've been soft with those I’ve disciplined.

Again I'll have to chance my mortal span,
they’ve put me arse unbreeked, into the wind.


up from the deep, although all else was fair.


that I am soft with those I’ve disciplined.

And now, once more I’ll risk my mortal span,
they’ve put me arse unbreeked, into the wind.

Jim Moonan 09-09-2018 11:02 AM

A better told tale I've not read here. Not chip away. Not me. Knot.

Jan Iwaszkiewicz 09-10-2018 05:19 PM

Thank you Jim.


Martin Rocek 09-11-2018 03:29 PM

this is very well done--it creates a convincing voice.

I wonder about the word "hale" in L3; you appear to be using it as a verb, which however is not only archaic but means to drag or pull up (I guess like "haul"). The examples that I can find online are all transitive, so I am not sure if your usage here is correct, but this could just be my ignorance.

Best wishes,

Ann Drysdale 09-13-2018 06:27 AM

I am so taken with this that I can overlook "hale" and take the poet's meaning from the tone of it. But if others find it hard, perhaps the end-rhymes squall/ haul would eliminate the difficulty?

Jan Iwaszkiewicz 09-13-2018 08:09 AM

Martin and Ann

Thank you both.

'hale' is the right word:

verb archaic
verb: hale; 3rd person present: hales; past tense: haled; past participle: haled; gerund or present participle: haling

drag or draw forcibly.
"he haled an old man out of the audience"

Middle English: from Old French haler, from Old Norse hala .

Here, to feel the ocean's muscle forcibly dragged up from the deep, as the ocean is mainly benign. Sometimes it will overtly seem to change with the weather but often the power comes up from distant events and will appear to hale up from the deep.

I am glad you both liked it I am somewhat partial to it myself. *smile*


Jan Iwaszkiewicz 09-13-2018 07:51 PM

Revision (slight) posted.

Martin Rocek 09-14-2018 06:04 PM

Hi Jan,
the example you gave, and those that I found, were all transitive: hale someone or something up. Can it be used intransitively as you use it? Pardon my ignorance!


Martin Elster 09-15-2018 04:45 PM

This is really good. I wasn’t sure about “hale” either, and still aren’t.
My favorite line is “before a cloud could clear its throat and spit.”

Jan Iwaszkiewicz 09-16-2018 08:30 AM

Hi again Martin R

I misread, in part, your previous comment as I felt that 'itself' would be understood and accepted i see that I was wrong, an unfortunately common occurrence I am told *smile*

My thanks, I have edited.

Hi Martin E

I thank you for your kind words and I hear your reservation (and Martin R's) and have edited accordingly.

Kind regards,


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:41 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.