Sunday, August 31, 2014

60 Degrees North

Oarsmen heave
nets of mackerel
from cast-iron waves;

half-booted and silent,
they have no need to tell stories,
ask dus du mind?

how after creation God gathered
leftover shards, pressed them together
to make the hilt of a sword.

Women rule the shore,
croon grounded wool and songs
scented with the whisky of a peat fire,

watch the sliver of land
between water and cloud,
lightning rod of the far edge; 

where men pull and point like compasses,
breathe in the charge of sea,  
think nothing of rocks.

tk/August 2014 

Delicious atmospheric read by R.A.D. Stainforth...

*Dark Harbor, 1943 by N. C. Wyeth


  1. fabulous Tess- love the powerful push and pull of your words!

  2. Some very powerful and vivid images Tess, very well done. Excellent image this week for the prompt.

  3. Oh, the fourth stanza ~ be still my heart!

  4. I could feel the pull of the waves and the wonder of creation.

  5. These compass like sword handle Thanes should know they are inside her....

  6. Cast iron waves sets the tone of this poem about the hard life of the northern fishermen.

    Good take.

  7. The leftover shards of creation. Yes, that's what we've had to deal with ever since. Beautifully written poem.

  8. Ah yes, pulling and pointing you have sailed us upon the sea of your words.

  9. I can feel these 'cast-iron waves' in your poem! Strong one! xx

  10. It's those damned shards! But I liked the picture of the women ashore-warmth, welcomes and whisky?

  11. Yet another beautifully delineated poem, Tess. You float in a rarified ether, the whole world at your disposal to pull into your poem. That means you're the real deal; don't stop. xxxxj

  12. Love this, Tess. One if my favorite images is, "scented with the whiskey of a peat fire."

  13. I loved this. Your imagery reminded me of the fishing stories heard while we were in Galway, Ireland. Just lovely!

  14. I love the mood and picture you painted with these words - I feel like I've been deposited into a Dutch master painting now!

  15. Nice, Tess
    Hope the seagulls leave some for us . . . :)


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)