The red ship of storm


And are we ever driven from bed in anguish

by cries in the garden or beyond,

somewhere in the world?


Do men have to live like rust,

eating away the sustaining structure,

leaving behind them only the stains of dried blood?


Could we not listen to the water,

singing in the tongue our mother taught us

before we learned the gabble of the small screen?


Do we no longer see sunlight and shadow,

the dappled pattern of leaves and clouds

and the coat of the creeping cat?


There is a sky above that changes with the seasons,

flocking birds and beneath,

gently swaying treetops.


Sun shines, rain falls,

nests fill and empty with gentle wing-flutter,

and rocks sleep beneath lizards and moss;


there is music in the moonlight,

drifting among the night shadows

on owl wings and water babble.



Perhaps the red ship of storm

will pass us by.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

22 thoughts on “The red ship of storm”

  1. The gabble of small screens…now that is a perfect description. I consulted the Oracle about my wren for Draw a Bird Day and She of course saw only the magic of the Earth–but you have that too, just tucked into the larger picture. And another wonderful sky! (K)

    1. It’s true I add a lot between the images the Oracle gives me. The sky is from last autumn. A really glorious sunset. I’ll be over to look at your wren. I didn’t know you have wrens!

  2. Another wonderful collaboration with the Oracle. I agree with what Kerfe said that you have the magic tucked in there amidst all the stuff going on in the world around us.
    And you got the photo that I wanted to get. You will no doubt find it hard to believe that I wrote about storms as well–though we had literal storms here, along with the metaphorical ones. 😏

    1. Oh, very hard to believe πŸ™‚ Our red-eyed storm hasn’t hit and probably won’t. Another day of heat, a mere 102Β°F today. We didn’t even merit a mention in the weather report for the heat wave.
      I don’t know what technique you use with the Oracle but I take a line or an idea from each page of words and add a lot of my own interpretation. It makes a longer poem but the core is usually the same. As you’d expect πŸ™‚

      1. Yikes! it hasn’t been as hot as that here–just hot. We did have some days around 100, and a whole long string in the 90s, but it’s so humid.
        I pick a set, look at the words, and see how I feel about them–choose tiles, sometimes make phrases, refresh–maybe go to another set. . . add my own thoughts. . .sounds somewhat similar. πŸ˜€

      2. Ha ha πŸ™‚ It’s the words that stand out that are important, wherever we find them.
        Humidity is worse than dry heat. Really sweaty heat. At least it’s Gobi Desert type heat here.

  3. Men of rust. Too true. Water, song, and mother are so refreshing–and an utter contrast. The stanza offering the challenge to see “the dappled pattern of leaves and clouds/and the coat of the creeping cat” speaks to me strongly. As for the “gabble” from the small screen, I suppose that is the smart phone with or without earbuds, which I’m not smart enough to own (the phone or the buds).

    1. Actually, the small screen for me is any moving pictures, phone, TV, tablet etc. I have a smart phone but don’t have internet because I have the cheapest subscription. I only use the camera on it and to make phone calls. The idea of watching international rubbish on a tiny phone screen would drive me insane.

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