Ferdinand’s ghost

Yesterday’s dverse prompt was to write a sonnet or any other poetry form, incorporating the title of one of Shakespeare’s plays. Today, the NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a duplex sonnet. Too good a coincidence to miss, but since I didn’t warm to the duplex option, here is an ordinary sonnet with Shakespearean overtones.

Painting by John William Waterhouse.

Ferdinand’s ghost

An overarching of sky of bird’s egg blue,
A sward of grassy green and golden light,
All swallowed by the rising storm, the hue
Of kelp, that heaves, a restless sea of night.

Like scraps of feathered day, the crow flock flees,
Wings black as space among the swirling clouds,
Torn from the ragged shrouds of ghostly trees
That heave and sway like huddled fearful crowds,

Who watched the tempest wreck the ship that broke
Upon the gale’s dark teeth. Its timbers sank
Into the deeps; the bridegroom never woke,
A linceul now his diamond raiment, rank.

Full fathom five, your prince, the dead man lies,
No tears fall from those pearls, his only eyes.



A cascade poem for the Daily Post prompt. I know, I use this painting often.

Miranda - The tempest, by John William Waterhouse
Miranda – The tempest *oil on canvas *100.4 x 137.8 cm *signed b.r.: J.W. Waterhouse / 1916


Waves curl green upon the sea,

Foam sprays salt upon the leaves,

I watch the line of night come near.


Setting sun turns red the rose tree,

Crimson stalks the summer wheat sheaves,

It will not light your boat, I fear.


No sail shines out despite my plea,

No boat bobs home to one who grieves,

The ocean keeps one I hold dear.


Still I wait and watch in sorrow,

My last voyage starts tomorrow.

She waits for him to return

Painting by Waterhouse ‘Miranda’.


The wind in my head
Like the gulls’ raucous wail
Recalls the dark waves
And a sea with no sail.
The hiss of the leaves
Like the mocking refrain
Of your footsteps departing
Beneath the cold rain.
I look for a sign
In the half-light, the twilight,
But the sky is as black
As storm clouds at midnight.
The sound of your words,
An echo of laughter,
Cold as the stones
Of the dark ever after.