The tern, my ink

My page, yet blank, the thoughts
are sea in doldrums, waiting, waiting for
a morning breeze; my hands are soft;
I’m less a sailor than observer. At just

that moment, come speck in sky,
illuminated, lending sheen from dawn,
a common tern approaches and it
calls: Kee-arh, kee-arh and splashes

for the silver; for the backs of sprats.
O sea, o sea my morning mirror,
cracked; it’s bulls-eyed, pierced; and quill
just brined is ink; and high above the tern

is white on blue again; calligraphy;
its bill is blood and soot its head;
The tern is scanning calming surface;
hungers for more silver and its flesh,

until the call of breeze when hounds
of sky, grey the gulls: the pack infests
and darkens dawn; but then my page is
blood, filled with silver, shrieks and sky.

Zone by Philip Guston

Kim inspires us with a poem by Ted Hughes, “The thought Fox”, and wants us to write something in similar style at toads. Quite a challenge. I will also link to Poetry Pantry tomorrow morning.

March 25, 2017

36 responses to “The tern, my ink

  1. I think we need both ‘sailors’ and ‘observers.’ Observers that fill the pages inspire the sailors to action. A thoughtful poem, Bjorn!

  2. Oh, wow. I love this — really, really love it. Exquisite. Especially the rhythm. Absolutely gorgeous writing, Bjorn.

  3. “; but then my page is
    blood, filled with silver, shrieks and sky.”

    The poem comes to life for the reader as well

    Much love…

  4. I love the way the tern becomes your ink in this poem, Bjorn, and that you start, as you do, with a blank page. I love the lines:
    ‘…the thoughts
    are sea in doldrums, waiting, waiting for
    a morning breeze’;
    the way the speck becomes a tern; and those final lines are just wonderful:
    ‘…but then my page is
    blood, filled with silver, shrieks and sky’.

  5. the pack infests and darkens dawn;
    but then my page is blood, filled with
    silver, shrieks and sky.

    Love the closing. It puts a finality to the lines!

    Hank

  6. I like the way this poem builds in momentum, from the blank page where, “thoughts are sea in doldrums, waiting” to the bloody page, “filled with silver, shrieks and sky.” Beautifully crafted.

  7. First, I loved how you made use of semi-colons so affectively in this verse. And that ending is crazily good. Also, the rhythm is exciting. There’s so much to like and enjoy in it. 🙂
    -HA

  8. Ah my goodness! This is the poem I wish I had written.. We both chose birds but your whole approach is far more subtle.. and your power words are excellent in creating impact at the end.

  9. An intense and visually stunning piece that you have imbued with an eloquent – almost epic – energy … appropriate to the powerful and layered metaphor it holds.

  10. When a page fills with blood and silver, you know it’s worth paying attention to!

  11. I feel lucky that some of us have the ‘ink’ and ‘blood’ to keep us going…Poems are the lifeblood of narratives…and in your case, it always work beautifully!! Wow!

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