SEA STORY — a haiku sonnet in crystallines

15 Mar

“Sea Story: A Haiku Sonnet,” published in Eight Shades of Blue (Lulu Press, 2005). Each of the fourteen lines is a crystalline, that is, a haiku of seventeen syllables, usually printed as a couplet.

Sea Story

Sailor’s cliff-top home, with widow’s walk, is damp-dark on the seaward side.
The village schoolyard’s oak-lined lawn is sea-fragrant in the onshore breeze.
Sailor embarks before first light. His whimpering dog stays on the wharf.
The ship’s wake, spreading and fading, curves slowly out to the horizon.
Dead calm twilight sea. A dolphin leaps from black into the rosy blue.
Waves, rolling waves, waves rolling, rolling; the swinging cabin lamp keeps time.
A soft bed shared; flowers in a jar; farewells: another shore leave ends.
Buried at sea, the helmsman slips beneath the waves. Flying fish take flight.
In a distant port, a young man and his poor mother curse Sailor’s name.
This final leg of his last voyage, Sailor carves several scrimshaw gifts.
Home appears high on the horizon. The widow’s walk is empty, dark.
His dead wife’s sister puts a teacup in Sailor’s old rope-hardened hands.
Reflected in his milk-blue eyes, the sea is still in the cold, cold gaze.
His cliff-top home and its widow’s walk are damp-dark on the seaward side.



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