nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Briar Island Rock #4

with 4 comments


~

~

jointed ruler

                (Wreck of the Trafalgar, 1817)

~

the ship is broken on rocks

and we leave in fog

I hold my brother’s hand

we stumble up the shore

in a yellow room of fog

it stumbles with us

they set the baggage down

together, folded

we wait

~

my step-father

pats my mother’s hand

leaves to talk with the Captain

                the ship is lost

I look up at my mother

she watches him go, her lips move

she says we will lie in green pastures

~

I look for grass but only see

black rock and grinning fog

lanterns and men calling

my brother sniffs a little

in my pocket I clutch my father’s jointed ruler

he was a carpenter, would have fixed the hole

                the mate says

                there’s no going back to her now

we stay where we are

folded in a yellow room

luggage at our feet

~

the walls move

the ruler opens

I see the ship

black hull held high

on dark and pointed rock

against the early morning sky

white waves beyond

the ruler closes

~

pink and yellow mix, and the room

is the color of pumpkin

the ruler opens and I know

the black shore has bristles

I heard the mate call it

Briar Island

~

the rock I stand on tips a bit

I step down

the rock is wet and grey

five sides

a funny-looking stone

fits with other stones

strange puzzle

~

I take my ruler

help it to unfold

I measure the rock

I make it jiggle and my brother smiles

a little smile

the ruler folds, unfolds, the room expands

I see my step-father’s uneven walk

across uneven stones

~

~

Copyright  2011, Jane Tims

 

Written by jane tims

December 5, 2011 at 7:36 pm

4 Responses

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  1. “My father’s jointed ruler…” Who knows how many objects carry the stories of those no longer here… Beautiful drawing – your family is lucky to have someone who can bring the family’s stories to life!

    Like

    Barbara Rodgers

    December 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    • Hi. It would be nice if objects had a ‘hover’ feature, embedded with a paragraph to read about their history! Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      December 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm

  2. Good morning, Jane. What a good poem. I thought of Margarita Engle’s novels-in-verse–teaching history and poetry–for young people, really for all ages. Her website is http://margaritaengle.com. I’ll mention your blog the next time we are in touch. Ellen

    Like

    Ellen Grace Olinger

    December 6, 2011 at 10:20 am

    • Hi Ellen. I’m glad you liked the poem. Of course the actual experience of my young great-great grandfather may have been quite different, but it helps me to understand my origins! Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      December 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm


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