Tugged to Berth for Breaking Up
What is this title, sub about?
A sound of weird philosophy,
some nightmare of midwifery,
phrase fortunate for fact or pun,
intended, or unstable mind?
Who commands attention, rides the waves,
gains position that moves public taste?
Hanging committee, Turner’s hold -
own chosen space, as face the square,
Trafalgar’s glory at the door,
astute for Fighting Temeraire.
Just second rate, a blockade float,
named risk and rash or foolhardy,
less fight, sauce boat by crew baptised,
both convoy escort, clinker jail,
until their broadside intervened,
saved Victory, from jaws defeat,
this hero, needed by the state.
Dark daring gashes cause the bright,
was scumbled sun its set or dawn?
Or both, a transit for the time,
embroidered ghost, furled sails, firm masts -
though none aboard, this funeral pyre.
The steaming tug hauls canvas ship,
stack moved, stark flame, emerging age,
this searing scene marked changing pace,
new dispensation underway.
The craft from Chatham dockyard launched,
graffiti on oak timbers felled,
by Father Thames to Rotherhithe,
its skeleton, the hulk frame spread
through city streets to Ludgate Hill.
Lain beside Lord Nelson’s tomb,
alive today on cashier’s plate,
was this art, promissory note?
This darling child of artist’s age,
due homage paid to lost, the past,
is this a fulcrum, turning years,
can this permit altering taste,
to atmospheric painting mood?
Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had some 140 pieces accepted by on-line poetry sites, including The Ekphrastic Review; and Gold Dust, The Seventh Quarry, The Dawntreader, Foxtrot Uniform Poetry Magazines, Vita Brevis Anthology ‘Pain & Renewal’ & Fly on the Wall Press ‘Identity’. https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com/
The Ekphrastic Review
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