Time to put up or shut up.


On recent reflection something rather trivial has struck me about my sporadic blog entries. I have written two entries now about the trials and tribulations that I have endured as I strive towards my (ambitious) end-goal of becoming a published writer; yet I have never actually presented anything creative that would allow my admittedly limited followers an insight into what I am capable of producing. It sounds almost ludicrous that I have created this digital soapbox to preach my thoughts and feelings from, yet have kept the very subject that I speak about shrouded in secrecy.

Today, I will present you with a small sliver of the somewhat creative works that I produce. The following poem is far from my best work. It is simply a piece that I created as part of a university assessment last semester, and was actually the only poem that I submitted all semester that wasn’t deemed sexist, offensive, gratuitous, or downright obscene by my tutor. So if it’s not my best work, why present it? Two reasons…. Firstly, it’s short. I typically write novels or novellas, with word limits that range from fifty to a hundred thousand words. I doubt that if I submitted something of this length that anyone would actually bother to read it, and I don’t want to submit anything for your perusal that isn’t a complete piece of work. The following poem is exactly that: beginning, middle, and end all tied into two paragraphs.

The second reason, well that’s even simpler. I’m keeping a bit of an ace up my sleeve here. I’m not ready to show my best to the world, because then what have I got left to show? It’s a selfish motive I know, but it’s the honest to god truth. I’m not showing you my best…. Not just yet anyway.

So here it is, a short poem created by yours truly. It’s time to put up or shut up.

Thick ropes and heavy anchor bind a weather-beaten heart to the floor of an ocean of anguish. Swells of agony, of torment, drift beneath its bow. Ropes strain, groan, resisting their pull; the anchor digs deeper. The captain is alone. His crew abandoned ship. But this captain will go down; will drown alongside his anchored scow. Monsoons assault the deck; torrents of rain lash scuffed wood. Lightning flashes as thunder cracks overhead. The captain has survived these rains before, but now, alone, he will surely go down with his ship. His crew no longer stand beside him. No longer shoulder to shoulder. No longer hip to hip. A swell rolls beneath the bow. Ropes groan, the anchor digs deeper.

A whip crack of thunder, a vulgar finger of lightning; the anchor’s straining rope hit. A fast burning ember becomes a starburst of colour. A deafening whoosh as the thick rope ignites. The ship lurches, no longer bound to its tether. An anchored vessel now adrift in an ocean of desolation. Carried by swells; tormented by the endless pull of a power far greater than its own. The ship tumbles, rolls, and bobs. Its anchor no more.  The captain eyes an escape, a last remaining raft. But alas, he will not flee. This captain will go down with his ship. This captain will drown alongside his free floating scow. An explosion of sound. A flash flood of light. A fast burning ember as the raft’s tether ignites. The captain’s musket smokes, glistens in moonlight as the raft tumbles free.  A lurch from a swell, larger this time, the captain holds his breath, memorises the old line. The captain goes down with the ship. He takes a final breath, as his ship’s bow groans and then breaks, this god of the quarter deck falls into an abyss. His shipwrecked heart sinks. Lies broken beneath the sea.

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