Sonnet 017









The figure on the headland faced the wind

It seemed from clifftop soil his body grew,

It angled forward to maintain the strain

Of keeping him erect as nature blew.

The clouds everted and their paths retraced

The surf fought rock unsighted down below,

Like lover’s thighs the zephyr wrapped his face

He closed his streaming eyes to see that glow.

Impassive heart, now flayed of love’s last layer

Heard roaring tempest deafen world around,

His billowing coat outraced his trailing hair

But wind could not hound memory held profound.

At last a hint of movement was revealed

One step, his last, on love’s cruel battlefield.


32 thoughts on “Sonnet 017

  1. I’ve stood on a cliff and angled into the wind and heard the sounds as – as you wrote – “the surf fought rock unsighted down below”. This phrase brought back memories spent in the UK back in the 1980s.

    Thank you, Mike.

    • I know that sound from the same corner of the world Eric. Funny now easy it is brought to mind when needed as a reference – must have something to do with the sheer rock-chewing power of it. Does that wind blow at all or is it the sonic boom from the waves making the air vibrate? See what you’ve started…I’m ramblin’ again.

  2. Beautiful…. When I was done reading this, I found that my hand was covering my gaping mouth…. somewhere along the lines of this sonnet I had subconsciously moved it there. Thanks for posting!

  3. This is so beautiful, Mike, yet haunting. I could sense the zephyr, imagine the surf, hear the tempest, see the coat, the hair, and the clouds. And finally feel the pain…makes ones want to read and re-read.

    • Thank you so much and I’m pleased that you were drawn into this piece Vera. The writing of it did the same to me as it contains a small degree of personal symbolism. The magic word that gives this poet the greatest pleasure is, ‘re-read’. It is the ultimate accolade. Thank you again.

  4. That was an exciting read. The picture and the words make for a thrilling ride. There is so much to be said for the expression”A picture tells a thousand words.”
    You are so creative.

    • I’m relieved to see your selection because I agonised over the word, ‘hound’ – I only left it there to create assonance in the line. Thanks for swinging by with your contribution.

    • It takes a keen eye to identify a further protagonist in this piece Brett. Thank you for adding this layer of interpretation and your razor-sharp analysis.

  5. When I lived in Bangor (Wales) there were winds that cut across the terrace that it was a feat to remain standing, let alone move forward. Your description conjured that strength of zephyr forces, and that they did not dissuade him from the final step, made the ending all the more poignant. Sun is pouring through the window where I write, but I feel the chill…great write!

    • You’ve taken your interpretation one step beyond my consciousness in that I didn’t see the effort of the step as a device. This is only one reason why I love your insight. Many thanks.

      • I think we poets often have elements in our work that are unconsciously placed, and an astute reader/listener can help reflect our work back to us….I know you certainly help hold up a mirror to my writing (sometimes with a special glass that makes it all seem so much better than it actually is).

Whaddya think?

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