The Lumber’s Groan
Thrashed and foundering upon the waves,
with taut sail against an ocean gale
Lurching in the ebb of blackened days,
the vessel heeled from its twisted keel.
Torn and bashed on endless brine,
the lumbers groan to the masthead’s moan
Heaving against backstay and line,
thrown astray by thunder’s sway.
All hands grapple, lest the sea’s surge
sweep into the cold deep
the condemned whose conviction quavered
and were lost to the tempest-tossed.
Black and soaked to the wearied bone,
Splintered and crusted; burred and rusted
Old timbers and tar muster the drafty sail,
and defy the starless night to stay.
by Daniel Milbo
Editor’s Note: The deliberate use of rhyme, alliteration, assonance, and consonance remind the reader that sonics as well as sense can be used to great effect, sailing a reader through a poem’s storm.