View Full Version : Uncharted in Dark Waters

05-20-2015, 07:01 PM
By degrees his form obscured the light.
With reclined, lean lines,
he eclipsed her

and wedged against her half-lit mind.

That night she dreamt of an archipelago stretching
from nose
to toes -
in swells on a sea of midnight linen.

Pulled toward his shores
in uncharted dark waters,
she explored -
to map his terrain
by feel,
by fall,
and failure.

then rested under his palm,
to wait for her sunlight.

William Haskins
05-21-2015, 04:43 AM
just as i like for certain poems to sing, or explode with energy, or cry out (or cry), i admire the quietude of this. obviously it's thematically crucial, there is intimacy, there is ocean, there are shadows.

her physical actions are subtle outward gestures that act almost as a diversionary dance to mask the inner reflection and riddle-solving.

the internal and external balance one another out nicely.

enjoyed this.

05-21-2015, 06:23 AM
Thanks so much. This was an odd evolution which started with "eclipse" for me and it fell into something unexpected. (almost didn't post it).

Glad you enjoyed the light and dark.

05-21-2015, 07:48 AM
What can I say except, "how wonderful"!

I loved -

leaned lines

against her half-lit mind

archipelago stretching from nose to toes

midnight linen

uncharted dark waters

she explored to map his terrain

under his palm in her sunlight

Just wonderful!

toward his shores


05-21-2015, 07:57 AM
Thank you, steppe!

05-22-2015, 03:49 AM
Yep, this is groovy . . .XLNT tone, pacing & rhythm! As additional comment, I would like to see this retitled using "ex-sextant" or "extra" or "In Sextant", if ya catch my drift?!?! Appreciate this post!!!

05-22-2015, 05:50 AM
Thanks, Magdalen!

05-22-2015, 06:00 AM
Thanks so much. This was an odd evolution which started with "eclipse" for me and it fell into something unexpected. (almost didn't post it).

Glad you enjoyed the light and dark.
You are always surprising and wonderful to read!

05-22-2015, 06:21 AM
I read it aloud here.

William Haskins
05-22-2015, 07:02 AM
This was an odd evolution which started with "eclipse" for me and it fell into something unexpected. (almost didn't post it).

what more can you tell us about this "odd evolution?"

05-22-2015, 04:39 PM
Not sure if this is something that happens to others, but occasionally a word latches on to a particular feeling and I use that as the springboard for a metaphor when I set out to write, (other times I know what I want to write about and I go through a brain catalog of images or ideas that might work for it).
In this case, the word "eclipse" was in my head as a metaphor before it got latched onto anything significant. Something was there but I couldn't really define it.
So I played around with the word and some images and surprisingly (or I guess not so surprisingly), I found the themes too dark. I couldn't see where I was going. But I also really couldn't get the idea out of my head that someone blocking your light would start to take on different shapes in silhouette - at first it read a bit like a geometry lesson in English class (that bad). It wouldn't let go, though, so enters the archipelago. An actual visual when I was lacking light in the poem. It took off from there.
After a few drafts, I let the eclipse definition (surpassing and making others irrelevant) play a bit, but the archipelago really took over the foreground.
So my character, here, is awed by what she sees, wants to figure it out, is seeing different shapes than she would in full light, but she still longs for her own light. And that, I could handle.

Normally a word doesn't nag me like this one did to ultimately only become something of a background characteristic.

I guess that is the odd evolution of Uncharted. Even after it was done I wasn't sure if I liked it. It's so different compared to my other writing. It's certainly more intimate than a lot of stuff I've written recently. Sometimes playing in those quieter places is more intimidating than playing in the louder ones.

05-22-2015, 05:21 PM
As an aside on the more technical aspects, having a smaller, quieter space to work within posed some challenges, too. They all have to count, and many of them had to perform more than one task. I found assonance and alliteration were my new best friends.

William Haskins
05-22-2015, 05:23 PM
thanks, trish. interesting stuff, and i can imagine it has value for young poets trying to divine and articulate their own processes.

05-22-2015, 05:27 PM
Thank you for asking.

05-24-2015, 05:53 AM
This reminds me of certain words. I hear a lot of trains from a distance from our apartment. They are always "plaintive."

05-28-2015, 05:19 PM
I can see how trains would be plaintive, CB. absolutely. That's perfect. :)

05-28-2015, 06:25 PM
Trish, wonderful work. Thank you so much for sharing it. :)

06-29-2015, 03:23 AM
"he eclipsed her

and wedged against her half-lit mind."

That right there gave the whole poem a power punch. Awesome poem.

06-29-2015, 05:16 PM
Welcome to the poetry forum.

Thanks for commenting on our work here.
Looking forward to reading yours as well.

06-29-2015, 08:28 PM
Thank you.