The boat

Though dusk began to fall, I held my boat against the flow
Because I thought I saw an ethereal place
Above the riverbank, through trees; a grassy space
Where, gathered in a strangely sun-made glow,
People sat and talked companionably.  And though
They spoke with passion, it was with humour and with grace.
One, with a sweetly cadent laugh and lovely face,
Revealed these were my loves and friends from long ago.
I must release my grip.  The tableau showed not friends
Vivant, but only taunting yet indifferent ghosts.
Squeezed out by stubborn night, the light is gone, almost.
My boat will slip downstream towards the river’s end
And to the black and formless seas beyond the coast.

A simple sonnet, but slightly unusual because the lines are hexameters – longer than the pentameters that are typical in sonnets. Not really innovative, though. Poets, including Sir Philip Sydney, were writing sonnets in hexameters back in the 16th Century. I tried it as a way to ‘dilute’ the rhyme, and make the lines more meandering.

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