Homework WE 23/9/19 - "Sweet Charity"

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Shelley
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Homework WE 23/9/19 - "Sweet Charity"

Post by Shelley » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:18 pm

I'm not quite sure what it was about your prompts that made me think "shipwreck", Maureen - but there you have it, there's no accounting for the meanderings of the brain!! :?

This ship and its fate is of course fictitious, but the events are based on a compilation of stories I have read about Australia's infamous shipwreck coast - sadly, all too true.

"Sweet Charity"
(c) Shelley Hansen 31/8/19

A calm hypnotic somnolence descended on the sea -
the storm of yesterday had quickly fled.
The maelstrom night had spawned a tide of wreckage, plain to see -
its splintered timber flanked by human dead.

"Sweet Charity" - the sailing ship from places in the north
had traced her journey halfway round the world.
A cargo filled with hopes and fears had sped her passage forth
toward the Southern Land, with sails unfurled.

A voyage marred by illnesses that brought untimely death,
a captain under influence of grog.
The need for sustenance was sharp, and craved with every breath,
the drinking water fouled by taint of frog.

At last they sighted southern shores, to thread the "needle's eye" -
the finish line was firm within their sight
until a final blow was dealt with fury from on high
to set the seal upon their sorry plight.

The Melbourne papers told the tragic tale for all to see
and articles decried the heavy cost.
But now, among the archives, just one headline leaps at me -
a shorter sentence blazons: All Hands Lost!

A row of granite pillars grace the entrance to the Bay -
unmoving statues, marking lonely graves.
Exposure to the elements has worn the names away
like faded dreams that slip beneath the waves.
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

Terry
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Re: Homework WE 23/9/19 - "Sweet Charity"

Post by Terry » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:35 pm

G/day Shelley

You have picked a subject that resonates all around our treacherous coast line - so many lives lost over the early years.
Well written as usual Shelley and you have told the story very well indeed - always enjoy reading yours.

Terry

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Maureen K Clifford
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Re: Homework WE 23/9/19 - "Sweet Charity"

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:46 pm

WOW! Thinking outside the square again Shelley - Brilliant. Love it. That last verse is a pearler .... well done you
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I may not always succeed in making a difference, but I will go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

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Catherine Lee
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Re: Homework WE 23/9/19 - "Sweet Charity"

Post by Catherine Lee » Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:04 pm

Oh wow, I second that - the last line has given me chills, despite sitting here in the heat of Bangkok, ha! These prompts have brought out such diverse subjects, and this poem is wonderful as always, Shelley

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Shelley
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Re: Homework WE 23/9/19 - "Sweet Charity"

Post by Shelley » Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:38 pm

Thanks so much everyone - and yes, the prompts have certainly spawned a diverse set of responses!

Funnily enough, I found these easier than most (sorry Maureen!!) ;) I guess I always like it when I can use them to tell a story. It was the "hypnotic somnolence" that did it for me - for some reason it spoke "calm sea after a storm". The rest just followed!

Cheers
Shelley
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

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