From The Writing Group (yes, the Writing Group)

Posted on July 14, 2014 by Categories: Poetry

It has been a quiet but not unproductive season for the writing group.

J’s a man of Gloucestershire and the history and topography of the county often occur in his writing. The ferry referenced in this lyric crossed the Severn at a fording point that was in use in Roman times. I think it is an effective metaphor for the struggles J has had in his life, as well as the ‘lifeline’ Doorway has been for him. On a technical level this is an accomplished piece. There is rhythm (J often writes with a tune in his head) that paces the arc of the poem from first stanza, with its hint of resolve, to the third with its experiential, ‘life is just a fraction of headstones over cobblestones’. J also uses rhyme, pararhyme (shatter, shutter, shelter), alliteration, assonance and consonance, but naturally, without it feeling forced or done for effect. J has given me permission to share his work with the readers of the Doorway blog, but he is not sure if it is finished.

The Arlingham Rope Ferry

Seagulls shatter the night turning purple to grey

They’ll soon be rolling up the shutters of the roadside café

Sit in a bus shelter and reflect awhile

My shoes aren’t shiny but they’ll last another mile

And the Arlingham rope ferry’s just holding on

Gloucester city’s overcrowded, the Severn Bridge takes a toll

Going down the estuary to watch the waters roll

The tide is a healer and a hunter too

Load on…cast off…pull it through

And the Arlingham rope ferry’s just holding on

My eyes grow weary and my aching bones

Tell me life is just a fraction of headstones over cobblestones

But while hay’s in the meadow, the fields full of corn

Leaves curling in the fires of dusk and dawn

And the Arlingham rope ferry’s just holding on.

J wrote a footnote to this lyric: The Arlingham rope ferry isn’t there at the moment but I’d like to thank doorway staff and volunteers because it has been a lifeline to me over the nine years I’ve been coming here. Thanx.

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