(Modification of short story 'Clifftop Witness'.)


She stood at the cliff-edge, at the fore-
Front of the rage; she bore the brunt
        Of the tempest. Yet
        She stood firm, timeless
        To the storm.

Black torrents tore below,
Roaring and heaving, snapping and swallowing.
Angry waves, and restless, rearing
        Up to pound the rock
In mighty fury. Fifty feet above,
Sometimes ashen spindrift sprayed the summit, whereupon
        She stood, timeless
        To the storm.

Brutal monster moved above,
Ripping and snatching, tugging and tearing.
Covetous hands, and ruthless, relentless
        And cruel in flurry and terror,
Striking blue ice into every heart but hers; for
        She stood at the cliff-edge, timeless
        To the storm.

The horizon was grey,
        So grey, and dull.
A bolt of lightning lighting the lull
Away in the distance; it pierced
        Away the calm ocean grey.
Where seas meet skies the waters writhe,
But farther away than idle eyes
Can hope and stray, is tossed a hopeless
        Speck of humankind.

        Treachery steals beneath the waves:
The Sirens’ Rocks, deceit of the seas.
        Cries from the cliff-edge: Oh, help them, please!
Wild blue eyes now scour and chase
The riding horses, the ghosts who race
Across the waves to see and speak
To hardy heroes, fumbling, foundering
        Beneath the waves where treachery steals.

Her cheeks were dry with tears uncried,
And wet with those already wept,
Now dripping miserably onto the mirror
Of past times: an image reflecting depth
        Where there was merely shallowness.
Perishing at sea was all affection, if affection was or can be:
        All sinking below and below,
        While the seastorm riders sung songs of woe.

The End

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