Saturday, 24 October 2020

Shadwell Stair

 


Shadwell Stair by Wilfred Owen

I am the ghost of Shadwell Stair.
Along the wharves by the water-house,
And through the cavernous slaughter-house,
I am the shadow that walks there.
 
Yet I have flesh both firm and cool,
And eyes tumultuous as the gems
Of moons and lamps in the full Thames
When dusk sails wavering down the pool.
 
Shuddering the purple street-arc burns
Where I watch always; from the banks
Dolorously the shipping clanks
And after me a strange tide turns.
 
I walk till the stars of London wane
And dawn creeps up the Shadwell Stair.
But when the crowing syrens blare
I with another ghost am lain.

This is a ghost you can see and touch, with cold flesh and burning eyes. The dark city around the ghost is full of unsettling images and the sense that this place belongs to the dead more than the living, but that, where the living are, the ghost is also, and with dread effect.


© Amanda J Harrington 2020

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Thursday, 22 October 2020

Haunted Seas

 



Haunted Seas

by Cale Young Rice


A gleaming glassy ocean 
  Under a sky of grey; 
A tide that dreams of motion, 
  Or moves, as the dead may; 
A bird that dips and wavers 
  Over lone waters round, 
Then with a cry that quavers 
  Is gone—a spectral sound.
 
The brown sad sea-weed drifting 
  Far from the land, and lost; 
The faint warm fog unlifting, 
  The derelict long tossed, 
But now at rest—though haunted 
  By the death-scenting shark, 
Whose prey no more undaunted 
  Slips from it, spent and stark.


 A cold, depthless sea, a deserted ship, unseen movement beneath the surface and the deep, animalistic dread which comes from facing the giant force of the oceans alone. This poem makes us feel the edge of the wind, the chill of the fog, and the sense that perhaps we are not as much alone as we thought.

© Amanda J Harrington 2020

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And my fairy blog

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Night Fell

 



Night Fell

by Florence Ripley Mastin

Night fell one year ago, like this.
He had been writing steadily.
Among these dusky walls of books,
How bright he looked, intense as flame!
Suddenly he paused,
The firelight in his hair,
And said, “The time has come to go.”
I took his hand;
We watched the logs burn out;
The apple boughs fingered the window;
Down the cool, spring night
A slim, white moon leaned to the hill.
To-night the trees are budded white,
And the same pale moon slips through the dusk.
O little buds, tap-tapping on the pane,
O white moon,
I wonder if he sleeps in woods
Where there are leaves?
Or if he lies in some black trench,
His hands, his kind hands, kindling flame that kills?
Or if, or if …
He is here now, to bid me last good-night?


It is as if the person who left and the person left behind exist together in one dream night where they enjoy their last moments at the same time as existing apart.

The narrator remembers events but they don't sound quite real. They imagine where their lost love has gone, and if he is lost forever in death, or at least changed forever by what he has had to do in the war.

© Amanda J Harrington 2020

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Saturday, 17 October 2020

KS2 A Dragon's Story


Write a story about the Dragon and the Boats using the plan below.

1. Describe the moment the dragon spots the boats.

2. What does the dragon decide to do?

3. Describe what the people on the boats think.

4. What happens in the end?

You can add lots of extra details to your story. Don't forget to give the dragon a name!

For more practice with different kinds of writing and learning how to write more, have a look at my How to Write series.


© Amanda J Harrington 2020

My books on Amazon
My websites for books and tuition
Find me on Facebook and Twitter!

Read my Autism blog
And my fairy blog


 



A story somewhere