A violent swell
beneath ragged clouds
sends a rusted coaster rolling,
propeller blade churning empty air
before dipping again beneath the surface.
The drag of the sea on her barnacled hull
is beginning to threaten  her progress.
Each tortured second stretches into
minutes for her anxious crew.
On the bridge the captain
straightens  and nods,
as the mate shouts
above the roar
to man the pumps,
stem the inrushing flood:
too late to prevent disaster.
Overwhelmed, the wallowing ship
dips once more into a trough,
inexorably slips under
the surface, never
to reappear.

I have made a very sad story from the words at  The words were:

rusted-out, nods, beginning, glaze, stretched, ragged, straighten, rolling, bridges, clouds, blade, drag.  I managed 11 of the 12.

At Victoria’s suggestion, I tried to post it at
where the prompt (which I’d missed) was to write a shape or concrete poem.  I was too late.  The fact is, the shape came out of the words, and formed itself.


All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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16 Responses to Breakers

  1. Ravenblack says:

    What an awful disaster — the event in the poem, not the poem. I love the shape you gave this one, peaking, where almost, and then the ship fails.


  2. Marianne says:

    Well done, Viv! Loved your story here.


  3. this is perfect.

    both in words and in shape, masterful poetry.



  4. Irene says:

    What a striking form for the story. Good work!


  5. Mike Patrick says:

    “propeller blade churning empty air,” explains the savagery of the storm. An old, barnacle covered tub wouldn’t have much of a chance. Your words carry the poem and conceal the wordle; the shape is just gravy.


  6. Traci B says:

    Terrific poem, Viv, and I love how the lines formed waves; it added to the feeling of the piece.


  7. Susannah says:

    You used the wordle words wonderfully in this vivid and believable tale. Well wordled Viv! 🙂


  8. Viv, I love anything nautical. While this is sad, it is superb.



  9. pmwanken says:

    A fine example of the wordle words being enveloped by the poem.

    Here’s mine:



  10. Nanka says:

    I would like to believe that the Captain and crew made it safely in their lifeboats!! I liked the theme and this story could almost be true!!


  11. Mike says:

    A tremendously powerful poem Viv.
    Clever use of the wordle words and I loved the shape.


  12. brenda w says:

    This is gorgeous, Viv, and I agree with Tilly about the shape. The images are striking, the story sad. You posted a comment at the whirl, but need to go post your url on Mister Linky, so everyone can find your piece easily.

    Images of the Edmunds Fitzgerald, a ship that went down on Lake Superior kept rising for me. There’s a Gordon Lightfoot ballad “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” that has been one of my lifelong favorites.


  13. Rinkly Rimes says:

    You, too, captured the element of effort which was in the words.


  14. brian miller says:

    nice..way to use the shape to accentuate well your verse…sorry you missed the prompt but i grabbed you from the comments…


  15. Wow, Viv. If you haven’t already, you should submit this to dVerse poetics (the link expires in 2 hrs I think). The shape of the poem adds so much.


  16. Tilly Bud says:

    I love the way you use the form to complement the story.


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