Notes: Since I foolishly challenged Gaynor to write a poem based on the form and rhyming pattern of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem The Raven (and seeing the excellent piece she submitted last week) this is my sad attempt at the challenge. The difficult part I found when writing the lines was in making sure they are all “trochaic.” Each line of each stanza must start with a stressed syllable followed alternately by unstressed and stressed to the end of the line. Lines 2, 4, 5 and 7 will end in a stressed syllable, thus adding extra emphasis to those lines. (see my blog “The Raven” )
In explanation, the name Annalais is intended to be of French origin and should be pronounced similar to the wine, Beaujolais, without sounding the final ‘s’ This ensures the rhyme with the last syllable of Rosslynne Bay.
The name, Rosslynne Bay, is fictitious (I believe) but was inspired by a bay I visited as a child — Rhosilli Bay near Swansea, South Wales.
The poem may also be considered a little traumatic — I warn you now.
The Ghosts of Rosslynne Bay.
While I walk on cold sands, thinking – that my life, like red sun, sinking
Slowly into foaming waters off the beach at Rosslynne Bay,
Has of now lost any reason, like the closing of the season,
Grief becomes a fest’ring lesion, memories of Annalais.
As the sunset brings the darkness, as the sunset ends the day,
Thoughts of her bring sad dismay.
It was here that first I met her, on this beach the sunset set her
Eyes of em’rald-light afire, and drenched her hair in golden spray.
Here we walked in summer moonlight, passions whirled like seagulls in flight,
Happiness seemed without respite, death would never cross our way.
Seemed our joy would last for ever on the beach at Rosslynne Bay;
Last for ever – till today.
Winter Solstice drawing nearer, winter weather more severe, her
Need to visit parents came with thick’ning fog at end of day;
Her walk in ice and snow alone, she never made it to our home;
Oh, if only I had known, but in a bed of sickness lay.
Not until the midnight hour did my worn fevered thoughts portray
Fear for my sweet Annalais.
Sad, the night that she was taken, sad, the morn when I awaken
To the news that they had found her naked body cold and grey.
On the moor he sought to hide her, shallow grave he was provider;
Neath the sods of earth he laid her, hidden from the light of day.
In the dark her killer bound her; rope around her throat to slay,
Choked the life from Annalais.
Let these spoken words I borrow, ease my grief and soothe my sorrow.
Now I beg that she find peace from all her pain; to God I pray.
Yet can you be God, so callous? Treat your angel with such malice?
Let her die, perhaps you’d tell us, why you took her life away.
She was innocence incarnate, my sweet angel Annalais.
“There can be no God,” I say.
On the sands harsh memories of ships that foundered in the seas,
Grounded by the westward gales on shingled banks of sand and clay.
Hear the waves now gently murmur, words to me seem to confirm her
Wish that I should leave to join her, end my life without delay.
I will walk into the water where the moonbeams dance and play;
Dance with my sweet Annalais.
Sunset beckons blood-red finger, beckons still and yet I linger;
Moonlight shim’ring iridescence, through the clouds that gently sway;
A shrouded figure gleaming bright, a silhouette against dark night,
Stands now before my troubled sight, ghostly pale in silver-grey.
Spectral figure stands before me; perfect lady Annalais.
“Come to me,” I hear her say.
Water round my knees is churning, cold as ice and yet still burning;
Sinking sand beneath my feet, the treacherous sand that turns to clay,
Pulls me down as if I’m falling, while around me souls are calling,
Siren’s song is less appalling than the mem’ries of the fee.
Memories of brave men drowning, in the sand their bones now lay
Here, the tombs of Rosslynne Bay
Shifting sands now cold and stark their – loneliness and sorrow mark where
Autumn drizzle hides the sun, as morning breaks on Rosslynne Bay.
And overhead the roosting flocks of seagulls in their feathered smocks
Seek shelter under dripping rocks, underneath the cliffs so grey.
Cliffs that guard the ghosts who wander, through the wave’s cold misty spray
Ghosts of I and Annalais.
© 2011 Robert A. Read.