Dorothy Cantwell


The sleeping giant lies in a purple dream and were he to stir,

would wake to a scarlet sky, a fierce sliver of red as evening nears.

The clouds are so low they cast shadows upon the sea.
White crested waves race in from the west and north,

hurl themselves like maddened warriors at the broken bulkhead

A sudden shaft of light angles through a split in the clouds
And falls across the dark water like an emerald sword

I ring the captain’s bell as if to summon the harbor seals
back for their winter visit, and listen for their harsh, elated barks,

but the wild spray crashes over the rocks that await their return

Firecarved a burning cave of ashes, now cold behind the grate

where Death curls like a sleeping serpent, satisfied with its kill.

He stirs and rises to rage in the storm-tossed chaos of water,

lashes my face with icy shards of fury and tears at my hair

with frenzied, salt scarred fingers as if to drag me into his tides.

Oh drowned warrior shout, armorless as he sinks beneath the wave,

Sorrow drenched and tumbling in its confusion and no way is up

DOROTHY CANTWELL lives and works in NYC. Her work has been published in the Long Island Literary Journal, Brownstone Poets Anthology. Constellate Literary Journal, Poetrybay/Flash Boulevard, Assisi: An  Online Journal of Arts and Letters, River and South Review.