The beast arises from an ocean of riven time,
Jaws agleam with the dust of what was once precious.
Each sinuous movement a reversal of physical law
A murky intelligence in its eyes which nothing can clarify.
Its rising makes our solidest truths seem dim and volatile.

Most terrible because it is silent…
More strange than any fantasy…
In contemplating it the heart flutters
Feels the foundations of its peace tremble

Even to think of it makes the universe feels bent

For this beast of our fantasies devours our souls’ precious time.
Reverses all the clarity we feel we have gained.
Throws us silent and naked into a volatile universe
Where the bent and twisted fragments of our peace flutter sadly.


This was inspired by two prompts –

Firstly from poetswhoblog – to write a jigsaw poem featuring the following words: time, precious, reversal, clarify, volatile, silent, fantasy, flutter, peace, bent. Having used them all I felt I had more to write, so I ended up using each word twice, changing a few of them the second time.

Secondly, readwritepoem‘s challenge to write a poem about something that doesn’t exist. It seems my imagination came up with something rather dark, so I’m glad it doesn’t exist! Though perhaps I should say, it doesn’t exist as a real creature…

The photo is Ocean Deep, originally uploaded to flickr by Julie Elisabeth.


7 responses to “Kraken

  1. Even to think of it makes the universe feels bent

    That’s a fantastic line. This poem had many interesting layers to it. By posting it with the picture it gives the whole piece ominious tone. Nice work.

    Thanks for taking part in our project at PWB.

  2. i cannot imagine why i have not added you to my reader long before now,, but i have done so today,, as i am missing out on some lovely writing over here!!!!

    i enjoyed what you did with the words,, the combination with the imagination in the rwp prompt caused a spectacular chain of visual events….

    the jigsaw is one of my favorite prompted writings… i love how it takes each of us somewhere all together different.. what an amazing way of relating to the diversity of our language!!!!

  3. Paisley, thanks for your comments – I enjoy jigsaw poems too… as with patchworking it’s fascinating to see where different people take the same material.

    Coincidentally I added your blogs to my reader about a week ago with exactly the same thought in my mind!

  4. a nightmare waiting… makes me cringe, just thinking abt it… something like the borg on star trek… resistence is futile…

  5. Reading this again I’m fascinated by how dark it is compared to most of the things I write – I don’t really like awakening people’s nightmares and making them cringe! I’m intrigued to think that every different person reading it will have their own ideas about what it’s about.

    For me I think it’s mostly a metaphor for self-doubt – not just surface doubts, but a sort of half-perceived unease stirring deep in our psyche that lurks and lingers. I wrote it while feeling that kind of doubt – but having brought it to the surface and discussed it to my mentor, the doubt has faded, and the unease is gone. Perhaps I should add a verse to the poem…

    But one day we must turn from prey to hunter

    Set out to seek the beast in the deeps.
    Stare into its eyes to defy and define it .
    Snatch the pearl of knowledge from its jaws,
    And prove our peace is stronger than its terrors,
    And our wisdom, always, brighter than its night.

    It makes the poem less dramatic perhaps – but more hopeful. And in the world we live in, I think we need hope more than drama!

    (Interesting how none of the jigsaw words fit into this additional verse…!)

  6. I really like the structure of this poem — the way the lines circle the subject as if the horror of it could not be tackled directly. I too enjoyed the phrase “makes the universe feel bent.”

  7. Pingback: Kraken revisited « Words that sing

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