Ode to a Shark

A year or so ago, our writing group was challenged to write a sonnet. I completely failed. Fourteen lines of iambic pentameter (the rhythm of the heartbeat, the rhythm in which Shakespeare wrote his words) with a rhyme scheme abab cdcd efef gg. I could not get a single four lines in the required format. Then I had an idea a few weeks ago that my brain had reorganized itself and figured I could do it. It flowed. Unfortunately the second stanza did not make much sense. I let it sit and reworked it. Writing a sonnet is like working a crossword, our instructor informed us. Here is my first sonnet!

To cloak desire, to hide your fire, to leave
no trace, no trail, no hint of what went right;
to walk as one who fears the grass will grieve
if blocked a moment’s time from rays of light;

No life is this.

I cast a shadow dark
to shelter others from the sun that blinds.
The shark goes where it likes; it leaves its mark,
and spares no tears for fish or human kinds.

True sharks seek blood. We judge their action not.
It takes all kinds to make the world. Some day
we homo saps might learn the truth of what
God tried to show the prophets of his way.

An afterthought, the holy blessèd life;
Embrace the pain you cause and skip the strife.





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Engineering consultant by day, science fiction writer in off hours.

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