Except Seven None Return from Caer Sidhi.Poem. Ian Irvine(Hobson)


We are never quite done

 with the gloomy castle

 it shadows all our domestic hours

  from birth through the sapling years

 and on.


 It stands on a steep embankment

 surrounded by a thick, dark forest

 and from its battlements

      unlucky souls observe in the distance

 a glass-green ocean

 a starry firmament.


 Below, in the icy castle grounds,

      huddle mournful souls

 freezing and forgotten by all

      but their closest kin—

 a melancholy place

 but nothing eternal to it.


 The sun that rises elsewhere

       will not penetrate this structure

 hidden as it is, under northern mists,

 wizard spells and optical illusions

 of light and dark.


Though the city is your new mistress

        you may encounter this castle

 in dreams

 animated by an almost human moon,

 the eerie chatter of small

 flitting things—not exactly bats—

 and damp torches burning tentatively

 on, towering ramparts.


 And you may encounter stone griffins

  or other frozen phantasmagoria ,

  and ponder why it is

 that you always approach Her

  in the dark

 with frost stinging your skin

 and the air painful to breathe.


 And there’s never any wind

 it’s always so still and ponderous—

 like a painting:

 an ocean of souls (anticipating fire)

 ominous clouds (dull and lifeless)


 the muddled heavens

 so vast, so domed, so utterly silent.


Ian Irvine Photo

Ian Irvine is an Australian-based poet/lyricist, fiction writer and non-fiction writer. His work has featured in many Australian and international publications, including Fire (UK) ‘Anthology of 20th Century and Contemporary Poets,’ (2008) which contained the work of poets from over 60 nations.His work has also appeared in a number of Australian national poetry anthologies, and he is the author of three books and co-editor of many more (including Scintillae 2012, an anthology of work by over 50 Victorian and international writers and poets). He currently teaches writing and literature at Bendigo TAFE and Victoria University (Melbourne) and lives with fellow writer Sue King-Smith and their children on a 5 acre block near Bendigo, Australia.
Links related to his work are as follows:




[email protected]


RMS Titanic Centennial Sonnets 7 & 8. Poem. Richard Vallance.


The Dusk Casts Shadows

The dusk casts shadows on the drowning sun,
Titanic's lights ablaze.  She cleaves the sea,
a mirror to the stars, her maiden run 
serene success by some divine decree.
The falling swell has passed, the past astern.
The last two days will spell “The Promised Land”
each Steerage soul must face with some concern, 
with little else but landing grant in hand.
In First, astern the barren promenade,
the after-mast casts light in frosty arcs
on Ida Straus *, her furs, her pale pomade,
and Isidor, in arm, as she remarks,
before retiring to the plush saloon, The sea’s like glass this Sunday night.  No moon.”

8Iceberg dead ahead!”
[11:40 p.m. April 14 1912] The sea is calm tonight, 
          The tide is full, the moon lies fair 
                         Upon the straits; …”

          Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach (1867)

The sea’s like glass this Sunday night. No moon
casts light upon the ice-pocked sea, where stars
are cast in bituminous black, in tune
with Ages Past. Titanic flat-out scars
the glassy sea her raking bowsprit cleaves:
her splashing wake’s so cold her passengers 
must flee the promenades the starlight leaves
in livid darkness.... where nothing stirs,
and nothing stays the artificial breeze
that snakes along the hull, and takes its pulse
on brittle rivets, frozen; so they seize
upon the berg Titanic can’t repulse.
   Fleet * alerts the bridge, “Iceberg dead ahead!”Astern!”  Propellers lash.  The iceberg 's fled. 



RMS Titanic Centennial Sonnets 7 & 8.  are excerpts from Richard Vallance's  
Garland of Sonnets due for later publication, in - The Phoenix Rising from 
the Ashes: Anthology of sonnets of the early third millennium= Le Phénix 
renaissant de ses cendres : Anthologie de sonnets au début du troisième
millénaire -now in the galley production stage at Friesen Press, scheduled 
for  release June 2013. ISBN: Hardcover: 978-1-4602-1700-9 Paperback: 
978-1-4602-1701-6 eBook: 978-1-4602-1702-3.  

We urge readers of these sonnets in Poetry Life & Times pre-published from 
The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes = Le Phénix renaissant de ses cendes. 
Victoria, B.C., Canada, Friesen Press, © June 2013  300 sonnets in English, 
French, German, Chinese & Farsi, http://vallance22.hpage.com/, to visit the
site. Readers may also contact Richard  Vallance, Editor-in-Chief, at:
[email protected] for further information.