General Poetry posted May 1, 2015 Chapters:  ...11 12 -13- 14... 

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A Symmetrina

A chapter in the book Littoral

Polhena Beach, Sri Lanka, 0600.

by Pantygynt

When I awoke and heard the swishing surf at dawn
Around the rocks beyond Polhena Beach,
I wondered what had wakened me
Until that eerie and ear-splitting screech
Came, herald to the jungle-chorused early morn.

So, up and dressed to bathe, I wandered where the tide
Had through the night receded, leaving bare
Five hundred perches worth of sand,
Beyond the guest-houses and palm trees there,
Thrust outwards, forcing backwards all the ocean wide.

Now, wading out, waist deep, into a sea that looks
So calm here, shoreside of the ragged reef
That guards the stilts, where fishermen
Are wont to perch and cast lines in belief
A hefty catch awaits their outflung, baited hooks.

Then, letting limpid waters cover me with blue
Sea's iridescence in that early light,
My troubled cares float clear away,
Along with all the ghastly mares of night
And, swimming there, believe that wishes can come true.


The form of this poem I believe to be of my own devising. I call it a Symmetrina because it presents a symmetrical shape and rhyme scheme over each stanza: The rhyme scheme is abcba and the rhythm is iambic throughout; the first and fifth lines are Alexandrines (12 syllables), the second and fourth pentameters (10 syllables) and the third is a tetrameter (8 syllables). It is my hope that this rhythm will mimic the gentle rise and fall of the waves.

I am an early riser and greatly enjoyed my morning swims when I stayed for 10 days in this southern part of the island in 2009.

A perch here is a measurement of area commonly used in Sri Lanka to measure plots of building land.

The stilt fishermen are iconic of the island. These poles with small footrests are stuck into the sea bed all round the year but are only used by the fishermen in May when the monsoon keeps the boats in harbour. Since I was there in November and December, I was never able to witness this fishing method first hand.
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