Although #ThursThreads entries are usually posted on Siobhan Muir’s blog, I had so much fun with this week’s prompt that I felt like posting it here, as well, with a little more information.
#ThursThreads is a weekly, flash-fiction challenge, of 100-250 words, that uses a line from the previous week’s winning story as the prompt. In this case, the prompt was “Vines climbed over and through the wrecks” and it could be used anywhere within the story.
That prompt immediately brought Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias” to my mind. Since that’s one of my favourite poems of all time, I decided to craft my own version of it, containing the prompt line.
For those of you who may not be familiar with the original poem, here it is:
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear —
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.’
Here, then, is my version for #ThursThreads
A Pirate’s “Ozymandias”
A tourist visited a distant isle
and said: “Two ships lay broken on that shore,
their hulls and timbers rotting in a pile
as wind and waves cause them to crumble more.
For many years they were a deadly team
that terrorised the merchants on the main.
One blocked the bow, one fired upon the beam
with cannonballs that split the masts in twain.
They bore their names on dulling, brazen plaques,
proclaiming that they ruled the seven seas
and all should live in fear of their attacks,
but what I saw looked more like gutted trees.
While sand and seaweed covered once-proud decks,
gulls and vines climbed over and through the wrecks.”
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