Sea wolves

sailing poem - photoart sailboats on the deben
photoart @hanginguptodry

First we watched a league of longships
swarm along the river Deben
heard the beat of oar in rhythm
heard the slapping of the water
roar of Saxon froze the marrow
saw the white winged sails enfolded
like our homing birds at sunset
so began the raids and plunder
fights with iron fist and metal
slaughter for each other’s kingdoms
in the evening then these Norse men
drank sweet mead that summons dreaming
gods of love and war and thunder
seas that lure and cast assunder
drifting to the realms of Wōden
sea wolves sailing up the Deben

©Laura Granby

Taking to the waters in Longfellow rhythm with the Real Toads 100 word prompt: Sailing.


  1. It always gladdens me to see how one poem may give rise to another. You tell the tale very stirringly. History is so bound to the mastery of rivers and seas.


  2. What a great idea to write this in that rhythm – and it is actually quite reminiscent of old Anglo-Saxon verse.


  3. It’s like you’re channeling the buried king at Sutton Hoo … A dream of earth and gold and death. The circular narrative gives it the round of an old song on an old record player, buried deep in a cultural earth & still playing. Does our ache for wilderness include the braying of these sea wolves?


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