Chris Hubbard @ Mont Saint-Michel

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This is an experimental poem, written to discover whether I can handle a Petrarchan or Italian Sonnet. The rhyme scheme is trickier than I expected! I enjoyed writing it, and I hope you enjoy it.


Light: A Sonnet

A beacon light would soothe the thoughtful soul,

and show the over-wrought their handsome fate,

quell fearful dread, stem terror-rivers' spate,

and illuminate, shun chaos for control,

show wisdom's power to leaven the unknown,

and so to glimpse the dawn-sun radiate

warm solace, calm and comfort each estate

with shining light to hearten those alone;

for clarity in hearts and minds is meet,

bestowing what the gentle spirit lacks.

Enlightenment in all its wondrous forms

falls soft as autumn leaves on a lonely street,

and with simple human reason fondly wraps

its willing arms against the fiercest storms.



This poem, from the mid nineteen-nineties, came from my single brush with the world of psychiatry.


in this laboratory house

of carpet dark wood classical music

i watch a man explore my mind


tentacular octopus

invasion of veils

folding of folds

strange stranger invader

with finely crafted frontal lobes

will turn my mind

in his


weighing the possibilities

of probabilities


and watch me dance in his power game


small dark dangerous man

Jimmy Hoffa Man

with brains to burn

will squeeze the truth

about each truth

before he disappears


find & fix & fascinate

the lowly life before him

in his immaculate

steamboat cabin room


his chair intently rocking

his eyes

most anxiously concerned




he will command

i will obey


for fear the lash

of central cortex sear me

and i fade away



christopher hubbard





Like many, the conjunction of faith and the natural world that is Lindisfarne holds a deep fascination for me. This poem is my attempt to visit the island vicariously, pending an actual encounter.




In fourteen centuries the island grew

her fame: Lindisfarne

lit flames from many fires;

the Norsemen's ravages seared her skin, tried

her ravening faith till Cuthbert's saintly deeds

showed the feckless his pious miracles,

soft in the shadow of the Celtic creed.


I'm no pilgrim to this clime

of Aiden and Bede,

nor even a Christian soul;

but its refuge is a deep, cold well

of storm and peace,

a haven the tide renews

twice each day.


The Priory ruins are full of other people's salvation;

my own is a midnight song.

On its grassy slopes a curlew sandpiper
        tries her throat,

pipits like a singing waterfall,

and is gone.



Chris Hubbard

Perth, 2016


A Book of Hours ►


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Thu 12th Jan 2017 19:48

Superbly presented , and with Stu's comment makes so much sense. I love the rolling form of the sonnet which simply romanticises a theme and draws it out exquisitely.

Enjoyable and refreshingly different Chris.


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Stu Buck

Thu 12th Jan 2017 16:10

excellent chris. i was drawn to the piece as i have spent many a day wandering the narrow lanes of mont st michel myself and though the sheer volume of people (especially at the bottom) removes any form of peace and quiet, i always found a lovely inner peace and clarity as i made my way up to the top. the piece itself is excellent, the words tumble down nicely and perfectly capture the light within the darkness.

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