Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ALCATRAZ, by ROBERTA BALFOUR



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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ALCATRAZ, by            
First Line: Ceaseless the searchlight scans the restless seas
Last Line: Or stem the rips small boats still dread to ride?
Subject(s): Crime & Criminals; Justice; Prisons & Prisoners; Convicts


Ceaseless the searchlight scans the restless seas
Swinging relentless rhythms pivoted afar.
Ah, who dares brave the obdurate cliffs and tide
Or stem the rips that small boats dread to ride?

Not he who serves his sentence striped
Nor he who holds within his heart a secret stain.
Nor even he who would not fight his brother man
But sleeps within a dungeon deep below the main.

He waits the lap and laugh of waters cold
Who pays the price and checks his country's wrong
Bitter he comes and bitter serves and bitter ends.
Hate builds his hope on hatred, hope more strong.

Straights rise gray rocks from beating, surging surf.
Topped by sharp walls sentried, stern and grim.
Thick mists envelop all the heights
Like mantles thrown in charity around.

There pace all caged things at work alert, aware.
For outcasts hate the caste which put them there.
Sons of the state mistaken, mad, they tried and failed.
But justice levels all. Blind to weigh right
They wait the tick of time.

Ceaseless the searchlight scans the restless seas
Swinging relentless rhythms pivoted afar.
Ah, who dare brave the obdurate cliff and tide
Or stem the rips small boats still dread to ride?





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