I was a sender of light, night-born,
focused on the task I was built for
and stood praised by all.
Mermaids rose to be dazzled and chased,
smugglers learned to mark my stare.
I was a silver sword in black water
slicing the treacherous Cornish sea.
When I turned sudden-blind
two hundred men drowned
in a storm-racked ship adrift,
its fluttering sails frantic
like moths for my guttering flame.
In 1755, with candled head afire,
I drip-sealed the keeper’s guts
with weeping molten lead.
Now his cries stitch the wind blasts
that whip the Eddystone Rocks.
‘Henry Hall’s Lighthouse’ by Greta Ross received a special mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly poetry competition (August 2019) judged by Roger Elkin