2005 Form Challenges
#3 Puskin Sonnet
This form was described as a "mettlesome creature" and A.D.P Briggs
in his introduction to Evgeny Onegin states that Pushkin invented
a sonnet form which can go either way becoming Italian or English at the
flick of a switch in mid stanza.
The Octave rhymes - a.
(Note) The first quatrain uses an alternating rhyme, and the second one,
The sestet is where the change occurs and also expands the form. The original
Pushkin sestet was either two tercets
and here you can see the Italian influence,
alternatively the same rhyme is used, this time as an envelope quatrain
Although I wonder if it is worthwhile,
Because it may take up a lot of time,
A poem that is written in this style,
Becomes a sonnet with a Pushkin rhyme.
Can muses be aroused to help me out?
Can words be found that hold poetic clout?
Determined as I am to see this through,
Decisions that I make, may bother you.
Especially using words that fit between,
For finding starting letters limits me,
From using other words, to some degree.
Exactly how this ends will soon be seen,
Good lord, you say, you really do go on,
Go to bed, your fourteen lines are done.
subtly different but you can see the English influence.
Piper at the Gates of Dawn
From the dawn of time he has played for us
The music has reached our minds and hearts
Telling his tales of wars won and joyous loves,
Most times of defeat and how lovers part.
But listen to him best at the break of dawn
Hear his spirits rise each time he greets the morn
See the angels gather round to hear him play
As the new sun rises from the sea at start of day.
See the angels fly, full of this heavenly sound
The piper moves on forever bound to seek
A place to rest, and stay, if only for a week
There is no peace, this place cannot be found.
So he moves on seeking with each fresh morn
And you can see the piper at the gates of dawn.
One Way Ticket
It was a dream. How cruel to break away
from sunlit fields that captivate the air;
from loving hands that would never betray
in echoes of parental pleas, 'Beware..'.
The putrid air escapes with morning mist,
as day surrenders to a Beggar's kiss,
while through the open door the light was lost
in white reveries of a Winter's frost.
The train awakes, and fires ascend the sky.
Destinies once asleep in fragile hands
are sold a ticket to the Shadowlands.
Come, Mother Earth, come claim your children by
the gate. They reach for you as a new born,
while we bolt shut the doors against the dawn.
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(Sandwich Quatrain and Italian Sestet)
One year ago, there were no muddy paw
prints 'cross my white floor to clean,
or furniture scratched by tooth or claw,
or need to have dinner by five fifteen.
There was no kitty litter, I need to empty,
no bar sounds would ever break the still night,
or more interesting yet, a small town fight
and my lawn had grass and more than one tree.
But a year ago, there was no winding stream
to sit with you by, no ride in the park,
no watching the night skies with you at dark
and I couldn't hear your laugh, or see gleam
in your eyes as our furry kid's tricks do
often surprise, but I can say now, I love you.
I Used to Fly
I used to fly when I was young.
Taking a running start, I'd leap up high
swim in air, high above the throng.
My friends, seeing me so free, would try
the feat themselves and some would join me.
We would laugh up there, do somersaults, easy,
once we got the knack. We did it all the time
until I, one day about thirteen, told of all our climbs.
Very seriously, this adult nodded. His knowledge
through years of study, so profound, he could dredge
up just the perfect explanation. "A common sexual
fantasy among the young. Just pre-pubescent fuel."
I don't remember flying after hearing his wise words,
but I used to fly when I was young – free as birds.
How deft you are this eve; you paint and stroke
in such a broad and brightly swirl, my lips
a perfect O, for even speech does choke
and halt at risk of missing even slips
of brush that paint the sky with such daring.
Your gold against dark gray, and yet, baring
one slip of lapis blue at far-off hill.
And there! The purple, sharply edged, until
it slides so gently 'neath that swirling cloud.
But oh, you stopped not there, for at my feet
reflected in wet road, you twist a treat
as backwards, painted there, you're mirrored proud.
And just when I, you lulled to entranced sleep,
did hail you shed in brief, but stunning sweep.
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An Epilogue to Apologue
His brim pulled down, head bowed, he walked in rain;
His thoughts downcast, his spirits drenched in pain;
His shoulders sagged, as if the cloud he wore
Was spilling doubts, which he could bear no more.
His raincoat beaded with the sweat of tears;
His collar lapping limply at his throat;
His trousers, bagged, no help to stay afloat,
Were dragging as his footsteps splashed his fears.
Invisible, the water, just like him.
He stopped. He stooped to touch a puddle’s ring
Which stirred the mirrored surface. Could it be?
He raised his eyes and, pushing up his brim,
He pondered on the meaning of this thing.
As clear as eyes in love, but could he see?
Hush! Stars are searching in the cold still night
As pink-lit mountain of the morn, still sleeps
How can I rest without the moon’s delight?
Am I forsaken now for one who weeps?
My eyes shine clear, no frozen tears to shed.
I look for you to kiss me, before bed.
No silhouettes can play without your beam
Or see their shadows floating in a dream.
I seek to catch a glimpse of you, my love
Before the stars grow dim as eyelids fall
I fear the night will pass, and thus I call.
Oh, moon, if you are somewhere there, above
Please warm my lips tonight with moonglow blush
I watch in silence. Are you coming? Hush!
(Pushkin Octave Petrarchan Sestet)
I breathe the scent of jasmine on the vine.
Infusion stirs my memories to sway
And takes me to the taste of summer wine,
Those captivating kisses, sweet bouquet.
A shift to night when jasmine’s fragrance peaks,
Enveloping the moonlight’s famed mystiques.
We dance together with the starlit skies,
So far away, yet home is in your eyes.
Soon, tiptoe through the garden, not to wake,
For heads are nodding; petals close with grace.
Ascending stairs, we reach our chamber door.
Together in our closeness, vows we take
While kisses turn to passionate embrace,
And jasmine promises......forevermore.
Tenacity has shaped your craggy face.
Its stubbornness etched stonelike, no disgrace;
Your rugged looks endure external force
When hardship tests resolve, with no remorse.
You bare your teeth and dare those who approach
To fault your stamina - such strength of power.
No foothold can they gain on jagged tower,
Remaining out of reach, beyond reproach.
Admiring then, from distance, no regrets,
For grandeur’s stark reality, as such,
Is nature’s way of fending off attacks.
Yet, when the glow of night shows silhouettes
Your features soften, tempting one to touch.
Still - dangers lie in crevices and cracks.
An alphabet of wings looks for its V
While others scramble through the tidepool crunch.
Two eagles swoop as if to oversee
As probing beaks feast on their Sunday brunch.
Crustacean smorgasbord, a chowder bowl
Where piquant succulence is swallowed whole.
There, washed ashore the bullwhip kelp, at rest,
A seafood bar where feeders can digest.
Abundance of the sea served to the flocks
Fresh appetizers left from ocean’s whirl,
A farewell banquet set on shells of pearl
As tide recedes uncovering the rocks.
This panorama viewed from window seat
Where poetry in ocean shared the treat!
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No More of Falling Tears
I wish no more to write of falling tears,
No more of mournful winds that sweep the pines,
Though dreams, my dreams, are silent of life's cheers,
Of life's remorse, I wish no speech of mine.
To call upon a sparkle in your eyes
Or reaching for that place where softness lies
In keeping with the bubbles of champagne,
I wish to tickle, not to bring you pain.
So why, oh Muse, is it your words are found
In places dark, so quiet in my soul,
Where waves of raw emotion slowly roll
To turn again, my speech, the mourn to sound?
I wish no more to write these tales of woe,
these places, where these mournful winds do blow.
Although you wish no more for falling tears
Nor wish to write of tales with mournful cry,
The Muse knows where to find your deepest fears
And brings them forth to look you in the eye.
She knows how pain can rip your heart to shreds,
How sorrow’s imprint feels like heavy treads,
How raw emotions rise and are revealed,
How waves of anguish cannot be concealed.
Those feelings need to flow and be set free,
Not rivers dammed that swirl and overflow
Resisting barricades which won’t let go…
Release your Muse to clear away debris
And you may find that champagne corks will pop
For once she starts, she doesn’t like to stop!
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Huge mountains of white paper crowd my desk;
the gorges in between show deadly traps-
dark visions filled with living Kafkaesque.
The air is trembling heavy beat of raps.
Agendas overflowing, scratched out dates;
on each new page a lurking death awaits.
White bands of type-ex hide the cancelled meets-
the crossed-out failures of at hand defeats.
The top right corner is where terror reigns,
embodied by a heavy-set black phone;
its ever booming voice cuts to the bone,
it drives me mad and liquefies my brains.
On Friday morning, weekend’s freedom nears-
as BP lowers, stress relieves- mind clears.
Transparent evening hues colour the skies,
enfold the frosty blue in pastel veils;
A scarlet Sun throws fiery trailed goodbyes
as pale-faced Moon shines cool and tender hails.
Their meeting is but short, he has to go;
when shadows lengthen and the darkness grows,
she will reflect his light among night’s stars-
a satellite at distance, bearing scars.
The pain of separation fiercely burns,
red fingered au revoirs profusely bleed
in heaven’s upheld vessel- life recedes.
As Moon is at her weakest, Sun returns,
invigorates her dwindling force with light;
then slowly, she recovers her full sight.
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You never know how strong you are until
something pushes your inner being to
go beyond its normal state seeking will
that instinctively leads you passed and through.
Unknown to you then but always waiting
a reservoir that is accomplishing
all that you cannot understand right now
a moderator between why and how.
Mends and answers broken hearts and their souls
with strength and tenderness somehow you feel
the mind and body blend their truths to heal.
Invisibly each day they lift the toll
you realize you were never alone
far beneath facades resides wisdom's home.
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And what of stars, are they so far away
Under them we plan, and hope, and dream,
We know in time, like us they will decay
As they cease to shine so do our schemes.
In youth what stars shine, what plans we make
Wild things we do and say and risks we take.
Too late sometimes and one more star blinks out
But such is youth, ignoring the loudest shout.
We survive the day and in the eve that is age
Look up and see the sky, some stars are gone
Vanished just like some dreams we built upon
Having survived we are said to be a sage.
In truth I would rather see a fuller sky
Than the cull, where friends have to die.
Out of an endless void my love has grown
Starting from a cosmic speck, a minute grain
A seed was sown onto a barren plain
And finitely created this heavenly domain
No roof of tin or tile to shelter from harm
It was created by love, to protect and warm
Not of wood, nor steel, nor brick or stone
But a pulsing heart, inside flesh and bone
From timeless space you have won my heart
A celestial being that has won my soul
Two separate beings have made a whole
Knowing that time or distance can never part
From now my life and love I dedicate to thee
And I wish to be with you all eternity
Pictures in the Fire
Envelope Quatrain leader
Pictures in the fire on a winter's night
What do you see, what are your dreams?
Of woodland walks or soft flown streams
Of halcyon days and warm eve's light.
The fire grows steady, with a settled flame
Like middle life, which is just the same,
And pictures change, with seasoned thought
Images, memories, that experience has bought.
The fire settles now to a more reddish glow
Colours like blue and yellow are left behind,
And a softer, more mellow image we find
For memory changes the pictures we know
Like photo albums turned brown with age
The fire now reaches it's final stage.
(Pushkin Octave, Petrarchan Sestet)
Beasts live in harmony within their state.
Should one species become too strong
The balance will change and their fate
Nature will level it out before too long.
And Natures balance is without deceit
Until along comes man in his conceit
Who often forgets that it is not his plan.
Always thinking naught is better than man
Ignoring that he’s only an alternate form.
Tribal ways "Civilisation" ignores the fact
Science and technology only deceives.
Thus ignoring every other creature born
But its out of ignorance not an evil act
Ask the ancients what the tribe believes.
(Pushkin Octave, Sicilian Sestet)
Look, see the eagle soar such a wondrous sight
Majestic, riding the thermals where he belongs
See the feathers spread out balancing the flight
Playing with the air, soaring, listen to his songs.
As he sleeps in the night another raptor is king
He is wise and has no respect for fools who sing
His flight no less majestic, who can see him soar,
Is function all that important, surely there is more?
Man knows that there is beauty in their flight
This is often where his wisdom flaws.
He will not spend time during the day or night
To give to Nature the respect he owes.
Each raptor king is deposed, despite their might
Knows it will have its time here then it goes
Like any sailor that's caught at sea,
In raging storm and mountain wave.
Like a sea anchor thrown out by me,
I face the storm with love you gave.
The storm rages and tries its best,
Once again putting me to the test,
But because of you I am complete,
And more than ready for any feat.
The sails are furled ship battened down,
As nature unleashes all her might,
And blackened sky hid by sea of white.
Even hell throws in its own nightgown,
But I know in time this storm will die,
Safe in the haven of you again I'll lie.
Waiting For a Star to Fall
(Upward shift of quatrains, Italian Sestet)
The cosmos awaits us this starry night
Set in darkest blue and silver bright
And shooting stars streak across the sky
As the heavens call….to you….and I.
In love, bodies meld as was in ages past
And eyes are closed, but not from sleep
As rapture puts us in its mood so deep
Until that final moment, we wish to last.
That final moment is but physical release
It is the deeper feeling of souls we need
Simple togetherness is on what we feed.
Only in this way can there be pure peace
Laying in the night, listening to each call
And waiting for a star to fall.
You were always privy to my heart
Never ever mine how could you be
For a while that now seems so short
Hearts were linked, you were part of me.
Those days together long since gone
Each precious moment I still dwell on
The times together so bittersweet
Time had wings when ere we'd meet
Time apart, I listened to your song
I still listen now I can't stop the feeling
Wondering why my hearts not healing
Knowing to someone else you belong.
Time and tide won't mend this heart
It will always hurt whilst we're apart.
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