2006 Form Challenges
#2 Canzonetta

The Canzonetta or Canzonet is a variation of the canzone, a lyric poem of varying line length and metrical patterns. The Canzonetta consists of at least two octaves, and each octave uses a series of alternating couplets. The last line or last phrase is repeated in each stanza of the subsequent stanzas. The rhyme scheme is thus:
a. b. a. b. c. d. c. D.
a. b. a. b. c. b. c. B.
The latter one is called Canzonetta Prime and the use of a repeating rhyme word is helpful but not mandatory in order to strengthen the repetition bond. There is no set meter or line length.

SO dark is the night and you are alone.
I do not fear the dark, why should I lie?
Listen carefully to the night wind moan
I am the mote in your fearful eye.
A wisp of smoke or the smell of fear
You see my shadow. I hear you cry.
You begin to panic, I can see a tear
Too late, too late, it's time to die.

Look back on life that should have been
Instead you hid your life with a lie.
So pure outside, you appear so clean
I see the fear grow in your eyes.
Ghosts of the Past you brushed away
"There are no Ghosts of now", you cry.
Mind crimes count for naught you say
Shaking my head, it's time to die.

Innocents, all victims of your crime
Leave their graves to deny your lie.
For evil only exists a finite time
Justice removes her blindfold with a sigh
For all you have sown it's time to pay.
Ashen faced you give in finally.
You grab your chest and feel the pain
It's too late now, it's time to die.

Ryter Roethicle

Canzonetta Posts

Maryse Achong

Flights of Fancy
Forever Love II
I Remember
Visa Blues

Gloria Carpenter

As I lay dying
Degrees of Tenderness
Held Hostage
My Music

Lorraine Dafney


Kevin McKinney

Never Needs Winding
Upwardly Mobile

Leny Roovers

Yoga VI

Ryter Roethicle

As you wish
Hot Summer Nights
Potency of Dreams
Sailors Death
Swan of Turin
Canzonetta of the Night

Maryse Achong

Flights of Fancy

In dreams I fly where’er I please
To places far and near,
No restraints and no boundaries,
No words of caution hear;
I’ve shared a cup of mountain dew
With the man in the moon,
Have met the sandman as he flew
To earth to sing his tune.

I’ve sat on banks of clouds of white
Warmed by the sun’s first rays
Watched birds and aircraft pass in flight
I’ve had such lazy days.
I’ve flown above the highest trees
Have spent an afternoon
Playing with butterflies and bees
And even learned their tune.

And free from human feet of clay,
I move with so much ease
I leave behind the earthly fray
And fly o’er land and seas:
So maybe if you listen well,
Someday you’ll hear me croon,
As I float over hill and dell,
My favourite little tune.


Forever Love II

I never imagined that you were leaving
Did not anticipate that you would go
Away from me forever, have me grieving,
And missing you in ways you’ll never know.
I thought we’d find our way back to each other
Although I was the one who said ‘goodbye’;
I always knew that we belonged together
I never thought that you were going to die.

I treasure that last letter that you wrote me
I’ll never see the likes of that again,
Its contents were nothing less than poetry
And now they act as balm to ease my pain.
The ocean floor has laid claim to your body,
And after all this time there’re tears I cry,
But right to the end you heart belonged to me;
I never thought that you were going to die.


I Remember

I remember you always,
In good times as well as in bad;
On sunny days and rainy days
I remember what we had:
I think of you with tenderness.
Relive every tete-a-tete
I’ve spent my life with thoughts of you
Because I could not forget.

I think of you at nightfall,
When there is darkness everywhere;
And sometimes I can hear you call
Me , say softly,"I’m right here"
And then I’ll dream sweet dreams of you,
Knowing that you’ve not gone yet,
And that you’ve kept your promise too;
That you would never forget.


Visa Blues

What would you do if you were told today
That your visa for this world had been revoked,
And that there really was not any way
This could be stalled; though it was unprovoked.
Would you berate the bearer of this news,
Ignore any advice that he might give?
Go home and do exactly as you choose,
Because one life is all you have to live.

Or maybe you'd get drunk and try to drown
Your sorrows in a bottle of good booze,
Become the latest talking point in town
And lose yourself listening to heavy blues;
Perhaps you might decide to throw a party,
A pity one, nothing that was festive,
Where all the guests would give advice that's free,
And tell you how they think that you should live.

Or would you take the sentence on the chin,
And thank God for the years you've lived 'til now;
And though this is one war you might not win,
Put on your combat armour anyhow ;
Prepare yourself for battle to the end,
Remembering to forget and forgive
Your enemies and every erring friend,
Because this is the way you'd want to live.

But maybe you’ll do all of these and more ;
Blame God and feel betrayed after the trust
You'd placed in Him; and even then be sure
That this was not to be, and that there must
Be a lesser penalty, a smaller fine
That you could pay and so alter the missive,
But in the meanwhile drink your fill of wine,
For there’s just one life that we have to live.

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Gloria Carpenter

As I lay dying

Awakening from nightwhirl sweats,
where terror’s triumph drips,
I breathe relief in face of threats,
for fear no longer grips.
There was a time when I was lost
in depths of deep despair ~
when all my dreams, in nightmares, tossed,
as I lay dying there.

In spiral whorl, I left this place,
succumbing to the fall,
through scattered shreds of empty space
between a mirrored wall ~
a labyrinth of shattered dreams
with shard-reflecting glare,
while echoes cried the voice of screams,
as I lay dying there.

I saw the world of Alice grin,
in recognition’s eye.
Yet, on I went, through all that’s been,
as eons passed me by.
Far back before earthlife began,
when time was unaware
that lies would, one day, break the span,
as I lay dying there.

One tiny flutter made it known
a tender heart remained,
and feathertouch was gently blown
to settle, unrestrained.
From fingertips on angel breath,
new stars were flung with care,
to guide me from the arms of death,
as I lay dying there.

A ripple on the jeweled sea ~
a call to those below,
to share the knowledge of a key
unlocking long ago.
I swam beside the dolphin pods
until in birth, an heir,
then swept ashore by watergods,
as I lay dying there.

But I arose on full moon tide
inhaling spirit’s breath,
and walked the land with strength of stride,
no thought of fear or death.
Above the light of sun-kissed hill,
through darkest valley lair,
on eagle wings, recalling still,
as I lay dying there.


Degrees of Tenderness

An empty vessel drifting out to see
the universe, unfolding as it must;
an open view with spirit flying free
upon the waves of faith, of love, of trust.
A tide collecting remnants of a meal;
a shell no longer harbouring distress;
a world turned upside down to pain’s reveal,
as tests expose degrees of tenderness.

A swift and sudden shock of stunned surprise;
a lightening flash as life is torn away,
and borne upon the wings of dark disguise ~
the way of things, as nature’s rules obey.
And so it is for every soul on earth;
enlightenment transforming those who bless
the path set out, each time, for a rebirth,
as tests expose degrees of tenderness.


Held Hostage

My flights of fancy take me far,
for I have always flown!
How else to travel when you’re young,
before the truth is blown?
I used to fly with wings outstretched,
until I heard, "Sit still".
And so I flew inside a book ~
but not against my will,

For there I found another world
of fantasy and fact,
with many books piled up beside
in castle towers, stacked.
I flew, I soared beyond the skies
where all my dreams fulfill.
My books have held me hostage since ~
but not against my will.


My Music

My music lives in silence, on a breeze.
I taste it in the gentle mist that clings
with dew upon the lip of morning’s tease ~
on whistles through the trees a whisper brings.
A gathering of whirling, skirting peaks
in wild abandon dancing to dismiss
all cares, as zephyr plays and wisdom speaks.
In essence, it is spirit. It is bliss.

My music lives in silence, flying free
with lightest touch, a trace of feather brush;
or pulses with the passion of the sea,
its heart in rhythm, thrashing with the rush,
until it crests beyond mortality.
It carries me to soar where love exists
on higher planes of peaceful harmony ~
In essence, it is spirit. It is bliss.

My music lives in silence, to enthrall.
It flourishes to reach the depths within,
with floods of bursting song it breaks the wall,
emotion spilling tears where tides begin,
absorbing all, through every single pore,
and yet a calmness rests in reminisce,
as letting go is key to heaven’s door.
In essence, it is spirit. It is bliss.

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Lorraine Dafney


I wait for spring each year and I yearn
To toil in my garden once again
And see and touch my beautiful ferns
To feel the peace and beauty of zen
My two hands sink in the earth divine
I plant seeds and new blossoms flower
Along my morning glories new vine
This has become my favorite hour

I'm always willing to watch and learn
To listen to the songs of the wren
See there, my heirloom roses return
Each year they come back like an old friend
My surrounding trees have grown, just fine
They reach for the sky like a tower
Their afternoon shadows make designs
Join me and share my favorite hour.

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Kevin McKinney

Never Needs Winding

Sometimes we live in the moment;
Nothing eludes our attention;
We finish each other's comment,
Foresee each other's intention;
Discourse displaces argument
And courtesy rules contention;
Erected on this pediment,
The heart has a solid nature.

Sometimes we delve into science
Or practical incantation;
Wholly dissolving all variance
In a vital combination;
Obeying laws of compliance
And properties of migration,
Viewed from the shoulders of giants,
The heart has a vaporous nature.

Sometimes our nights outshine our days;
We give off heat in radiant beams
That burns away the vexing haze
That shadows and occludes our dreams.
As fire, fusion or alchemy,
The like of which it always seems,
Consume their fuel, so we partake;
The heart has a volatile nature.

Sometimes our days run together;
We pass each other unnoticed;
One day I'm under the weather,
The next, completely unfocused;
You drift like a downy feather,
Afloat on a glassy surface;
Conformed to match its container,
The heart has a fluid nature.

The number of times one heart beats
Throughout a life is astounding;
Two, in tandem are twice the feat,
And the more music resounding.
Now hear the humming of a fleet
Of hearty engines expounding,
A chorus clear, charged to repeat
The tidal rhythm of nature.

Some days we wake and wonder why;
Why go through the motions again?
Why so, is retribution's price
For asking wisdom, paid in flames?
We're all but hurrying to die,
So what's the point to toil in pain?
By chance, hearts ignore such advice
From brains; all thanks to their nature!


Upwardly Mobile

We do not demonstrate this trait from birth;
'Twas not among god's gifts in paradise
When fewer creatures flew than walked the earth;
How is it man has mastered this device,
And how incalculable is its worth
To teeming masses lifting up their eyes?
Defying gravity and likewise, death,
A leap of faith first takes place in the mind.

Now see the great lizards reinvented;
Cast in stone, when once they had no rivals;
By re-engineering they've ascended
Skyward in a triumph of survival.
What new found admiration must attend
The myraid departures and arrivals
At great gatherings of fine feathered friends,
And leaps of faith that take place in the mind.

A flight of sparrows startled from their lunch
Delights the inner child in everyone;
Yet fledglings are like arrows I've a hunch;
They'll not leave the nest without persuasion;
They need a push to activate the launch,
And they miss the target on occasion;
As near to freedom, Icarus flew once,
That leap of faith first took place in his mind.

And so it was with Leonardo's dream;
He saw the view, but he was born too soon;
Three centuries later, he'd love to have seen
The view from Montgolfier's balloon;
Till a simple bicycle building team,
Loosed our bonds and we landed on the moon.
Now that we've slipped the solar system's seams,
Each leap of faith must take place in the mind.

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Leny Roovers

Yoga VI

With each deep breath, my body drinks blue air
that permeates and saturates my skin-
enfolds me in a cool cocoon of prayer,
while peeling off the burdens worn within.
When hollows fill with light, a rose is born;
its pistil rises as her stamens spin.
She's tall and proud, has lost all need for thorns-
protection against hurt, buds from within.

My rose, conceived in peace, is born to share
her velvet vibes, as consciousness begins
to slowly cleanse my mind, abolish scare.
When armours drop, remaining veils grow thin;
translucently and shining they adorn
my upright rose- absorbing pain, she wins.
With each deep breath, my body is reborn-
awareness thrills and blossoms from within.

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Ryter Roethicle

As you Wish

What is your desire my lady?
Do you wish the moon and the stars?
But they are yours already,
They are in your smile and your eyes.
Would you like your breakfast in bed?
I will make it a most succulent dish,
It will be a most lavish spread.
I promise things will be as you wish.

Make me your desire my lady
Let us wander in heavenly skies.
You have made me yours already,
I see my answer in your eyes.
You need say no words to me now,
For all things we will accomplish.
Take your violin; I am your bow,
And play with me, as you wish.



God gave Angels and birds the gift of flight
Leaving man to stomp and root around.
To many creatures he gave this right
Yet we evolved and still stayed downed.
I look each day and watch the avians play
Identifying them all by call, by sound.
These calls tell me how they enjoy the day
Scornful of us mortals held to ground.

As the evening falls listen to their calls
And bragging of the adventures found.
Of sink and holes and huge thermals,
With balanced wings they flew around.
Reaching to the black bottomed cloud
Then flying along streets that now abound
A final descent into the evenings shroud
Scornful of us mortals held to ground.

As the evening arrives the bats come alive,
You hear them call out their unique sound.
Blind they are, yet they feed and survive
And in nights darkness they fly around.
Whilst mortals sleep, their sonic beep
Aids flight for which they are renowned.
With mornings creep they return to their keep,
Scornful of us mortals held to ground.


Hot Summers Night

Hot summer nights the Cicadas calls
Are stifled by the midnight’s heat.
Trembling waves emanate from walls,
And in the distance hear music’s beat.
Alone with my thoughts as music plays,
My love lies isolated from theses scenes.
Whilst in her garden winter still lays
With gentle thoughts and tiptoe dreams.

Fireworks thunder way over in the East
Welcoming adventures to this shore,
And while the strangers drink and feast
Hear crackers flash and watch rockets soar.
But here is peace and the music sublime
And here I write and wax poetic themes,
Enjoying my reading and drinking wine
With gentle thoughts and tiptoe dreams.

Night quietens now as midnight draws
'Cept occasional planes on finals o’er head
Suddenly from the Port wild applause
A final cheer before they go home to bed.
The radio plays more Piazzola now
The wine and time now defeat my schemes
Deciding its time to take my bow
And have gentle thoughts and tiptoe dreams.



Why is it only with death we realise,
That it’s too late, we’ve lost a friend?
Why is it only when someone dies,
Why must there have to be an end?
All things have not been said have they?
Say it now, drop your pride and bend,
Before it’s too late, say it all today,
Why must you wait until the end?

Declare your love or regret forever,
Love is riches you cannot spend,
For the dead possess nothing ever
Forget pride, and let friendship mend.
Friendship is still the greatest wealth,
The more you have, the more you spend.
And the better that is for your health,
You should never wait until the end.


Potency of Dreams

Lesser loves died happily for nought
Dare I dream and thus dream of thee?
Lending power and strength to thought,
When a fool knows to wake is not to see?
Shall I ever close my eyes and peek
How bought so cheap is mortality?
For that precious love I blindly seek?
Each hour a façade of accepted reality

And yet I am sick from want and desire
My dreams have caused my soul to see,
As passions are summoned by the hour.
Within beats my breast tormented by thee
Know well within your heart this fire.
Dare you share my mortality?
Apparent calm yet inside desire
Each hour a façade of accepted reality.


Sailors Death

And only the sea shall know them
The ocean depth will be their grave
The wind will tug the wet shrouds hem
Like a farewell flag the waters wave.
There is no church with bells to ring
No flowers cover the hallowed site
Nor choir with caring hymns to sing
Nor moon to shine its blessed light.

Neptune has claimed them all
And to his bosom they are gone
Till Armageddon makes its call
And be greeted by Gods only son
The day the sea gives up it's dead.
The end of time, the end of night
When sailors will rise from their bed
Bathed in heavens blessed light.


Swan of Turin

Tonight Sibelius shall be my choice,
The lights are low the wine tastes good.
A lonely oboe makes felt its voice,
As the Swan of Turin floats from the woods.
With the strings I float amongst the stars,
An interlude that made the heavens melt.
My half closed eyes wish all this was ours,
With its eternal floating presence felt.

The music softens as if to fly away,
And cellos sound, like they are from afar.
As if welcoming softly the close of day,
The violins call out to the Evening Star.
The music now symbolises the night,
Daytime creatures into their nests melt.
All avians have long since ceased their flight
Still with eternal floating presence felt.


Canzonetta of the Night
A series of Canzonetta

A Decastich

On the seventh day the word created flesh
In its madness the flesh created fear,
But the flesh could not fear itself or fear alone
And so the flesh created fear of the night
And from that fear was created night’s creatures
The creatures sense your fear and know you're alone
It makes no difference, you made these creatures
Your breathing hardens, your eyes widen in fear
But tis no use your,
Your flesh is feeding the night

Part 1

Now the creature you created
Is clawing at your door,
Its tasted blood, its tasted flesh
And now it’s seeking more.
It feeds on pain, it feeds on fear
It needs to taste your throat.
You have created this dreadful thing
Your fear so cheaply bought.

And now the moon and the night
Amplify the noises that you hear.
This creature that you alone made
Seeks the life that you hold dear.
Now the clouds cover the moon
And your nerves become more taut,
You cannot now recall that fear,
That you so cheaply bought.

Part 2

The sounds of night, the noisy night
Now help to feed your fear
Then you hear it, something’s changed,
The silence, so loud and clear.
You listen close, you listen hard
The silence is complete
Your breathing stops, you start to sweat
You hear your hearts loud beat.

Then the wind picks up and blows
Black clouds across the sky
In that moment in time you realise
That you or it must die.
There are shivers down your spine
Your fear is now complete
You are within evils shrine.
You watch your hearts loud beat.

Part 3

The creature is outside your room
You can smell its fetid breath
Its hideous stench now fills the air
This creature spawned by death.
The charnel house from which it spawned
Cast off from evils womb
Now seeks to feed on human flesh
And to drag you to eternal doom.

The stench grows great as rotting graves
Eject their hideous content.
Seeking your body, seeking your mind,
Your eternal soul to torment.
The final stench, that of hell itself
Now pervades the room.
Your eternal soul is now at risk
And with it, eternal doom.

Part 4

Now moving shadows torment you
And play upon the wall
The hungry creature of the night
On your throat will seek to fall.
Stalking, it moves about the room
Teasing you with its presence
Its muzzle high, sniffing the air
Savouring your very essence.

In the freezing air circling round your bed
You see its panting breath.
Soon, very soon you begin to realise,
That you'll be facing death.
You cannot move, you cannot scream
Your paralysed with abhorrence.
Your mind is making frantic plans
To protect your very essence.

Part 5

"Oh God" you pray "my God please help
And save me from this beast"
And dive beneath the covers warm
Hiding from its hungry feast.
But God is day and this is night
He cannot hear your cry.
You smell the stench of countless graves
Where the rotting corpses lie.

The covers are drawn you are exposed
And then you smell its breath.
Your screams for help are pointless now
As you see the face of DEATH.
One final scream and all is black
You are with the Lord of Flies
In that charnel house, join the stack
Where your rotting corpse lies.

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