2015 Poetry Form Challenge

#22 Sicilian Quatrain

This is undoubtedly the most popular form used in sonnets since its use by Giacomo da Lentini in the 12th century, and although there are many sonnet forms today many of them use this as the basic building block. It is however not only the Sonneteers that use it, the story teller also uses it and it is very common to find Ballads and stories that use this form.

The rhyme scheme is:a. b. a. b... c. d. c. d. etc.

Golden Dragons

The golden beast wheeled, circled
Aloft in the desert sun.
As old as time, born before man
And history had begun.

The sand below hazy, shimmered
In early morning heat
Spiralling thermals shooting upwards
Joined with lazy wing'd beat.

And as he glided and spiralled
Flying as if in a trance
Seeming to the watchers below
Just like a merry dance.

Terry Clitheroe

See inside for the full ballad.

Sicilian Stanza Challenge

Terry Clitheroe

Autumn and Spring
Essence of Correctness
Golden Dragons
In Days of Old
To Learn to Love
Units of Love
Yin and Yang

Divena Collins

Creatures of the Night
Regal Ponderings
Remains as Seen
Tapestry Of Time
Viking's Of The Norse

Ballad of the Night

Man and Maid

Terry Clitheroe

Autumn and Spring

He was autumn, she was spring
I can do better than this she thought
She wasn't looking for what he'd bring
But the look in his eyes had her caught.

She saw the caring the tenderness,
"What the hell" she suddenly thought
The men she knew were thoughtless
He gave her what couldn't be bought.

Now she is summer he is winter
I can't do better than this she thinks
As they sit near the firelight together
She raises her glass, smiles and drinks.

Her feelings as he looks towards her
And she sees the warm, caring love
"How lucky I am" she feels his care
"He is mine completely."



There is no way to mend a broken heart
One minute your happy and together
The next moment you are forced apart
The possibility of meeting again is never.

You then tax your mind a reason to find
Reasons are complex, meaning everything
You have to realise both ways love is blind
And very often lovers end up with nothing.

I will just repeat what I said so many times
So many times together, our lives we shared
We lived and loved through so many climes
Through all of them never doubt that I cared.

Ne'r doubt, although this appears to be the end
It will only be a period when thou aren't mine
Sooner or later our paths will together blend
And once again you'll realise that I'm Thine.


Essence of Correctness

Am I too near the past with sighs,
Of times when things were real.
When no one denied their eyes
Or what they could truly feel.

We weren't competing for moral scores
And good things were all we heard.
Manners ruled and opened doors
Comedians never used swearwords.

When children's games were simple
And everyone really had fun
Today we hear of some schoolkids
Taking out their problems with a gun.

Childhood was a time of revelry
When we learned wrong or right.
The lesson learned might be a black eye
Now a machete ends the fight.

I wonder where it all will end,
Wondering if values return again.
Or is it that all that good trend
Has just gone down the drain.



Who says the Earth is not alive, look she sleeps
See how green her hair, so peaceful lying there.
In this valley her vigil with the Sandman keeps
To deny this short repose would be unfair.

A hundred years is but a blink of her eye
A thousand years and some time has passed by.
Sleep she will have our master willed this day,
So we see her lying there at peace this way.

But now man has stepped in and all is changed
The Earth is wetter, warmer and warmer is bad.
Ice is melting the world has become deranged
Land is flooding a permanent loss, no-one's glad.

The greedy ignores it and politicians are paid
Hypocrisy rules and no-one gives a damn
But media, and common sense is not swayed
And that truth belies the corrupted scam.


Golden Dragons

The golden beast wheeled, circled
Aloft in the des'rt sun.
As old as time, born before man
And history had begun.

The sand below hazy, shimmered
In early morning heat
Spiralling thermals shooting upwards
Joined with lazy wing'd beat.

And as he glided and spiralled
Flying as if in a trance
Seeming to the watchers below
Just like a merry dance.

But as he flew he was listening
To the heavens above;
Until suddenly he heard her
The sound of his true love.

The gold on his scales was flashing
Blinding watchers on Earth,
Shooting upwards and heaven bound
To where dragons give birth.

For Dragons aren't Earthly creatures
They're creatures gifted by Gods
Not evil and never malicious
Mans greed put them at odds.

The Gods loved these gentle creatures
Gave scales of purest gold
Man, ever greedy and cunning
His own evil he told.

Always blaming it on dragons
His own murderous needs
Thanking George and more like him
With sainthood's for their deeds.

The dragon flew towards the sun
Up to his wife and child.
His wings beating in fervent haste
Heart beating, oh so wild!!



These hands have not had a manicure
They were they never soft like you
Your safety my love I will ensure.
With these hands you can feel secure

How much do I love to touch you
And please you so love will endure
A simple touch, is this your view?
With these hands you can feel secure

How much with you do I love to play
And pleasure my life's amour
Love will light up the dullest day
With these hands you can feel secure

Your hands are so soft and tender
Absence from you they will cure
A simple touch and I surrender
With your hands I can feel secure

So small and pale a work of art
With your love I m never poor
Willingly giving you my heart
With your hands I can feel secure.


In Days of Old

In days of old when times were grand
And poetry had just been invented.
Men roamed the land with lute in hand
Spinning tales that made folks contented.

But oftimes bastards from the bush
Would try to gag each stalwart lad.
For keeping people informed and sus
Was considered by some to be bad.

Each age that's been in countries seen
The written word has been suppressed
Religion has caused wisdom to be hidden
And politics caused feelings repressed.

But with each age in histories evolution
One person has let people know it.
Sometimes his idealism led to revolution
And it is your oftimes your humble poet.


Knight to Queen

In my dreams I can feel you there
Knowing then I was not alone
I drift through space to bring you here
And place you upon a throne.

Knowing then I was not alone
You are my Queen of Hearts, I swear
And place you upon a throne.
I am your knight and am prepared

You are my Queen of Hearts, I swear
And will defend you and your honour
I am your knight and am prepared
What else is there you are my amore?



Ask me, I'll tell you, I am insane
I work my arse off and for why
Like Scrooge, my life links to a chain
And so it must be until I die.

Winters past, now there's a joke
Whilst I lie here bedridden, spent
I saw my life go up in smoke
My weekly pensions getting a dent.

You worked your all life for a Swatch
Worth less than when you were born
Looking forwards to a grassy patch
"Your mad" he said with a look of scorn.

But next week I'll lead the parade
I'm not proud of my medals I did my job
But some people give me a different grade
Telling all the others to "Shut their gob"!!



Somewhere in the mists of time I met you
We shared wine and bread together you and I
And now each life I wait until our rendezvous.
And the songs sang will echo through eternity

Each blessed meeting this life the days are few
Sharing wine and bread and song, being happy
But planned by fate, getting stronger as it grew
Confident of a love that is more than certainty

Once again somewhere in time we shall meet
We will break bread, and from the wineglass sup
We will move in time and feet will tap the beat
And life's wine shared, more tasty with each cup.

We will smile kiss and touch knowing what has been
And sing our songs and speak our love in rhyme.
Seeing future life's together as a well loving scene
Knowing we will meet again somewhere in time.


To Learn to Love

To learn to love, you must first learn to cry
Our bodies and minds conditioned by life
Offer your heart before love says goodbye
And show no emotion and be stoic in strife.

For too long now, my heart has been asleep
But now there is tears my heart is open again
And slowly through joy, I'm learning to weep
Not tears or sobs of a heart wrenched in pain.

At last it has become the time for you to cry
I have looked in your eyes and I see your tears
As anger and frustration from inside you die
You have held it inside you for all these years

Here beside you I wipe the tear from your eyes
I hold you and kiss you, removing your doubt
And after earning trust I hear only your sighs
Now "I love you" is all I hear you shout.


Units of Love

Heaven is the kiss that never dies
Sadness is a dream that doesn't live
Worst is the feeling of loves demise
Pleasure is the feeling when you give.

Music is the joined beating of two hearts
Sometimes a fast dance more often slow
Then there is a dirge when lovers part
Longing the feeling that all lovers know.

Fingers are movements down your spine
Happiness your touch discovering my face
Possession is three words, "You are mine"
Contentment is the long arms that embrace.



When you look at someone long enough,
You can discover their humanity and spirituality,
But too often there is the avoidance of stuff,
Are they hiding who they really want to be.

The eyes of a child sees things day to day,
Without any concept of the person within.
The child smiles and is rewarded some way,
And so it starts to learn life's sneaky sin.

A child has no concept of lies, only rewards,
There is no understanding of the real truth.
With time the child learns love, and awards,
Or alternatively fear, lies during their youth.

The child only learns what has been taught,
And its path in life becomes set in stone.
If only adults gave their education a thought
And realised that their simple faith is sown.


Yin and Yang

We talk as if we know the facts
That we have met and loved before
Since then we have taken many tracks
Then realising it was on another shore

Separation making love grow more
The Yin and Yang always attracts
Closer to eternity we now explore
Our last lessons readying our acts.

Will silent days and fasts prepare us,
Or need to be together and assess
We have access to a divine afflatus
Who knows with time what we possess.

We are now aware of what we need
Our souls progress in their need for what?
Knowing fate has carefully laid the seed
We will make the time to carefully plot.

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Divena Collins

Creatures Of The Night

Of night creatures within the skies
Enhanced by moon light
No sound of wings nor shrill cries
Never of bats in the night.

There may be no brightness in shade
All is black within sight
Even the light of the moon shall fade
When all is never bright.

May this be a start close to the end
When all may seem as dull
There is no show of might to defend
No song of a breeze to lull.

Where then do all the creatures go
When dark begins to fade
As first light of the sun shall glow.
Within dawns promanade.

A morning mist shall be of foggy dew
That weeps tears of nature
Until faded clouds show skies of blue
Within earths natural feature.


Regal Ponderings

The King of Kings had loads of rings
Upon his fingers as shown
He never really desired those things.
But his interest had grown.

A Queen of Queens was quite put out
What for? she had forgot
All she thought of was paste and grout
For Gold they all were not.

No matter say he they shall do for me
Who shall beg to differ
All I do know is mother nature is free
'Tis falsity I shall prefer.

Yonder within the castle court yard
Pots of metal simmered
A gold smith faked his calling card
Not all gold glimmered.

What the heck yelled the King of Kings
Who then may really know
I said the Queen who knoweth things
That all should evenly flow.

Pompous woman take back your words
A King shall do as he choses
Do not even think of things so absurd
Or you may be one who loses.

A kingdom cannot be without a king
She may not do as he choses
Did she not ever wear a golden ring
Or fake metal with bruises.


Remains As Seen

I saw no light in a darkened room
Not even a glimmer of hope
I cannot see within all this gloom
All I need is a length of rope.

Not that I may do anything as silly
For I value my life too well
But these thoughts are willy nilly
Rather see heaven than hell.

But I wish I could just feal the light
Yet only a glimmer shall do.
Even just a candle within the night.
Is what was needed to view.

Nightmare's were never meant to be
Engulfed within awareness
Darker within gloom may trouble me
I may not see more nor less..

I feel no warmth from a starless sky
Not a star shall ever shine
But deeper within loneliness go I
Never a blessing was mine.

I cannot see yet but may never feel
For I melted within the pain
Encased within tallow shall never seal
My flame may never remain.


Tapestry Of Time

Upon the green hills of the Eastern Dales
Up high on a winding road
Where a tapestry of shaded green entails
Shall be my future abode.

Pleasure shall be mine upon open spaces
Where light and shade may be
Sparkling within the moonlight embraces
The need to be joyous and free.

Casting shadows within a wooded glade
With a hint of mottled green
That within darkness shall forever fade.
Yet within dawn again seen.

Buttercups meadows past their needs
Fade below the earths graces
Within natures plans a sowing of seeds
Which springtime light traces.

But the seasons may come as seasons go
It is here I would rather be
There are many places like this I may know
I much prefer the Dales for me.


This Day Of Dreams

This day I dreamed of a violet hue
So softly spoken of words serene
Not to be mistaken for cobult blue
Nigh upon yonder village green.

Cast not aside the rambling rose
Of thorns that may hurt so much
Shall never be in mind for prose
I may not for the life of me touch.

Buttercups held beneath the chin
Shall speak of their future fortune
If they like it or not shaded within
The answer shall appear real soon.

A childs play within country charm
Shall ever be a wonder to cherish
That may ever teach never to harm
For wisdoms words may not perish.

But within time that child may grow
And birth a child of their very own
A mother of nature may ever know
Natures fantasy may e'er be shown.

This day she dreams of a violet hue
So softly spoken of words serene
Not to be mistaken for cobult blue
Nigh upon yonder village green.


Viking's Of The Norse

A Viking ship sailed out to sea
With a full crew of men
Rough and ready sailors they be
Of fifty rowers and ten.

Cast not of fear to waves full high
Nor strong winds that blew
For hurricanes blew from the sky
All was not lost from view.

A Viking horn blew loud and strong
Warning of a high tide flood
The Viking warrior can do no wrong
It is deep within his blood.

But strength of will was borne within
Knowing they may be free
Braver than the sea sharks that swim
The valiant warrior was he.

Come by the shore to walk the plank
'Twas a Viking tradition.
Never to say that a Viking ship sank
All was good condition.

This is the end of my ballad bold
Let no man tell different
Flagons of grog may be in the fold
Maybe too soon it went.

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Ballad of the Night

Introduction (Sestina Sonnet)

And on the last day the word created flesh
and 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 nights creatures
The horned bloodsucking slavering creatures
red eyed beasts their talons seeking your flesh.
You waken and remember your fear of the night.
The creatures awaken and remember your fear,
and stealthy movements in the house all alone
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, flesh is feeding the night

Part 1

Now the creature you refresh
is clawing at your door,
its tasted blood, its tasted flesh
and now its seeking more.

It feeds on pain, it feeds on fear
it needs to taste your throat.
you have created see it here
your fear so cheaply bought.

And now the moon and the night
helps to feed your fear.
This creature that you will fight
seeks the life that you hold dear.

Now the clouds cover the moon
the night becomes more black,
it will call on you very soon
there is no turning back.


Part 2

The sounds of night, the noisy night
now help to feed your fear
you hear it, something's not right,
a silence, loud and clear.

You listen close, you listen beset
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.

Now fear takes o'er, its icy touch
sending shivers down your spine
you grip harder the knife you clutch
to keep you from evils shrine.


Part 3

You hear a creature out on the stair
and can smell its fetid breath.
Its hideous stench now fills the air
with promises of death.

The charnel house from which it spawned
cast off from evils womb
now seeks to feed on your human flesh
and drag you to its tomb.

The stench grows great as it seeks to find
your body and its content.
Sensing your body, seeking your mind,
your eternal soul to torment.

The final stench, from Hell itself
now pervades the room.
Your eternal soul it wants for itself
and with it your eternal doom.


Part 4

Now moving shadows enter the fight
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, your sensing doom
savouring your essence.

In freezing air circling round like flies
you see its panting breath.
Soon, very soon you begin to realise,
that you'll be facing death.

You cannot move, you heart pounds
your paralysed with fear.
Your mind is making frantic sounds
that only you can hear.


Part 5 (Finale)

"Oh God" you pray "protect me from harm
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 cries
You smell the stench of evils might
where the rotting corpses lies

The covers are drawn you are exposed
and then you smell its breath
Your screams for help are discomposed
as you see the face of DEATH.


Man and Maid

As the bird wheels lazily in the sky
In the meadow lying on the grass
A young man watches it on high
Seeing time and the clouds pass.

There is no time there is no place
For boy and maid must ever meet
The scene is set what e'r the race
For beauty is she and oh so sweet.

The maiden now rides down the street
To meet her love, her soul-mate
Peddles spinning on winged feet
Already her heart can hardly wait.

Unaware of what we know as fate
Unknowing, uncaring of what'll befall
The maid casually opens the gate
Longingly kisses and giving her all.

Together they lay this maid and boy
Exquisite pain bring out her cries
Her mood no longer shy and coy
Joyous tears falling from her eyes.

With happiness and love, time flies
Time has flown and love has grown
And barely with the blink of eyes
Loving seeds from love were thrown.

Each night of love from dusk till dawn
Together they lie, this maid by his side
Those seeds so easily thrown have grown
And willingly that loving knot they tied

So with the maid he did abide
A man so strong and full and light
Rather than lose her, would have died
That he was there when she cried.

He was there and held her tight
With each pain throughout the night
And held his daughter in his arms
As his lover carried on her fight,

But Fates too vicious with her charms
Dashing his life to smithereens
And tore his lover from his arms
Sending heaven into alarming scenes.

He held his daughter to his breast
Swore forever he would love his child
In addition, a holy vow he did attest
Whatever came would only build.

No longer a man, young and wild
Now able to take life as rusted tin
Turned hard as steel and temper mild
The roughest edges filed off him.

Again, time and fate must step in
He has no chance, he has no choice
Now we hear the warriors din
But protect his love from sinful voice.

So in uniform he lends his sound
And listens to the cannons pound
Screaming mates fire round after round
Death and maim a cacophony around.

Machine guns sound their rat, tat, tat
But some get up and move apace
Incessant, laying everyone flat
Still it goes on from a inhuman race.

The years go on, trench and lice
The man survives as others die
Mortars and mines and other vice
Scars attest each evil deathly try.

A thousand nights, a thousand dreams
But war must end and peace again
And home the warriors ship now steams.
With horror mixing horrendous pains

ANZAC's dreams are a bitter crime
And still return each night again,
But softer with the sands of time
Memory lessened with each grain.

Bathing eventually removes the grime
But not the blood and inside scars
Only washes away the trenches slime
And the hideous facts of hideous wars.

By some mens incessant greed begun
Creating building a million corps
Of each dead lover, husband, son
Laying spent on these hellish whores.

But eventually sanity sees the sun
Allows "normal life" begin again
And bear the fruit so dearly won.
Lives and loves allowed to gain.

First time for years he sees his doe
It takes a while for each to welcome
What fate has ever dared to throw
But blood and love soon over come.

The little child holds under thumb
A warrior father stern and mind sore
Her smile soon makes his heart strum
Remembering about love once more.

As she grows, he sees as time goes by
The woman that he loved, and bore
Their child, but cruel Fate made die.
His heart still swells, but ever sore.

As the bird wheels lazily in the sky
In the meadow lying on the grass
A young man watches it on high
Seeing time and the clouds pass.

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