Forgetting foolish rows and crazy fights
And all our fractured days and shattered nights,
We hold our breath and watch this secret sight –
Fireflies copying stars in dancing flight,
And stars that mimic fireflies, sparkling bright –
Hoping we can re-light each other’s light.
Just last week I pointed out that Wednesdays wouldn’t be Wednesdays without a prompt from Jane Dougherty – and now she’s decided to take a little break from doing the prompts. It’s a shame, but she has been so helpful and supportive to her group of poets over the last few weeks, and I can’t begrudge her a break and some time to work on her own writing.
This is a slightly whackier image than the ones we usually use. It gets a bit wilder every time I look at it, and I don’t think I’ve really done justice to the craziness, but there you go. Jane has asked for a poem of 5 lines, each with 10 syllables – do you see what she did there?
I will not write about my pain:
The sharpness of a cut
In the skin, simple hurt.
I will not think of days of rain
And the dull, dragging ache
That bears down in heartbreak.
I will not sing that same refrain,
Burnt child in all but name
I will not fear the flame.
I will not show you them again,
Those healed scars that I bear –
Pretend they are not there.
I will rise up in my disdain
Of that sharp, second dart –
The fear that doubles hurt –
And when I walk the paths of pain
I hope that I will know
Living life made them so.
This is for Jane Dougherty’s weekly poetry challenge. It’s a form with no name that we know of, and the subject is “pain”.
Summer’s slipped by:
I felt a chill this morning,
Warning of coming frost,
Lost last night’s light early.
Pearly mist’s lifting here,
We’re picking the apples –
Dappled with light and shade –
Weighed, each in the hand, with care.
There in the bottom ground
Round the old tree
We gather, wondering how,
Now there is cold beneath
Heat of the sun at noon,
Tune that the wasps hum –
Summer’s slipped by.
Wednesday wouldn’t be Wednesday without a challenge from Jane. This is a circle poem – check her site out for details of the rules of the form. It was trickier than I expected.
I saw them as I hurried through my day –
Too much in love to notice any rain –
Framed in the springtime blossoms, pink and white
I saw her some time later, veiled in white,
Friends gathered round to share their wedding day
Laughing together, standing in the rain
I sometimes find I think of them, that day,
Sweet-scented jasmine crowning them in white:
I hope that they’re still laughing in the rain.
On days that rain, white jasmine gives most scent.
This is for Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge. It’s a tritana, with repeating end words in a pattern: 123, 312, 132, and then a final line with all the end words in order. Another lovely picture from Jane, too: Cornoyer’s Early Spring in Central Park.
The moon reaches down and she kisses the face of the water,
And stars shimmer clear in the indigo depths of the lake.
My heart is an owl that’s as silent as midnight in winter,
I am waiting to wrap you in moonlight and starlight and dark
My heart’s a wild hare that runs swift down the lane in the moonlight,
And I long for the touch of your eyes and the kiss of your skin.
And the sky is a tent that is hung round with velvet and diamonds,
And the meadow is softer than pillows and sweeter than sin.
The fox walks the night in a whisper of hunter and hunted,
The moths fly like ghosts of their sisters who dance in the sun
The night holds the sound of your steps as you walk down the garden,
I am waiting, my heart is a flame that is burning within.
This was written for Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge. She’s looking for metre. These seem like terribly long lines to me, but when I read them out loud I can definitely hear the rhythm there, which is what I was after.
Jane Dougherty asks us to write a rondelet, with this image and theme.
The dragon rides
Her wings spread wide like thunder clouds
The dragon rides
She roars her challenge to the skies
Her heart is free, her soul is proud
The lightning flashes on her brow
The dragon rides.
The image is by Franz Marc, and it’s called In the Rain. Jane Dougherty is allowing us any form we like this week, and she’s given us some optional words: rain, red, relentless, river, regrets. I’ve done some minute poems. A bit of dialogue, or perhaps trialogue?
This rain falls so relentlessly
It lessens me
The world turns grey
I turn away
I wonder what I should have said,
Or done, instead,
To make her smile
And stay a while?
The dog says
Humans do make life a muddle
Jump a puddle!
Rain can be fun –
Who needs the sun?
I’m thinking of the time we took the train out through the desert – the only form of life that hot, dry day was the tin box shaking and snaking its way between the low brown hills. Not even a bird circling high in the indifferent blue sky. It was hot. Too hot to stand up, too hot to sit down, too hot to lie with your head on the seat, too hot to read, too hot to sleep, too hot to talk, too hot to open the window, too hot to close the window, and in the end all we could do was sprawl, stunned and silenced by the sun, waiting for rumours of temperatures reached to rattle down the train at every station, watching the earth burn down to its bones. And then, at one stop, a man selling ice – chiselling off shards of it from a block the size of a sink, and everyone reaching and snatching and grabbing, as if they were diamonds that melted like dreams in our hands.
Not reaching my lips
Ice melts between my fingers
Watering dry ground.
Kanzensakura has opened up the bar at Dverse after the summer break. The prompt is “hot” and she is asking for a haibun that recalls personal experience. We don’t suffer too much from heat here in the UK – though we did hit a glorious 33 degrees last week!!! – but I am lucky enough to have spent time in a few different deserts now, and this haibun recalls the hottest train ride ever, heading out of Pakistan back when I was young and off adventuring.
When he did not return
She rode out alone,
With her hair hanging
Wild down her back
Like the kelp in the water,
And they said to her
“Where are you going?
Stay here and be patient,
The night is still young”
And she answered them, saying
“I ride North, I ride North
In search of a boy
With eyes like the moon
On the ice. A boy who declared
That nothing would keep him away.
Or perhaps I ride South,
For the love of a boy
With a star on his brow,
And skin like a peach
That is warmed by the sun,
And who promised me
Gardens of roses and lilies.
It may be I ride East,
Where the sun is a gift
To the world every day,
To find for myself
The boy with the hair
Like the wing of a raven,
And diamonds and pearls
In his hands,
Or I may go to the West,
To wander the highways
Where road traffic roars its own song
And the night world is lit
In cobalt and crimson and chrome,
For the sake of the boy
Who promised me nothing
This is a poem for Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge. This week it’s a free form poem. The words Jane has suggested are: star, gift, wander, soaring, cobalt. The picture is by John Bauer. Apparently it’s a prince, but I thought it looked more princess-y.