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    WD Poetic Form Challenge: Rondel

    Categories: Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, WD Poetic Form Challenge, What's New.

    (Quick note: My earlier sample messed up the rhyme scheme of the rondel, though the instructions have always been correct. Please make sure your rondels follow this rhyme scheme: ABba/abAB/abbaA. Happy poeming!)

    Happy New Year!

    Let’s get 2013 off to a great start with a new WD Poetic Form Challenge. For this challenge, we’re going to write therondel–a fun French poetic form. Click this link to review how to write a rondel.

    For poets new to the WD Poetic Form Challenge, here’s how it works:

    • Post as many rondels as you wish in the comments until the deadline (below).
    • Once the deadline has passed, I’ll go through all the rondels and pick a winner (and usually a Top 10 list).
    • The winning rondel is published in a future issue of Writer’s Digest magazine.
    • Please remember to include your name as you wish it to appear in the magazine with your rondel(s).
    • Deadline is January 10, 2013.

     

    Any questions can be sent to me at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com, but I will only review rondels included in the comments below.

    Good luck!

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    About Robert Lee Brewer

    Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

    134 Responses to WD Poetic Form Challenge: Rondel

    1. tortoogal says:

      WHOM

      This tortoise teaches saying “whom.”
      Be careful what you say to me,.
      My Rosey says to write a knee
      as “it,” since it is not a groom

      or bride or person, I assume,
      or sandwich animal like me.
      Be careful what you say to me.
      This tortoise teaches saying “whom.”

      Few animals write, I must presume.
      We turtles first learned words like “tree”
      and many things that we can see.
      We learn curious rules. Can you?
      This tortoise teaches saying “whom.”

      submitted for my student Quake Tornieri
      Wirtten January 4, 2013

    2. The Truth of Dementia

      I don’t believe we’ve met before
      Your face does not remind
      To hold your hand? I’m disinclined
      And yet your key fits in my door

      You’re not familiar, though you implore
      That our hearts were once entwined
      Your face does not remind
      me, nor does your voice restore

      Remembering an old dance floor
      A man your height does spring to mind
      But the image fades, my mind unwinds
      And the tales you tell are all folk lore
      I don’t believe we’ve met before

      –by Susan Budig

    3. dandelionwine says:

      Unforgotten
      by Sara Ramsdell

      Let me tell you about my husband,
      she began wistfully, sweetly,
      her voice that of a mouse, barely
      audible, memories fashioned

      as windows mirrored, uncurtained,
      stark truths of love and loss. Slowly,
      she began wistfully, sweetly–
      let me tell you about my husband.

      A stranger to her now, hardened,
      a stark branch, he questioned harshly,
      who do you think I am? Then she
      answered as her damp eyes glistened,
      let me tell you about my husband…

    4. Michael Grove says:

      The Writing

      He read the writing on the wall
      although the image was not clear.
      He lived in doubt but had no fear
      of a line drive or the curve ball.

      Without fresh gas the car would stall.
      From her back seat he could not steer.
      He read the writing on the wall
      although the image was not clear.

      He did not strive to have it all.
      He would much rather volunteer.
      She revved her engine in first gear
      while in her haste he dropped the ball.
      He read the writing on the wall.

      By Michael Grove

    5. Mismatched

      He loved the movie; I, the book.
      That’s all you really need to know.
      We didn’t read the warnings though—
      What chances with our hearts we took.

      He claimed he fell with just one look;
      I took another day or so.
      But all you really need to know:
      He loved the movie; I, the book.

      But Cupid’s such a clever crook,
      We’ve seen before how far he’ll go
      two mismatched hearts to overthrow,
      then leave them dangling on love’s hook.
      He loved the movie; I, the book.

    6. M. Yusuf says:

      Not Jack: A Rondel

      I’m dry of words I must admit
      To be precise, ideas lack
      I search for spirit steps to track
      On path, on wing, this mind does flit,

      With flop and fling of mimic’s-fit,
      Of “hit the road”, though name’s not Jack
      To be precise, ideas lack.
      I’m dry of words I must admit.

      Though stubborn too, and will not sit
      aback on stool in quitters shack
      To shake and shimmy and turn back
      With nothing in my Rondel kit
      (Not) Dry of words, I must admit.

    7. Wedding Interrupted

      They’d heard whispers about the bride,
      nobody dared to tell the groom.
      But as he walked into the room,
      tension sizzled on the groom’s side.

      We weren’t surprised his mother cried.
      His father’s face bore shades of gloom.
      Nobody dared to tell the groom
      they’d heard whispers about the bride.

      Walking down the aisle, she tried
      to catch his eye across the room,
      but everything foreshadowed doom,
      and as he took her arm, he sighed.
      He’d heard whispers about the bride.

    8. Fly

      I have no doubt that I could fly
      if I were not afraid to fall.
      I’d soar without a care at all
      like Icarus across the sky,

      without a soul as brave as I,
      too high to hear a warning call.
      If I were not afraid to fall
      I have no doubt that I could fly,

      but fear of failure leaves me shy.
      I’m stranded here atop this wall
      with waxen wings, no help at all.
      In gusts of wind, with one good try
      I have no doubt that I could fly.

    9. Michael Grove says:

      A also find it referenced several places with the ABba/abAB/abbaA rhyme scheme. Here is another one presented both ways.

      Painting Rainbows

      She’s painting rainbows everywhere.
      He built a ladder to the sun
      although his work was never done.
      He had so little time to spare.

      With broader strokes without despair
      she lives each day enjoying fun.
      She’s painting rainbows everywhere.
      He built a ladder to the sun.

      They were not utterly aware
      of each cold gaze and every stare.
      They shared their gifts with everyone
      until the darker days were done.
      She’s painting rainbows everywhere.

      By Michael Grove

      ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

      Painting Rainbows

      She’s painting rainbows everywhere.
      He built a ladder to the sun
      although his work was never done.
      He had so little time to spare.

      With broader strokes without despair
      she lives each day enjoying fun.
      He built a ladder to the sun.
      She’s painting rainbows everywhere.

      They were not utterly aware
      of each cold gaze and every stare.
      They shared their gifts with everyone
      until the darker days were done.
      She’s painting rainbows everywhere.

      By Michael Grove

      • Michael Grove says:

        So sorry everyone. How I wound up with aabbA for the last stanza, I’ll never know…

        • Michael Grove says:

          Let’s try this…

          Painting Rainbows

          She’s painting rainbows everywhere.
          He built a ladder to the sun
          although his work was never done.
          He had so little time to spare.

          With broader strokes without despair
          she lives each day enjoying fun.
          She’s painting rainbows everywhere.
          He built a ladder to the sun.

          They were not utterly aware.
          Until the darker days were done
          they shared their gifts with everyone
          while left alone just standing there.
          She’s painting rainbows everywhere.

          By Michael Grove

    10. Linda.H says:

      Robert, when I first checked the prompt, the rules and the rhyme scheme in your example poem differed in the second stanza so I googled rondel to see which was correct. Everywhere I looked, it listed the rhyme scheme as ABba/abAB/abbaA so that is what I used. I hope that is correct.

      Like Love Letters in the Sun

      Innocence is fading away
      like love letters left in the sun,
      edges curling up one by one,
      black-lettered ink turning to gray.

      Young hearts learn early of dismay,
      learn how to hide and how to run.
      Innocence is fading away
      like love letters left in the sun

      or a week-old floral bouquet.
      Sweet words of praise and classroom fun
      are now replaced by fear of gun
      and sorrow for friends lost that day.
      Innocence is fading away.

      Linda Hofke

      • Michael Grove says:

        I found at least 5 references for RONDEL with a rhyme scheme of ABba/abAB/abbaA or ABba/abAB/abbaA(B) but NONE with a rhyme scheme of ABba/abBA/abbaA so I guess I am confused…

    11. Kit Cooley says:

      A Cold War

      The usual tug of war of sheets
      Has left the blanket on the floor,
      Each wanting just a little more
      To warm the toes on frozen feet,

      In the middle we seem to meet
      To make a bargain, stop the war,
      But the blanket ends on the floor,
      Again, the tug of war of sheets,

      Just when you think the other’s beat,
      A cold draft freezes to the core,
      Too tired to even up the score,
      For now, I must admit defeat
      In the usual tug of war of sheets.

      Kit Cooley

    12. BDP says:

      High-Octane Intake

      by B Peters

      You’re gobbling up the asphalt feast,
      contentedly devouring way
      too much, contentious day
      forgotten as you’re gorging east

      of trouble. Push your two-door beast
      to guzzle! In Cabriolet’s
      contentedly devouring way
      you’re gobbling up the asphalt feast.

      With high caloric miles increased,
      the distance from your fiancé—
      his wasting, cheating power play—
      grows fatter. Say goodbye to least!
      You’re gobbling up the asphalt feast.

      * * *
      I’m new here, and already tried posting this poem once. It never went through. I waited an hour or so to see if it would show up, and when it didn’t, I thought I’d try once more. I’ve never posted any message anywhere else either, so I don’t know what to expect. Is there a wait time? Maybe this will be a double post when all is said and done.

      • Hi, B. Peters,

        There haven’t been any problems like that as of late (all my poems and comments have taken on the first try) but just in case, I would always write your poem in a word document and then copy and paste it onto the blog, so that you don’t lose it or have to re-type it all over again.

        Welcome to PA and good luck!
        Jac
        ^^

    13. The poem

      Yes! I wrote it for my cousin.
      YesI I know it is forbidden.
      Couldn’t help it; I’ve been bitten
      by the love bug quite a dozen

      times. I understand I mustn’t
      and right now I wish I didn’t.
      Yes! I know it is forbidden.
      Yes! I wrote it for my cousin

      who I thought liked me but doesn’t.
      I am sad and quite guilt-ridden.
      Hope you keep my secret hidden.
      Any more? I swear, I’ll toss ‘em.
      Yes! I wrote it for my cousin.

    14. BDP says:

      High-Octane Intake

      by B Peters

      You’re gobbling up the asphalt feast,
      contentedly devouring way
      too much, contentious day
      forgotten as you’re gorging east

      of trouble. Push your two-door beast
      to guzzle! In Cabriolet’s
      contentedly devouring way
      you’re gobbling up the asphalt feast.

      With high caloric miles increased,
      the distance from your fiancé—
      his wasting, cheating power play—
      grows fatter. Say goodbye to least!
      You’re gobbling up the asphalt feast.

    15. The better part of valor

      If I were you, I’d turn around –
      you’re crazy to ignore that sign
      emblazoned with the bold outline
      of a cow with horns. That faint sound

      of pounding hoofs should not astound
      you – but you better pay it mind,
      you’re crazy to ignore that sign!
      If I were you, I’d turn around

      and run for home before you’re found
      like a squirrel chased up a pine
      tree, yelling for help! Please don’t whine,
      this field could be a killing ground…
      If I were you, I’d turn around.

    16. The snow drifts down
      like feather lace,
      a wild goose case
      confounds the town

      draping a gown
      of ivory grace,
      a wild goose case,
      the snow drifts down.

      Between verb and noun,
      between form and space,
      between plot and place–
      love and renown–
      the snow drifts down

    17. RJ Clarken says:

      If I Were an Origami Artist

      “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” ~Mark Twain

      I make a fold or two, then bend
      this square of paper at a crease.
      This form of art is a release:
      creating helps me comprehend

      beginning, middle and the end,
      a gentle way of finding peace.
      This square of paper at a crease
      I make a fold or two, then bend.

      A simple act. It can transcend
      bright colors, patterns. This small piece
      of fiber is more than caprice…
      a paper swan’s what I intend.
      I make a fold or two, then bend.

      ###

    18. Tracy Davidson says:

      Fade Away

      I thought my heart would break that day,
      when the doctor told us the news –
      your marked skin was more than a bruise
      that with time had not gone away.

      He said the cancerous cells may
      have spread, there was no time to lose.
      When the doctor told us the news
      I thought my heart would break that day.

      The dread disease moved in to stay,
      few treatment options left to choose.
      You begged me feed you pills and booze,
      I watched you fade and drift away.
      I thought my heart would break that day.

    19. Kwells says:

      Winter
      by Kate Wells

      Overnight the woodstove goes bone cold.
      Frost grips morning mists
      and winds up oaks that twist
      into grey Winter — all foretold

      by cottonwood leaves that were turned gold
      by forgotten October’s barbed kiss.
      Overnight the woodstove goes bone cold.
      Frost grips morning mists,

      keeps Spring in icy hold:
      splinters, cracks heat in its fist
      while the birds outside shiver and hiss
      and you and I grow old.
      Overnight the woodstove goes bone cold.

    20. Heatherrr says:

      Hair Gel Rondel

      Frankie, cake that gel in your hair,
      Cause a shower of flaking
      When you’re sitting in school, baking
      From the lack of cool air.

      I admit; it gives your mowhawks some flair.
      You run it through your strands then shake.
      Frankie, cake that gel in your hair,
      Cause an avalanche of flakes.

      The blue gunk makes the girls stare,
      Probably at the mess you’re making.
      You’re single, so you’re theirs for the taking.
      I find goop all over the bathroom wares;
      Remnants of a brother who cakes gel in his hair.

      –Heather G.

    21. shellaysm says:

      Where to Leave Footprints

      Finding strength to face tomorrow
      is knowing where to leave footprints.
      Which options will prove worthy stints?
      Such insight we’d gladly borrow.

      Journeys aren’t meant that easy though,
      from before time to ever since.
      Is knowing where to leave footprints
      finding strength to face tomorrow?

      Learn when to pack up the shadows,
      for scowls leave a permanent wince.
      View sour tarts as if sweet mints,
      and embrace joy over sorrow,
      finding strength to face tomorrow.

      Michele K. Smith

    22. Heather H says:

      Mental Yoga

      Eyes on your own yoga mat.
      Breathe deeply, filling your lungs.
      Examine the thought you’ve begun
      and label it “envy.” Beyond the mat,

      Boss pulls up in a new Cadillac.
      In the backseat, his baby son.
      Breathe deeply, filling your lungs.
      Eyes on your own yoga mat.

      Look at those cheeks, perfectly fat,
      yawning at the little you’ve done,
      showing off his unbroken gums.
      You’ve strained muscles, wishing for that…
      Eyes on your own yoga mat.

      Heather Hronek

    23. Kwells says:

      Winter by Kate Wells

      Overnight the woodstove goes bone cold.
      Frost grips morning mists
      and winds up oaks that twist
      into grey Winter — all foretold

      by cottonwood leaves that were turned gold
      by forgotten October’s barbed kiss.
      Overnight the woodstove goes bone cold.
      Frost grips morning mists,

      keeps Spring in icy hold:
      splinters, cracks heat in its fist
      while the birds outside shiver and hiss
      and you and I grow old.
      Overnight the woodstove goes bone cold.

    24. RJ Clarken says:

      Bonjour Tristesse

      Bonjour Tristesse, Melancholy…
      Why are you here, and why today?
      I really wish you’d go away.
      In the doldrums. Not so jolly.

      Please don’t tell me it’s my folly.
      Visiting long? Don’t overstay.
      Why are you here, and why today?
      Bonjour Tristesse, Melancholy…

      I’m not asking to be molly-
      coddled. Just want to see less gray.
      Just want some light, but by the way,
      this new chapter’s written rawly.
      Bonjour Tristesse, Melancholy…

      ###

    25. Tracy Davidson says:

      My Trust

      I gave you my heart, soul and trust,
      thinking you loved me more than life,
      was honoured to become your wife.
      But you ground my love into dust,

      when you gave in to carnal lust,
      cut me deep with a virtual knife.
      Thinking you loved me more than life
      I gave you my heart, soul and trust,

      as a loving wife surely must.
      Even when your affairs were rife
      I managed still, in spite of strife,
      to keep my pride, but only just.
      I gave you my heart, soul and trust.

    26. Lambing

      It drizzled as the ewe gave birth
      That never fails to amaze me
      A budding life now breathing free
      Its mewling call proclaiming worth

      The wet fresh lamb inspired mirth
      Oh, miracle: a twin, then three!
      That never fails to amaze me
      It drizzled as the ewe gave birth

      But one breaths not, returns to earth
      Its mouth, agape, but soundlessly
      This life, it holds no guarantee
      Save that fairness—a fickle girth
      It drizzled as the ewe gave birth

      –Susan Budig

    27. Why the giraffe has such a long neck
      (after a Spanish poem that I read when I was younger)

      This is why I have a long neck.
      A girl was told by a giraffe.
      The latter quite nervously laughed
      as she started on a long trek

      to a time that just for a sec
      seemed to tear her sad heart in half.
      A girl was told by a giraffe:
      This is why I have a long neck.

      I hope you don’t cry… What the heck!
      A date stood me up; it was rough.
      I looked out the window; ‘twas tough.
      My neck stretched from here to Quebec.
      This is why I have a long neck.

    28. Inspiration

      If you just stare at a blank page
      you won’t find much inspiration
      for your work. Such concentration
      on what’s missing is the first stage

      of madness. Get out, go rummage
      through piles, steal a conversation –
      you won’t find much inspiration
      if you just stare at a blank page.

      Forget about acting your age,
      take off without explanation,
      give your spirit a vacation.
      A notebook can become a cage
      If you just stare at a blank page.

      Andrew Kreider

    29. To Pray Is To…

      To pray is to sip God’s splendor
      To shine His light in darkest hours
      To boldly bathe in grace showers
      To bask in His love so tender

      To know Him as the defender
      To rely on divine powers
      To shine His light in darkest hours
      To pray is to sip God’s splendor

      To bring what’s smashed to the mender
      To triumph over what devours
      To walk in faith which empowers
      To His purpose to surrender
      To pray is to sip God’s splendor

      –Connie L. Peters

    30. PressOn says:

      SONGSTRESS

      She sings the songs of other days,
      when life was bright and love was whole;
      she sings as though it were her goal
      to make of blues a hymn of praise.

      Her melodies recall the ways
      of lilies laughing on a knoll,
      when life was bright and love was whole.
      She sings the songs of other days,

      when lovers, lost in life’s great plays,
      were wont to revel in the role
      of helpmeet to the other’s soul.
      And so, with grace that might amaze,
      she sings the songs of other days.

      William Preston
      (hope to get this rhyme scheme straight, one of these days)

    31. PressOn says:

      BLIZZARD

      The snow is falling hard and fast
      while winds are forming turgid drifts;
      the two of them are winter’s gifts
      when autumn takes its leave at last.

      They mold a smooth, unbroken cast.
      The snow and winds work on, in shifts:
      while winds are forming turgid drifts,
      the snow is falling hard and fast

      and hoary hillocks, broad and vast,
      are made to rest on hieroglyphs
      within the trees. Until it lifts,
      the land must wait, amazed, aghast.
      The snow is falling, hard and fast.

      by William Presston

    32. I Resolve

      I resolve to seek Your face more
      To read the Bible and to pray
      To thank You for blessings each day
      To give more freely to the poor

      To count on You for what’s in store
      Walk by faith as You lead the way
      To read the Bible and to pray
      I resolve to seek Your face more

      Like a gosling on a pond’s shore
      Pursuing mom goose, come what may
      In her path, determined to stay
      Loving You is what I’m here for
      I resolve to seek Your face more

      –Connie L. Peters

    33. Two Wide-Eyed Kids

      Two wide-eyed kids once ran about.
      Oh, where could they have run off to?
      Like ghosts, they’re often flitting through.
      I can just hear them laugh and shout.

      Playing together, acting out
      fiction stories and sometimes true.
      Oh, where could they have run off to?
      Two wide-eyed kids once ran about.

      I miss those little ones, no doubt.
      I can’t believe how fast they grew.
      So busy with life, time just flew.
      I visit them the photo route.
      Two wide-eyed kids once ran about.

      –Connie L. Peters

    34. Mustang Sal says:

      Writer’s Block

      Blank Page beckons like new, blown snow,
      calling me from inner mindness,
      but I suffer from snow blindness,
      stumble, stagger; no way to go.

      With frozen fingers, lips and toes
      I sit here stuck in my resignedness.
      Calling me from inner mindness,
      Blank Page beckons like new, blown snow.

      I take a step, but vertigo
      has me running back – I’m spineless.
      But I don’t like this left behindness.
      I have to speak, to write, to grow.
      Blank Page beckons like new, blown snow.

      by Sally Valentine

    35. For Goodwill

      Her closet’s an uncanny world
      of the passé, outmoded, old
      and throw-away – a hint of mold
      or dust. A rosebud shawl unfurled,

      and here’s an evening bag all pearled
      for party. If the truth be told,
      her closet’s an uncanny world
      of the passé. Outmoded, old –

      this fox-head stole, its lost eyes merled,
      still staring – might this fox be sold
      now on eBay? The fox-paws cold.
      In her youth, how the vixen skirled.
      Her closet’s an uncanny world.

    36. FOR GOODWILL

      Her closet is a whole new world.
      It’s so passé, outmoded, old
      and throw-away – a hint of mold
      or dust. This rosebud shawl unfurled,

      and here’s an evening bag all pearled
      for party. If the truth be told,
      her closet is a whole new world,
      it’s so passé, outmoded, old.

      This fox-head stole – might it be sold
      on eBay? How the vixen skirled
      in her short youth. Those lost eyes merled,
      still staring, and the fox-paws curled.
      Her closet is a whole new world.

    37. Michael Grove says:

      Without The Veil

      They vowed for better and for worse.
      They’d never turn and walk away.
      They balanced work along with play
      pressing fast forward not reverse.

      They turned the page, pondered a verse
      with freshness of each dawning day.
      They’d never turn and walk away.
      They vowed for better and for worse.

      Without the veil they would immerse
      themselves into a grand display
      of vibrant colors with no gray.
      Love sailed across the universe.
      They vowed for better and for worse.

      by Michael Grove

      • I like this one. To me, I see this as a poem dedicated to those who, throughout time, have been denied the rites of marriage.

      • Michael Grove says:

        Without The Veil (using the ABba/abAB/abbaA rhyme scheme.)

        They vowed for better and for worse.
        They’d never turn and walk away.
        They balanced work along with play
        pressing fast forward not reverse.

        They turned the page, pondered a verse
        with freshness of each dawning day.
        They vowed for better and for worse.
        They’d never turn and walk away.

        Without the veil they would immerse
        themselves into a grand display
        of vibrant colors with no gray.
        Love sailed across the universe.
        They vowed for better and for worse.

        by Michael Grove

    38. Jane Shlensky says:

      Strum
      That smooth guitar can make me hum
      the blues in motion’s potion spilled.
      My heart and head at once are filled
      with music’s balm, essence of strum.

      It’s not like me to beg a crumb
      of sound unbound until it’s stilled.
      The blues in motion’s potion spilled;
      that smooth guitar can make me hum.

      I guess life is at last the sum
      of everything we’ve birthed and killed,
      surviving hurts to prove we’re healed,
      knowing the depths that love can plumb.
      That smooth guitar can make me hum.

    39. PressOn says:

      BLIZZARD

      The snow is falling hard and fast
      while winds are forming turgid drifts;
      the two of them are winter’s gifts
      when autumn takes its leave at last.

      They form a smooth, unbroken cast.
      The snow and winds work on, in shifts:
      the snow is falling hard and fast
      while winds are forming turgid drifts

      of hoary hillocks, broad and vast,
      that sometimes lead to hieroglyphs
      within the trees. Until it lifts,
      the land must wait, amazed, aghast.
      The snow is falling, hard and fast.

      by William Preston
      (previous submission did not conform to form)

      • Heather H says:

        I like your entry. But the form for the second verse is abBA. The first and second lines of the poem are not simply repeated at the end of the second stanza; they are reversed.

        • Linda.H says:

          actually I think the second stanza is supposed to be abAB. All the info I found online had it this way. Taylor also has her poems structured this way. And gosh, I hope it is abAB because that is the way I wrote mine. Hopefully, Robert can check on it and verify for everyone.

    40. PressOn says:

      BLIZZARD

      The snow is falling hard and fast
      while winds are forming turgid drifts;
      the two of them are winter’s gifts
      when autumn takes its leave at last.

      The snow and winds work on, in shifts,
      to make a smooth, unbroken cast;
      the snow is falling hard and fast
      while winds are forming turgid drifts

      of hoary hillocks, broad and vast,
      that sometimes lead to hieroglyphs
      within the trees. Until it lifts,
      the land must wait, amazed, aghast.
      The snow is falling, hard and fast.

      by William Preston

    41. If I Speak of Love
      Shonte’ Sanders

      If I speak of love, will you run?
      If I kiss you, what happens then
      What of friendship if our hearts win?
      Look at us, look what we’ve become—

      carriers of secrets, mind sprung
      Must we abandon the notion?
      If I kiss you, what happens then
      If I speak of love, will you run

      Look what you’ve done. I’ve come undone.
      In need of distance, can’t pretend
      I’ll carry this title, “just friends”
      just right. If I omit caution,
      if I speak of love, will you run?

    42. Jane Shlensky says:

      A Gathering of Women

      When women gather one by two
      to help neighbors in pain and need,
      thoughts join with thoughts and deeds with deeds.
      What wondrous untold good they do.

      They trust their minds, and if a few
      feel useless, someone intercedes
      to help neighbors in pain and need
      when women gather one by two.

      They give attention where it’s due;
      with care and stealth, they sew love’s seeds
      and listen for the heart that pleads.
      What wondrous untold good they do,
      when women gather one by two.

    43. Jane Shlensky says:

      Uneven Ground

      Sometimes we walk uneven ground
      but seek the well-worn paths we know
      through woods and pastures, past a row
      of pear trees, tracking pulse’s pound.

      Across a twisty life, we’re bound
      to shun treacherous highs and lows
      and seek the well-worn paths we know.
      Sometimes we walk uneven ground.

      What makes a simple thought profound?
      Some slight of light, some caw of crow?
      Some wisp of wind parts weeds to show
      where we might stumble and fall down.
      Sometimes we walk uneven ground.

    44. Jane Shlensky says:

      Distance

      My neighbors live light years away
      next door. They’re a flash passing car;
      they’re an engine that roars. They are
      plugged into cell phones night and day.

      They work and play hard for they stay
      always in motion, sleep a scar
      next door. They’re a flash passing car.
      My neighbors live light years away.

      I love my boring life and pray
      for time to think, to charm a star,
      for slow true friendships where no mar
      of speed can feed heart’s disarray.
      My neighbors live light years away.

    45. Square Box, Round Hole

      Chose one: sometimes, always, never
      Use number two pencil when taking this test.
      Fill in the answer that fits best.
      Don’t over-think or be clever.

      Answer every one, however.
      Fill in one box, ignore the rest.
      Use number two pencil when taking this test.
      Chose one: sometimes, always, never.

      I believe this test is a silly endeavor,
      Answers don’t fit. I’m not impressed.
      I’m not manic, and I’m not depressed.
      I have no mood disorder whatsoever.
      Chose one: sometimes, always, never.

      Margaret Fieland

    46. RJ Clarken says:

      Resolution

      Resolved: I will try harder to
      stick to goals I’ve set for this year.
      Become some country’s new Premier.
      Compose an étude for kazoo.

      Dye all my pets in shades of blue.
      Try to swing on a chandelier.
      Stick to goals I’ve set for this year?
      Resolved: I will try harder to

      learn to be an auctioneer
      and try to not sound insincere.
      And then – to space. The new frontier.
      Well, that’s the stuff I plan to do.
      Resolved: I will try harder to…

      ###

    47. RJ Clarken says:

      Self-Help Book

      I cleaned my desk, which was a mess
      I can’t believe what I then found:
      a manuscript under a mound
      of junk, old bills and (I confess)

      a coffee cup, but I digress.
      I must admit this did confound.
      I can’t believe what I then found.
      I cleaned my desk, which was a mess

      and then this book, I did address.
      I uttered not a single sound.
      I parsed old words. Just so profound,
      on organizing. Who could guess!
      I cleaned my desk, which was a mess.

      ###

    48. jackiez says:

      When We Were Friends

      The times we shared when we were friends;
      the times we had were so much fun,
      It’s tough to think that they are done,
      but surely everything must end.

      I miss you now, I can’t pretend.
      It was almost like we were one.
      The times we had were so much fun;
      the times we shared when we were friends.

      We always seemed to make amends,
      sure as the brightly shining sun,
      I moved away, though you were stunned.
      My memories I do defend,
      The times we shared when we were friends.

    49. krisbigalk says:

      Rondel
      by Kris Bigalk

      The choir sings a sixteen note chord,
      so bright it stings the eyes and throat,
      more colors than the eye can note,
      but the ear can hold a flash, roared.

      Music remembers the white scored
      window, late frost’s iridescent coat
      so bright it stings the eyes and throat.
      The choir sings a sixteen note chord,

      evokes the French lilac blooms, hoared,
      tiny blued fists in a glass coat
      dusting dazzle sparkles, a mote,
      a rainbow solidified, poured.
      The choir sings a sixteen-note chord.

    50. AmyLGeorge says:

      January 1

      The old has passed! The new is here!
      A year’s birthing has come once more.
      Decide to close the past’s black door.
      Just breathe the air of a fresh year.

      Mistakes are left with dried up tears.
      Old bruises are no longer sore.
      A year’s birthing has come once more.
      The old has passed! The new is here!

      Potential like the sky is clear.
      Look to the birds and see them soar.
      Don’t hide from others anymore.
      Carpe diem—your chance appears!
      The old has passed! The new is here!

    51. Once upon a time, I was young
      once upon a time…long ago
      The kids, they laugh; their time will come
      to be among faded photos

      Carefree, with a forever song
      But it wasn’t so, now we know
      Once upon a time, we were young
      once upon a time…long ago

      The fast grow slow; their shoes are hung
      and it all progresses just so
      this strange cycle of getting old
      We look back, and the days are gone
      Once upon a time, we were young

    52. HuffmanHanni says:

      Fiscal Cliff Rondel by Danielle Huffman-Hanni

      We peer down our fiscal cliff. Deep
      As the Marianas trench.
      Has anybody got a wrench
      For this mess? Fix it! Tired, we weep.

      Tension builds, waiting for news to seep.
      We search high, low for a winch.
      As the Marianas trench.
      We peer down our fiscal cliff, deep.

      Our government crowds a jeep.
      Fiscal solvency a tempting wench.
      Hesitation, however, oh hence!
      We teeter southwards in the jeep.
      We peer down our fiscal cliff, deep.

    53. The Party’s Started

      “The party’s started,” this I say,
      When the household begins to rise.
      “Time to get up,” the phrase implies.
      “Like it or not, let’s start the day!”

      A bit sarcastic is my way,
      Knowing our life tends to surprise.
      When the household begins to rise,
      “The party’s started,” this I say.

      Let there be laughter, come what may,
      Though sleep’s sand still rests in our eyes.
      There will be music, if we’re wise,
      Eating, dancing, singing and play.
      “The party’s started,” this I say.

    54. tortoogal says:

      Here’s an entry I’m sending in for one of my students.

      WHOM

      This tortoise teaches saying “whom.”
      Be careful what you say to me.
      My Rosey says to write a knee
      as “it,” since it is not a groom

      or bride or person, I assume,
      or sandwich animal like me.
      Be careful what you say to me.
      This tortoise teaches saying “whom.”

      Few animals write, I must presume.
      We turtles first learned words like “tree”
      and many things that we can see.
      We learn curious rules. Can you?
      This tortoise teaches saying “whom.”

      —Quake Tornieri

    55. ON AIR

      Such a fine morning for a run-away.
      The sun’s above Stone Mountain, rising free
      with news from eastern ridges I can’t see,
      and just a hint of breeze at break of day.

      Fencebreaker Creek is dancing silver-gray
      to folk-song from the lands of snow and scree:
      such a fine morning for a run-away.
      The sun’s above Stone Mountain, rising free

      from last night’s storm. My pup is on-belay
      of leash till I unclip her. Bel-esprit
      of wind from every compass-point and tree-
      top lookout: raven, woodpecker and jay.
      Such a fine morning for a run-away!

    56. Heather H says:

      Seventy Years After Winning the Spelling Bee

      (threads of mucus strung between thick lips)
      (bedsheet stained with dark orange pee)
      Dad, were you sleeping? It’s me.
      Here’s apple juice, have just a sip.

      This new booklet has some good tips
      on hospice care. They’re asking me
      (bedsheet stained with dark orange pee)
      (threads of mucus strung between thick lips)

      Whether your bathtub has hand grips.
      For when you go home. It would be
      hard, stepping in. You walk with me.
      But to the tub? That’s a long trip.
      (threads of mucus strung between thick lips)

    57. julie e. says:

      This was fun! i haven’t done much of poetry forms and i like the challenge!

      I REMEMBER.

      When I miss you I remember
      sandwiches from the coffee shop,
      fingers cold I let mine drop
      in the park in late December.

      Noses, cheeks glow, bright red embers
      laughing, giggling, we couldn’t stop
      When I miss you I remember
      sandwiches from the coffee shop.

      Gone the sun of past September
      gone the freedom of my flip-flops
      comes the chill as temperature drops.
      Warmth I felt in that December
      when I miss you, I remember.

      julia elder

      This is for my GrandBrits in England–the cold there is something for my California blood to get used to!

    58. Mike Bayles says:

      Nightfall

      At day’s end comes darkness and nightfall
      while I seek the comfort of dreams
      my collection of colorful scenes
      ethereal visions recalled.

      Memories of day when I gave all
      at rest give me serenity
      while I seek the comfort of dreams
      at day’s end comes darkness and nightfall.

      Echoes of universe tell all
      when life is more than what it seems
      in my skin I feel small
      at day’s end comes darkness and nightfall.

    59. The Unknown
      By Madeline Barr

      There are things that give me a fright.
      Countless unforeseeable things.
      No one knows what the future brings,
      and the past we cannot rewrite.

      No, everything is not alright.
      I give up. Too tired to fight
      countless unforeseeable things.
      There are things that give me a fright.

      Sometimes I am awake all night,
      worried for what tomorrow brings.
      Imploring for heavenly wings
      to make a celestial flight.
      There are things that give me a fright.

    60. Hold Tight

      Sometimes you need be made of steel.
      Gather emotions, tie with string.
      Exude confidence, do not wring
      your hands, when you see her, conceal

      anguish felt at what is revealed
      in her frail face, arms like bird wings.
      Gather emotions, tie with string.
      Sometime you need be made of steel.

      Hold her hand; assure her you’re real.
      Does she recall she liked to sing,
      though you found it embarrassing
      as teen? Odd, things to which you cling.
      Sometimes you need be made of steel.

      by Sara McNulty

    61. Stacey1989 says:

      Awake

      I lie awake for you to come
      but instead find the rising sun.
      A knock, a feeling I turn to run
      without you here empty lonesome.

      I do pray your soul will find some
      peace, and pain you will know of none.
      But instead find the rising sun
      I lie awake for you to come.

      You are my light my soul my one.
      Hope to walk once more in the sun
      hand in hand, no fear we have won.
      Hold a place for me until I succumb
      I lie awake for you to come.

      Stacey Norbury

    62. The Unknown
      By Madeline Barr

      There are things that give me a fright.
      Countless unforeseeable things.
      No one knows what the future brings,
      and the past we cannot rewrite.

      No, everything is not alright.
      I give up. Too tired to fight
      countless unforeseeable things.
      There are things that give me a fright.

      Sometimes I am awake all night,
      worried for what tomorrow brings.
      Imploring for heavenly wings
      to make a celestial flight.
      There are things that give me a fright.

    63. PressOn says:

      SONGSTRESS

      She sings the songs of other days,
      when life was bright and love was whole;
      she sings as though it were her goal
      to make of blues a hymn of praise.

      Her melodies recall the ways
      of lilies laughing on a knoll;
      she sings the songs of other days,
      when life was bright and love was whole

      and lovers, lost in life’s great plays,
      were wont to revel in the role
      of helpmeet to the other’s soul.
      And so, with grace that might amaze,
      she sings the songs of other days.

      by William J. Preston

    64. Mama Zen says:

      Five Years Gone

      Five years gone in a womb of waste.
      Cord blood rancid, I’m starving slow.
      Labor pains loot the minstrel’s case
      for anesthesia for my bones.

      Till Caesar rent the ripe / rot place,
      contracted small as I could go.
      Five years gone in a womb of waste.
      Cord blood rancid, I’m starving slow.

      Today, I wear a stranger’s face
      that bears no mark of what I know
      or what I’ve seen, and I don’t go
      where my caul is kept – sacred space.
      Five years gone in a womb of waste.

      by Kelli Simpson

    65. The Cold, Hard Ground

      It lies beneath the quilt of white,
      frozen below my walking feet,
      slumbering but hard as concrete…
      waiting for the sun’s warming light

      to thaw the glue of winter’s bite
      and do away with grasping sleet
      frozen below my walking feet,
      it lies beneath the quilt of white

      waiting for Spring to grow in might,
      ready for sprouting life to greet,
      toe-tickling grass, ah, so sweet.
      I know it’s there, just sitting tight,
      it lies beneath the quilt of white.

      by Michelle R.K. Hed

    66. Well Actually

      When she was only two years old
      she liked to start her statements thus,
      “Well actually” let’s not discuss
      the toy is mine, you have been told.

      She was quite strong and very bold
      and if needed could make a fuss.
      She liked to start her statements thus
      when she was only two years old.

      It was very hard not to fold,
      she was so cute, our tyrant puss.
      We held our laughter between us
      but she was the one, well controlled,
      when she was only two years old.

    67. PressOn says:

      SONGSTRESS

      She sings the songs of other days,
      when life was bright and love was whole;
      she sings as though it were her goal
      to make of blues a hymn of praise.

      Her melodies recall the ways
      of lilies laughing on a knoll;
      she sings the songs of other days,
      when life was bright and love was whole

      and lovers, lost in life’s great plays,
      were wont to revel in the role
      of helpmeet to the other’s soul.
      And so, with grace that might amaze,
      she sings the songs of other days.

      by William Preston

    68. Mike Denoth says:

      Follow the Sun

      Guided by the rays of the Sun
      Chase your dreams underneath the Moon
      Life maybe will end too soon
      So now or never go have some fun

      When those lucky days are gone
      Bring them back with a tune
      Guided by the rays of the Sun
      Chase your dreams underneath the Moon

      Your life might be on the run
      But your heart still has room
      For love and happiness to bloom
      There is so much left to be done
      Guided by the rays of the Sun

    69. Mustang Sal says:

      I forgot to add my name to my rondel.

      It’s All A Game

      Our days pass by like dominoes
      one tumbling into tother one.
      Who knows when it twas first begun -
      the overreach and undertows.

      Each stands alone, or it seems so
      until it all becomes undone.
      One tumbling into tother one
      our days pass by like dominoes.

      Where have we been? Where do we go?
      Our days designed from sun to sun,
      some uphill climb, some downhill run.
      What does it mean? I think I know.
      Our days pass by like dominoes.

      By Sally Valentine

    70. Mustang Sal says:

      It’s All A Game

      Our days pass by like dominoes
      one tumbling into tother one.
      Who knows when it twas first begun -
      the overreach and undertows.

      Each stands alone, or it seems so
      until it all becomes undone.
      One tumbling into tother one,
      our days pass by like dominoes.

      Where have we been? Where do we go?
      Our days designed from sun to sun,
      some uphill climb, some downhill run.
      What does it mean? I think I know.
      Our days pass by like dominoes.

    71. Domino says:

      I just wonder where my cat went.
      We found she was gone at meal-time.
      (To her to miss meals was a crime
      yet, we missed her hungry lament.)

      No hair we found, or sign or scent.
      We called and searched the ally grime.
      We found she was gone at meal-time.
      I just wonder where my cat went.

      And, at last, eight days later, rent,
      scarred nose, hungry, fur-begrimed,
      No sign of where she’d spent her dime.
      To Narnia? To Time-Lord lent?
      I just wonder where my cat went.

      Diana Terrill Clark

    72. DanielAri says:

      I’m using anagramatic rhyme in this: the a words and b words comprise anagrams of one another.

      “Spring in pictures”

      My father’s lens is poised to steal
      a timeless glance at the lost pears.
      Like winter, his black camera reaps
      all the orchard’s summertime tales.

      The smell of his scrapbooks is stale,
      but the photos inside can spare
      a timeless glance at the lost pears
      my father’s lens is poised to steal.

      The nectar smell, the songs of teals,
      a pop gun and a whittled spear:
      yesterday’s snaps candidly parse
      the yearly fruiting that at least
      my father’s lens is poised to steal.

    73. Francis in January

      Saint Francis had it right, you know
      in letting go what he held dear
      to find that God is always near
      in loving acts – as his words show:

      “Where charity and wisdom go
      live neither ignorance nor fear.”
      In letting go what he held dear
      Saint Francis had it right, you know.

      What struggle and reward to grow
      in simple gifts. Yet it’s my clear
      resolve to bathe in grace this year
      by letting love set me aglow.
      Saint Francis had it right, you know.

      Andrew Kreider

    74. Curious1 says:

      Gypsy Queen

      The Gypsy Queen, she dances strong.
      She twirls and twists in the moon‘s light;
      And with her leaps she does take flight,
      As she entertains the throng.

      Curls bounce and float, so thick and long.
      Although her heart feels quite contrite,
      She can’t resist the pulsing song,
      Thus, she dances through the night.

      The queen feels like she can’t belong,
      She can’t give up without a fight;
      Her body moves with all its might,
      She will never admit she’s wrong.
      The Gypsy Queen, she dances strong.

    75. DOG TIME AND SPACE

      The old dog grumbles, sniffs the changing air

      and curls up in a corner, waits his place –

      and finds a puppy occupies that space

      of worlds revolving days and years. So where

      do has-beens summon up the stare-down-stare,

      the once-swift moves? He used to be the ace.

      The old dog grumbles, sniffs the changing air

      and curls up, in a corner; waits his place.

      He’s trusty. But she’s fancy-flight, she’s flare

      and pirouette. She’s whiz and steeplechase.

      Remember when the old dog had such grace?

      He seeks his corner, she’s already there.

      The old dog grumbles, sniffs the changing air.

    76. RJ Clarken says:

      Les Misérondel

      I dreamed a dream I’d write this song,
      but using this poetic form
      the barricade’s now my new norm
      since red and black won’t play along.

      So one day more? It can’t be wrong.
      A little rain is not a storm.
      but using this poetic form
      I dreamed a dream I’d write this song.

      And still I dream I’ll rush headlong
      at syllables so uniform,
      but can they keep me safe and warm?
      I’ll join in the parade. That’s strong.
      I dreamed a dream I’d write this song.

      ###

    77. Canine Kitchen Cleanup

      My dog lurks, hopeful, by my feet:..
      Will a slight bite drop to the floor?
      He’ll gulp it down and wait for more,
      each tiny tidbit a great big treat.

      I open the fridge, grab some meat,
      a largish piece, a biggish chore.
      Will a slight bite drop to the floor?
      My dog lurks , hopeful, by my feet.

      My dog’s always eager to eat.
      He’ll scarf the scraps I drop before
      I notice they’ve dropped to the floor.
      He’ll be delighted if I’m messy, not neat.
      My dog lurks , hopeful, by my feet.

      Margaret Fieland

    78. No Male Tale

      Though no man lived to tell the tale,
      one dark and moonless, chilly night,
      two masked strangers began to fight
      upon a wooded, lonely dale.

      They pounded down a rocky trail.
      The yeoman fled before the knight.
      one dark and moonless, chilly night,
      though no man lived to tell the tale.

      The knight tripped on a piece of shale.
      Her quarry bounded out of sight.
      Her curses flowed, most impolite.
      she stumbled after, doomed to fail,
      one dark and moonless, chilly night.

      Margaret Fieland

    79. rustydude says:

      Final Questions

      By David De Jong
      January 1, 2013

      What did you do with gifts I gave
      What did you do with Christ my Son
      This will be asked of everyone
      While their body lies in the grave

      Skeptics laugh, persecution brave
      Spread the hope of the Saving One
      What did you do with Christ my Son
      What did you do with the gifts I gave

      Did you share or everything save
      Squandered, wasted or hoard in vain
      Their purpose grown with every rain
      Were they hidden deep in a cave
      What did you do with the gifts I gave

    80. RJ Clarken says:

      Camels

      Question: does the Dromedary
      worry that she’s got just one hump?
      In camel-speak, is she a frump?
      So…are more humps necessary?

      Bactrians might answer, “Very!”
      But does the dromedary grump,
      worry that she’s got just one hump?
      Question: does the dromedary

      fret? Does she act quite contrary?
      Or does she think one hump can trump
      the bactrians’ plump two-bump clump?
      I posit she won’t even query/
      question, does the dromedary.

      ###

      • RJ Clarken says:

        Sorry – I copied and pasted an earlier version of the above poem. Here’s the correct version:

        Camels

        Question: does the Dromedary
        worry that she’s got just one hump?
        In camel-speak, is she a frump?
        Humps…are more humps necessary?

        Bactrians might answer, “Very!”
        But does the Dromedary grump,
        worry that she’s got just one hump?
        Question: does the Dromedary

        fret? Does she act quite contrary?
        Or does she think one hump can trump
        the Bactrians’ plump two-bump clump?
        I think she will not even query/
        question, does the Dromedary.

        ###
        And, Happy New Year! To everyone!

    81. RJ Clarken says:

      Fireworks

      I watched the nighttime sky go bright
      with purples, crimsons, greens and blues.
      Someone somewhere had lit a fuse
      which caused remembrance to invite

      tygers. (A poem I’d recite.)
      The colors burst on music cues
      with purples, crimsons, greens and blues.
      I watched the nighttime sky go bright

      and with a speed that’s close to light
      I said, “I think I’ve found my muse
      in stripes and fur and lots of hues.
      And at that moment, all seemed right.
      I watched the nighttime sky go bright.

      ###

    82. RJ Clarken says:

      Private Concert

      With earbuds in, I am a song.
      My song is loud and full of bass.
      I close my eyes, and breathing space
      becomes the place where I belong.

      My mood dictates: I can be strong
      (when none can hear my tuneless grace.)
      My song is loud and full of bass.
      With earbuds in, I am a song.

      I do not think it’s ever wrong
      to find an air and then embrace
      the notes, as if you’re giving chase,
      secluded from the bustling throng.
      With earbuds in, I am a song.

      ###

    83. Mike Denoth says:

      Follow the Sun

      Guided by the rays of the Sun
      Chase your dreams underneath the Moon
      Life maybe will end too soon
      So now or never go have some fun

      When those lucky days are gone
      Bring them back with a tune
      Guided by the rays of the Sun
      Chase your dreams underneath the Moon

      Your life might be on the run
      But your heart still has room
      For love and happiness to bloom
      There is so much left to be done
      Guided by the rays of the Sun

    84. LIVE-OAK

      This ridge where oaks root into stone
      has seen such changes over time.
      The brushy hills we used to climb
      are bulldozed for those homes that own

      the river-view. Now, gardens sown
      with elves and bells for winds to chime –
      this ridge where oaks root into stone
      has seen such changes over time.

      I find back-paths when I’m alone,
      through brush and stunted trees that mime
      a living forest; leaves that rhyme
      with loss. It’s only here on-loan,
      this ridge where oaks root into stone.

    85. PowerUnit says:

      The hand will hold a fountain pen
      To craft poetic alchemy
      Jump from the modern balcony
      May your wording gently soften

      Don’t leap to death very often
      Play it against a symphony
      To craft poetic alchemy
      The hand will hold a fountain pen

      The freshest words we will Christen
      In honor of our ancenstry
      We’ll strike a deal with devilry
      With poems we’ll boldly chasten
      The hand will hold a fountain pen

    86. Poetic Handy Cup

      Local poet is what I said.
      Loco poet is what he heard.
      Each time I mispronounce a word,
      I can feel my cheeks turning red.

      Embarrassment is what I dread.
      Words escape me like frightened birds.
      Loco poet is what he heard.
      Local poet is what I said.

      Poetry is my daily bread.
      My latin heart is undeterred.
      Pronunciation = dream deferred?
      I won’t give up until I’m dead…
      Local poet is what I said.

      Happy New Year, everyone! ^^

      • Curious1 says:

        Gypsy Queen by Melynda Winiarski

        The Gypsy Queen, she dances strong.
        She twirls and twists in the moon‘s light;
        And with her leaps she does take flight,
        As she entertains the throng.

        Curls bounce and float, so thick and long.
        Although her heart feels quite contrite,
        She can’t resist the pulsing song,
        Thus, she dances through the night.

        The queen feels like she can’t belong,
        She can’t give up without a fight;
        Her body moves with all its might,
        She will never admit she’s wrong.
        The Gypsy Queen, she dances strong.

      • Linda.H says:

        Hey, Jac. Maybe you are actually a loco local poet. :-)

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