WD Poetic Form Challenge: Catena Rondo

I hope to have the results of the hir a thoddaid challenge in the next week or so, but in the meantime, let’s write the catena rondo!

Find the rules for writing catena rondos here. It’s a fun form filled with rhymes and refrains.

So start writing them and sharing here on the blog (this specific post) for a chance to be published in Writer’s Digest magazine–as part of the Poetic Asides column. (Note: You have to log in to the site to post comments/poems; creating an account is free.)

Here’s how the challenge works:

  • Challenge is free. No entry fee.
  • The winner (and sometimes a runner-up or two) will be featured in a future edition of Writer’s Digest magazine as part of the Poetic Asides column.
  • Deadline 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time) on March 15, 2019.
  • Poets can enter as many catena rondos as they wish. The more “work” you make for me the better, but remember: I’m judging on quality, not quantity.
  • All poems should be previously unpublished. If you have a specific question about your specific situation, just send me an e-mail at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com. Or just write a new catena rondo. They’re fun to write; I promise.
  • I will only consider catena rondos shared in the comments below. It gets too confusing for me to check other posts, go to other blogs, etc.
  • Speaking of posting, if this is your first time, your comment may not appear immediately. However, it should appear within a day (or 3–if shared on the weekend). So just hang tight, and it should appear eventually. If not, send me an e-mail at the address above.
  • Please include your name as you would like it to appear in print. If you don’t, I’ll be forced to use your user/screen name, which might be something like HaikuPrincess007 or MrLineBreaker. WD has a healthy circulation, so make it easy for me to get your byline correct.
  • Finally–and most importantly–be sure to have fun!

*****

Master Poetic Forms!

Learn how to write sestina, shadorma, haiku, monotetra, golden shovel, and more with The Writer’s Digest Guide to Poetic Forms, by Robert Lee Brewer.

This e-book covers more than 40 poetic forms and shares examples to illustrate how each form works. Discover a new universe of poetic possibilities and apply it to your poetry today!

Click to continue.

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which means he maintains this blog, edits a couple Market Books (Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market), writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine, leads online education, speaks around the country on publishing and poetry, and a lot of other fun writing-related stuff. He’s also the author of the poetry collection Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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31 thoughts on “WD Poetic Form Challenge: Catena Rondo

  1. DanielAri

    Bat Mitzvah

    I’ve turned, and she’s turned another year,
    more sapling than sprout, more novel than paragraph,
    more capable of a grown-up kind of laugh.
    I’ve turned, and she’s turned another year.

    More sapling than sprout, more novel than paragraph,
    no longer a few thoughts, but a philosophy,
    she understands in layers and responds lucidly.
    More sapling than sprout, more novel than paragraph,

    no longer a few thoughts, but a philosophy:
    the way that we deepen into the story of age,
    filling a hardbound book, page by turning page,
    no longer a few thoughts, but a philosophy.

    The way that we deepen into the story of age:
    I’ve turned, and she’s turned another year.
    I’m writing it all in my journal, my dear,
    the way that we deepen into the story of age.

    I’ve turned, and she’s turned another year,
    more sapling than sprout, more novel than paragraph,
    more capable of a grown-up kind of laugh.
    I’ve turned, and she’s turned another year.

  2. taylor graham

    VERY EARLY ON MAIN

    Just us on sidewalk in a waking town.
    My dog, exploratory, pulls me east
    past bakery (oh that after-whiff of yeast!).
    Just us on sidewalk in a waking town,

    my dog exploratory pulls me east –
    gallery and oyster steamer, candle store –
    a crack in pavement – one quick sniff before
    my dog, exploratory, pulls me east.

    Gallery and oyster steamer, candle store
    with all the scents of springtime waxed abloom,
    and undertones of earth, a dog’s perfume.
    Gallery and oyster steamer, candle store

    with all the scents of springtime waxed abloom
    (just us on sidewalk). In a waking town
    a dog’s nose reads the news that’s coming down
    with all the scents of springtime waxed abloom.

    Just us on sidewalk. In a waking town
    my dog, exploratory, pulls me east
    past bakery (oh, that after-whiff of yeast!).
    Just us on sidewalk in a waking town.

  3. Cherylk1726@gmail.cim

    Cheryl Kiebat – Kill or Cure – Catena Rondo

    The nurses are here, gowned, masked and gloved
    A sharp intrusive needle stings
    I wonder what tomorrow brings
    The nurses are here, gowned, masked and gloved

    A sharp intrusive needle stings
    I know it’s poison, have no fear
    We’ll get through this, don’t worry, Dear
    A sharp intrusive needle stings

    I know it’s poison, have no fear
    It enters slowly, drip by drip
    It dries my mouth, my tongue, my lips
    I know it’s poison, have no fear

    It enters slowly, drip by drip
    I must have this kill or cure
    The consequences to endure
    It enters slowly, drip by drip

    I must have this kill or cure
    Another cycle, one more year
    Will you help me please, My Dear?
    I must have this kill or cure

    Another cycle, one more year
    A chance to spend more time with you
    Because, I know you need me to
    Another cycle, one more year

    A chance to spend more time with you
    What if I lose the strength to fight?
    This awful, terrible, cancer blight
    A chance to spend more time with you

    What if I lose the strength to fight?
    If I can’t go on, will you let me go?
    I’m only doing this for you, you know
    What if I lose the strength to fight?

    If I can’t go on, will you let me go?
    Will you understand when I?
    Decide that it is time to die
    If I can’t go on, will you let me go?

    Will you understand when I?
    The nurses are here, gowned, masked and gloved
    Time to say goodbye to the ones I’ve loved
    Will you understand when I?

    The nurses are here, gowned, masked and gloved
    A sharp intrusive needle stings
    I wonder what tomorrow brings
    The nurses are here, gowned, masked and gloved.
    —————–

  4. RJ Clarken

    At the Hotel of the Violet Hippopotamus

    “I went to the Hotel of the Violet Hippopotamus and drank five glasses of good wine.” ~ Anton Chekhov, The Prank: The Best of Young Chekhov

    The wine was a passable but lively Bordeaux.
    I think I drank maybe four or five sips
    (meaning: glasses) which gently did pass o’er my lips.
    The wine was vivacious, a surprising Bordeaux.

    I think I drank maybe four or five sips.
    That ruby elixir did the trick:
    I called my host a Bolshevik.
    I think I drank maybe four or five sips.

    That ruby elixir did the trick:
    I cried, “I only came here to sow my last wild oat.”
    My host, rather rudely, then handed me my coat.
    That ruby elixir did the trick.

    I cried, “I only came here to sow my last wild oat.”
    The wine was execrable. A damnable Bordeaux.
    I swanned out of the room with my coat and chapeau.
    I cried, “I only came here to sow my last wild oat.”

    The wine was a voluptuous, fiendish Bordeaux.
    I think I drank maybe four or five sips
    (meaning: glasses) which gently did pass o’er my lips.
    The wine was my downfall, that cunning Bordeaux.

    ###

  5. jabeaton

    What Was It?
    by John Beaton

    I know there’s something I forgot.
    I really had to bring that thing.
    What was that thing I had to bring?
    I know there’s something I forgot.

    I really had to bring that thing.
    Without it I’ll be high and dry…
    or so I think. I don’t know why
    I really had to bring that thing.

    Without it I’ll be high and dry.
    When I put on my thinking hat,
    I do remember thinking that
    without it I’ll be high and dry.

    When I put on my thinking hat
    I know there’s something I forgot.
    Alas, my head gets far too hot
    when I put on my thinking hat.

    I know there’s something I forgot.
    I really had to bring that thing
    What was that thing I had to bring?
    I know there’s something I forgot.

  6. Walter J Wojtanik

    LIVINGSTON, by Walter J Wojtanik

    In the auburn sky, a lone gull flies
    seeking perfection and heights yet attained
    no matter how hard he tried and strained.
    In the auburn sky a lone gull flies

    seeking perfection and heights yet attained,
    he was shunned by his feathered peers,
    and it became one of his greatest fears –
    seeking perfection, heights yet attained.

    He was shunned by his feathered peers,
    so, he flew off to find the Great Gull above
    and the lesson he learned was to work on love.
    He was shunned by his feathered peers

    so, he flew to find the Great Gull above.
    He kept working on love with the hope to uncover
    the secret that he wished to discover.
    So, he flew in search of the Great Gull above.

    He kept working on love with the hope to uncover
    the purest love. Deserved respect. Forgiveness.
    A life well lived, never settling for less.
    He kept working on love with the hope to uncover.

    In the auburn sky, a lone gull flies.
    Seeking perfection and heights yet attained
    no matter how hard he tried and strained.
    In the auburn sky, a lone gull flies.

  7. stevenrrobertson

    Boomerang
    by Steven R. Robertson

    A word spoken, or two, or three:
    A boomerang flying into the blue.
    Once thrown, quickly fading from view,
    A word spoken, or two or three.

    A boomerang flying into the blue
    May disappear, you think for ever.
    Once dispatched, for worse or better—
    A boomerang flying into the blue.

    May disappear, you think for ever,
    This bent-wood word you’ve spoken;
    Will lives and loves be mended or broken?
    May disappear, you think for ever?

    This bent-wood word you’ve spoken,
    A word spoken, or two or three:
    When it returns, will it bind or free,
    This bent-wood word you’ve spoken?

    A word spoken, or two, or three:
    A boomerang flying into the blue.
    Once thrown, quickly fading from view,
    A word spoken, or two or three.

  8. stevenrrobertson

    Boomerang
    by Steven R. Robertson

    A word spoken, or two, or three:
    A boomerang flying into the blue.
    Once thrown, quickly fading from view,
    A word spoken, or two or three.

    A boomerang flying into the blue
    May disappear, you think for ever.
    Once dispatched, for worse or better—
    A boomerang flying into the blue.

    May disappear, you think for ever,
    This bent-wood word you’ve spoken;
    Will lives and loves be mended or broken?
    May disappear, you think for ever?

    A word spoken, or two, or three:
    A boomerang flying into the blue.
    Once thrown, quickly fading from view,
    A word spoken, or two or three.

  9. rlk67

    Life goes on, just not the same.
    Gone are the days of Friends and Cheers.
    Programs change throughout the years.
    Life goes on, just not the same.

    Gone are the days of friends and cheers,
    Oh, God…terms of endearment die hard,
    Losing loved ones keep us scarred,
    Gone are the days of friends and cheers.

    Oh, God! Terms of Endearment, Die Hard,
    Back to the Future! Where have they gone?
    We reminisce when we switch on,
    Oh, God! Terms of Endearment, Die Hard.

    Back to the future, where have they gone?
    Life goes on, just not the same.
    Men of distinction we can’t reclaim.
    Back to the future, where have they gone?

    Life goes on, just not the same.
    Gone are the days. Of friends and cheers.
    Programs change throughout the years.
    Life goes on, just not the same.

  10. Ann M

    On a pond in Central Park
    a charming duck from far away
    brings joy to bitter winter days
    on a pond in Central Park.

    A charming duck from far away
    with purple breast and orange wings
    as noble as an ancient king
    a charming duck from far away.

    With purple breast and orange wings
    the Mandarin glides regally
    as tourists gather patiently
    with purple breast and orange wings.

    The Mandarin glides regally
    among a flock of mallard ducks
    feeding in the slushy muck.
    the Mandarin glides regally.

    Among a flock of mallard ducks
    on a pond in Central Park
    a bedazzled bird, a wildlife spark,
    among a flock of mallard ducks.

    On a pond in Central Park
    a charming duck from far away
    brings joy to bitter winter days
    on a pond in Central Park.

  11. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Like a Dandelion Pushing Through Concrete

    In the midst of danger and pain,
    in the midst of cruelty and fear,
    strangely when you come near
    it seems there is no bar, no lock, no chain.

    In the midst cruelty and fear
    our eyes meet and our every word,
    we know, is finally heard.
    You grow daily more dear.

    Our eyes meet and our every word
    becomes poetry, becomes heart-song.
    We are home to each other, we belong
    in each other’s eyes and voices. It is good.

    Becomes poetry, becomes heart-song –
    in the midst of danger and pain –
    this secret discourse, this tricky terrain:
    all is well even where everything is wrong.

    In the midst of danger and pain,
    in the midst of cruelty and fear,
    strangely when you come near
    it seems there is no bar, no lock, no chain.

  12. William

    The Vigil

    The spirit and the body mass.
    I can’t find a seat.
    I stand on my feet.
    The spirit and the body mass.

    I can’t find a seat.
    People everywhere.
    The burden of care.
    I can’t find a seat.

    People everywhere.
    Dipping into the water.
    Spirit, Son, and Father.
    People everywhere.

    Dipping into the water.
    So cold it numbs
    Fingers and thumbs.
    Dipping into the water.

    So cold it numbs.
    We came for light
    The starless night
    So cold it numbs.

    We came for light.
    The spirit and the body mass
    While steadily the hours pass.
    We came for light.

    The spirit and the body mass.
    I can’t find a seat.
    I stand on my feet.
    The spirit and the body mass.

  13. RJ Clarken

    Bumps and Boulders

    Snow bumps and boulders do abound
    since last night, a plow pushed and shoved
    all my shoveling, with hands a-gloved.
    Snow bumps and boulders do abound

    since last night, a plow pushed and shoved
    mounds of dirty white stuff. My drive
    now’s waiting for thaw to arrive.
    Since last night, a plow pushed and shoved.

    Mounds of dirty white stuff: my drive
    is piled so high. I can’t get out.
    The only way is one iced route.
    Mounds of dirty white stuff: my drive

    It’s piled so high. I can’t get out.
    Snow bumps and boulders do abound.
    My car is buried underground.
    It’s piled so high. I can’t get out.

    Snow bumps and boulders do abound
    since last night, a plow pushed and shoved
    all my shoveling, with hands a-gloved.
    Snow bumps and boulders do abound

    ###

  14. PressOn

    ANTIETAM

    Here they fought
    in the fields by a stream
    with savagery beyond the blackest dream.
    Here, they fought

    in the fields by a stream,
    killing each other,
    sometimes a friend, sometimes a brother,
    in the fields by a stream.

    Killing each other
    that a nation might live;
    how strange to think that men will give all they can give,
    killing each other.

    That a nation might live,
    here they fought
    for what was and for what ought,
    that a nation might live.

    Here they fought
    in the fields by a stream;
    with savagery beyond the blackest dream.
    here they fought.

    —William Preston

  15. RJ Clarken

    Pasta

    “Oh my God, I love pasta.” ~Lana Condor

    O lasagna, fettuccine, ditalini, oh!
    Penne vodka, pappardelle with mushrooms, and a side
    of bow ties with some bolognaise. I will not be denied!
    O lasagna, fettuccine, ditalini, oh!

    Penne vodka, pappardelle with mushrooms, and a side:
    lots and lots of noodles topped with béchamel – delish!
    I love me some pasta – it’s my very favorite dish!
    Penne vodka, pappardelle with mushrooms, and a side:

    lots and lots of noodles topped with béchamel – delish!
    Cavatappi parmesan and gnocchi in Mom’s sauce
    made of plum tomatoes, garlic, olive oil. Toss!
    Lots and lots of noodles topped with béchamel – delish!

    Cavatappi parmesan and gnocchi in Mom’s sauce
    O lasagna, fettuccine, ditalini, oh!
    Agnolotti stuffed with cheese, and rich Vesuvio.
    Cavatappi parmesan and gnocchi in Mom’s sauce

    O lasagna, fettuccine, ditalini, oh!
    Penne vodka, pappardelle with mushrooms, and a side
    of bow ties with some bolognaise. I will not be denied!
    O lasagna, fettuccine, ditalini, oh!

    ###

  16. RJ Clarken

    Cities I’ve Never Been to/People I’ve Never Met

    “I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met.” ~John Green, Paper Towns

    There’s a lot of world I have yet to explore.
    This only makes me yearn for that which I haven’t seen.
    I know in my heart someday I will broach that ravine.
    There’s a lot of world I have yet to explore.

    This only makes me yearn for that which I haven’t seen.
    Foods and wines to be tasted, to be relished.
    Stories of strangers, unvarnished, unembellished.
    This only makes me yearn for that which I haven’t seen.

    Foods and wines to be tasted, to be relished.
    My imagination eagerly awaits my body to appear.
    I long for new chances to expand the friend-frontier.
    Foods and wines to be tasted, to be relished.

    My imagination eagerly awaits my body to appear.
    There’s a lot of world I have yet to explore.
    The first step is only to open a door.
    My imagination eagerly awaits my body to appear.

    There’s a lot of world I have yet to explore.
    This only makes me yearn for that which I haven’t seen.
    I know in my heart someday I will broach that ravine.
    There’s a lot of world I have yet to explore.

    ###

  17. taylor graham

    SNOW ON SPRING STREET

    We’re at the black-ice edge unraveling
    a four lane highway to slick-slip hills of town,
    a fairytale of snowflakes drifting down.
    We’re at the black-ice edge unraveling

    a four lane highway to slick-slip hills of town
    by secret alleys’ mysteries under snow.
    Streets reflect blind dazzle. Icicles glow
    a four lane highway to slick-slip hills of town

    by secret alleys, mysteries under snow.
    A car fishtails and ends up in the ditch,
    its traction zeroed by a flick of witch,
    by secret alleys, mysteries under snow.

    A car fishtails and ends up in the ditch.
    We’re at the black-ice edge unraveling
    our plans set yesterday for traveling.
    A car fishtails and ends up in the ditch.

    We’re at the black-ice edge unraveling
    a four lane highway to slick-slip hills of town,
    a fairytale of snowflakes drifting down.
    We’re at the black-ice edge unraveling.

  18. Darlene Franklin

    Shout it from the mountaintops
    Don’t be afraid
    God will save you, no charade
    Shout it from the mountaintops

    Don’t be afraid
    God is coming with power
    Our redemption is certain—there’s no need to cower
    Don’t be afraid

    God is coming with power
    He has decreed a purpose for you
    And he will make it happen, it’s true
    God is coming with power

    God has decreed a purpose for you
    He is gathering your children
    He has called you by names hidden
    God has decreed a purpose for you

    He is gathering your children
    Shout it from the mountaintops
    His blessings never stops
    He is gathering your children

    Shout it from the mountaintops
    Don’t be afraid
    Your God is coming to save you, no charade
    Shout it from the mountaintops

  19. Darlene Franklin

    Shout it from the mountaintops
    Don’t be afraid
    God will save you, no charade
    Shout it from the mountaintops

    Don’t be afraid
    God is coming with power
    Our redemption is certain—there’s no need to cower
    Don’t be afraid

    God is coming with power
    He has decreed a purpose for you
    And he will make it happen, it’s true
    God is coming with power

    God has decreed a purpose for you
    He is gathering your children
    He has called you by names hidden
    God has decreed a purpose for you

    He is gathering your children
    Shout it from the mountaintops
    His blessings never stops
    He is gathering your children

    Shout it from the mountaintops
    Don’t be afraid
    Your God is coming to save you, no charade
    Shout it from the mountaintops

  20. Haikutopia

    Light Upon the Land

    by Sari Grandstaff

    Each season has its own rewards
    The snow falls light upon the land
    Winter substitute for beachy sand
    Each season has its own rewards

    The snow falls light upon the land
    White blanket for spring flowers yet to bloom
    Shoveling and plowing making room
    The snow falls light upon the land

    White blanket for spring flowers yet to bloom
    Giving way to mud then fertile green
    Revealing life as yet unseen
    White blanket for spring flowers yet to bloom

    Giving way to mud then fertile green
    We soon forget our winter woes
    Replaced with swim suits and garden hoes
    Giving way to mud then fertile green

    Each season has its own rewards
    The snow falls light upon the land
    Winter substitute for beachy sand
    Each season has its own rewards

  21. PressOn

    UNDER THE BIG SPRUCE

    The summer birds greet winter’s snow
    beneath a sprawling evergreen;
    with scarcely time to fluff or preen,
    the summer birds greet winter’s snow.

    Beneath a sprawling evergreen
    they scratch the ground for vagrant seeds,
    for still they have no end of needs
    beneath a sprawling evergreen.

    They scratch the ground for vagrant seeds;
    now and then they turn up a bug
    and, here and there, a frozen slug.
    They scratch the ground for vagrant seeds;

    now and then they turn up a bug
    encased in space, too chilled to fly;
    with stuttered claws and darting eye,
    now and then they turn up a bug.

    Encased in space, too chilled to fly,
    the summer birds greet winter’s snow;
    they keep their cheer and grace, although
    encased in space, too chilled to fly.

    The summer birds greet winter’s snow
    beneath a sprawling evergreen;
    with scarcely time to fluff or preen,
    the summer birds greet winter’s snow.

    — William Preston

  22. connielpeters

    Encounter with Hope
    Connie L. Peters

    He waits in wheelchair for his therapist.
    She enters the room with warm smiles and grit.
    Not trying? Griping? She won’t stand for it.
    He waits in wheelchair for his therapist.

    She enters the room with warm smiles and grit.
    She insists that he give each task a try.
    She coaches and watches with a keen eye.
    She enters the room with warm smiles and grit.

    She insists that he give each task a try.
    She offers hope that he may walk again.
    Though now he looks like some elderly men.
    She insists that he gives each task a try.

    She offers hope that he may walk again.
    He feels strengthened, but tired after they’re done.
    He was skeptical, but it turned out fun.
    She offers hope that he may walk again.

    He waits in wheelchair for his therapist.
    She enters the room with warm smiles and grit.
    Not trying? Griping? She won’t stand for it.
    He waits in wheelchair for his therapist.

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