2007 Form Challenges
#16 French Sonnet

By the time Wyatt and Surrey introduced Petrarch to England, sonnets were popular throughout Europe, including France where a group called "Pleiade" was dedicated to importing Italian poetry.
Despite the aggression between England and France, because of the closeness of the two countries is it logical to assume that there would be a secondary source of the sonnet form imported into England and that it be via France.
Realistically apart from the 14 lines, and an octave of two quatrains there is no obvious link of the English to the Italian Forms as the internal rhymes are different, and what is proposed here is that the French Sonnet is that link. Like the Italian and the English it has an octave comprising two quatrains, but unlike the Italian and like the English it has a sestet comprised of a couplet and a quatrain and it is possible that the English sonnet was derived from the French Sonnet form and not the Italian one. The difference being that the English grouped the Quatrains together and turned (Volta) with a couplet the last two lines, but the French turned with the sestet and used the quatrain to close.
The internal rhyme is still different, but that can be attributed to the differences of the "Romance" language which has its own natural rhythm and rhyme, compared to English and the more natural did dah line rhyme just as Iambic is considered to be "English Sing Song".
The form has exactly the same quatrain as the Petrarch - a. b. b. a ... a. b. b. a.
The sestet begins with a couplet - c. c., and like the Italian sestet, we have a choice of quatrains to play with. - d. e. e. d.
or more French, - d. c. c. d.
or more English - d. e. d. e.
Wet Behind The Ears

"Astronomers Find Water On The Moon!"
And here you thought we'd wasted time and cash
Going all that way to bring back rocks and ash;
This late reprieve may prove to be a boon...
For poets, and could not have come too soon;
Those barren seas had always been awash;
Tranquility, the perfect place to splash;
But science had deflated that balloon!
So now, as academics jump for joy,
A moonchild giggles at her bath tub toy;
Her mom tells dad he'd better cut the lawn
'Cause forecasts call for meteor showers.
This morning, on Earth, some time after dawn,
The Moon hung out with the Sun, for hours.

Kevin McKinney



French Sonnet
Challenge Replies

Maryse Achong

D Day
Divali Celebrations
Equal Place
Ever Grateful
Thats Life

Lorainne Dafney

Thoughts

Kevin McKinney

Bonsai Love
Eleventh Hour Reprieve
Tight Tribute

Peggy Nelson

Sick

Ryter Roethicle

Carpe Diem
Dragon Thoughts
In spite of
Le Cafe
Perplexity
Watching
Who am I really
Wine for Eternity
Within the setting sun
Works End
Yin and Yang
You Know What I Mean

Leny Roovers

Connected
Kuan Yin
November
Path of Truth
Patience
Universal Love
Yoga

Dinah Serritelli

Free to be

Nicola Wynter

Cafe of Life
Gold
Still Lives

Leny and Ryter

Daylight Saving



Maryse Achong

D Day



Hindus everywhere today celebrate
The Festival of Lights, their Divali,
To mark how goodness can claim victory
Over evil; a day to contemplate:
And as families and friends congregate
To share food, gifts and camaraderie,
Though Christian I honour this day for we
Are all brothers, so I participate.
When darkness comes our isle will be alight
With deyas that will burn throughout the night.
Like Christmas Divali comes once a year,
A chance for us to make a brand new start
To sew the seeds of love within each heart;
What better way to spread joy and good cheer.

-----

Divali Celebrations

I stained my finger, dipped it in red ink
Today, and whilst I don’t hold out much hope
That my choice will climb the slippery slope
To success this time, there are those who think
They have a chance, that things change in the blink
Of an eye, and they’ve given enough rope
For another group to hang themselves; scope
For victory; they have to swim or sink.
I pray that I have cast my ballot well,
What will come after only time will tell.
I love my home, it has always been so
No other place on earth I want to be,
From outside to the bone, a ‘true Trini;’
But ugly currents drive our undertow.

-----

Equal Place

He sometimes attends church this aged man,
Who lives in a mental facility,
And there are times it’s true when he can be
A pest, and so some ‘church folk’ tried to ban
Him from this place of prayer; a devious plan
That did not work; and because at times he
Will squeeze himself into a pew you see
He is a source of distress to the ‘clan.’
The lesson that was taught today was deep
I pray it roused those amongst us who sleep.
The Pharisee stood proud, launched an attack
On “lesser’ folk, as he pounded his chest;
The Publican stayed humbly in the back,
Denouncing himself as he beat his breast.

-----

Ever Grateful

He loved me before I was even born,
He gave me parents who were there for me,
With two brothers guarding me zealously:
But when my Father died I could not mourn
His passing long enough, I felt forlorn;
Until my Mum said “Maryse, let him be,
He’s run his race and we were so lucky
To share his life, but he was weary, worn.”
I marvelled for I knew she missed him so,
But accepted his time had come to go.
From deep inside I give thanks every day,
For though unworthy I’ve been greatly blessed,
And even when I complain and protest,
My heart speaks more than words could ever say.

-----

That's Life

We stumble often sometimes even fall
Upon Life’s rocky road of ups and downs,
And there are times we get up, make no sounds,
And continue our journey, standing tall.
Sometimes we stand our backs against a wall,
And listen to our own heart as it pounds
Furiously in our breast, fear knows no bounds;
Those are the times we whimper and we crawl.
Life can be beautiful, a dream come true,
But Life can play some dirty tricks on you.
We're in the game from birth until we die,
We learn to take the punches on the chin,
Bandage our wounds, face the world with a grin
, Because we know big boys and girls don’t cry.

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Lorainne Dafney

Thoughts

Blank paper its time for you and I
to color the empty
with words of beauty
as I begin this task I cry
For many reasons I know not why
I feel this need to be pithy
knowing it is my duty
to give thoughts that are frail and shy
New wings to travel and explore
and gently open each closed door
for it is better to try
to write than not at all
and answer ones inner call
to be free to fly

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Kevin McKinney

Bonsai Love

It's easy to compare love to a rose;
The delicate and dangerous cliche's;
Emerging and yet rooted in its ways;
The darling bud that every sophomore knows;
The haute couture of all of nature's clothes;
Enjoying care and loving sunny days;
Surviving, even thriving cutting blades,
As season after season the heart grows.
And then I'd have to write myself the bee
Whose fascination I did not foresee;
As yours became my garden to attend,
Sweetly. Marking your tendency toward light,
And hopefully, remaining in your sight,
I'll come to see which way the vine will bend.

-----

Eleventh Hour Reprieve

Why lingers this interminable hour,
While all the rest have elapsed with such speed;
And all that we have sown has gone to seed?
Why crane our necks toward ivory towers
To beg for wisdom from higher powers;
When yet, in fact, we have within our sights
The dream potential of ten thousand nights,
And our hearts could bloom like lotus flowers?
We carry burdens never meant to be
So heavy to prevent us being free,
Nor weigh us down with guilt and shame. Instead,
We ought just use the eyes we have to see,
That we restrain ourselves; we hold the key;
And we decide the path on which we tread!

-----

Tight Tribute

I'd like to buy the house one more wee drop
Before the time runs on the current task;
So far, it's done far more than I could ask
In helping irrigate the current crop.
I must confess, I don't expect to stop
Siphoning words from inside oaken casks
And pouring liquid gold into my flask
For further use, two fingers from the top.
It's served quite well to lubricate the gears
And loosen parts that had been stuck for years.
Yes, I am more full than I predicted,
And as I live, I never sip alone;
Drinks around, and happily addicted,
Tonight we sing, tomorrow we atone!

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Peggy Nelson

Sick

OH, woa is me, practicing doctors with stupidity
Never in all my life have I been so pulled apart
Their Stupidity has drained my hopeful heart
Precisely what happened to their so called ability?
Appalled I be at them; their comments are not advisability
I’ve never been without caring doctors, these just think of money
Nurses fighting over who is the primary insurance, ain’t that funny
I just need help in the relief of pain, and need some acceptability
Purrhaps, Friday I’ll straighten these lam-brain nurses out
And this up coming week, I can pick myself up and joyously shout
Purraying I’ll have strength to write several more appeals,
I’ve been laying on the floor day and night, tears like a water spout
Maybe I can write more and turn them over to an attorney with clout
I‘ve lost weight caused from pain stricking when eating meals

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Ryter Roethicle

Carpe Diem

The music flows sweetly in the night’s air
Garden scents waft on a gentle breeze
Aloft the birds are silent in the trees
Sister moon looks down in gentle care,
Making watching humans become aware
We grow lesser if we do not seek the keys
To life that we must use in small degrees.
Learn to live and with all creatures share.
When you seize the day, remember why,
And those lessons to learn before you die.
Just slow down each night and take a breath
Look at the stars and enjoy each one
Considering the alternative is death
Smelling flowers and music could be fun.

-----

Dragon Thoughts

Gliding on mighty dragon wings,
Floating high o’er silken cloud,
Of sweet white cotton candy crowd,
Looking below makes my heart sing.
Ploughed field are not for kings
Tapestried earth makes farmers proud
But fit warriors only with a shroud
Whilst dragons think of other things.
We think of gold as common stuff,
Whilst greedy man can’t get enough
Humans acquire what e’r they can.
Avarice is their god, and teaches lust
Thus proving the stupidity of man
What good is it when they are dust

-----

Le Cafe

Guitars, soft rhythm slips out,
Like a soft, tongued incision,
Licking, slowly, into persuasion,
Until achieving that ecstatic shout.
Percussion beats its electronic pout,
A more solid bodied invasion,
Powerful, thrusting, precision,
Of orgasmic rhythm, no doubt.
Yielding calls to another’s soul,
Are answered making one whole.
Gentle heartbeats are shared by two,
And caring conversation is the way.
Love and music shall carry the day,
And carry into the night time to.

-----

Perplexity

When I talk to you the words come easy,
Yet inside the turmoil, the excitement,
Can my words cause you torment,
When each syllable slips out so freely?
Show me that you think I’m worthy,
And you really know what is meant.
Don’t miss my love, my true intent,
My mind willing to speak so lovingly.
But what of you, what do you say
Except to smile, and then walk away.
Understand my doubt and set me free,
Do not walk away, instead please talk,
Then hand in hand, we can walk,
And spend together in eternity.

-----

Watching

I looked this morning for the first time
Seeing a whole new world waiting.
For a while watching blue skies creating
White scudding airships, and their climb
Towards their port a darkness away.
I heard the birds no longer mating
Instead like any couple debating
Food and kids and school and crime.
I pondered on this and went my way
It gave an insight in how to treat my day.
I feel the media has too much power
It tries too much to control our lives
What was a good thing has turned sour
Spreading deceit is how it survives.

-----

Who am I Really?

You’ll find me lurking in your dreams,
Somewhere in the shadows of your mind.
Kiss me in the darkness touch me in kind.
Make me part of your nocturnal schemes,
As I appear each time moonlight streams.
Reach out for me in the gloom and find
Somehow our souls became entwined
As I play with you in the moons beams.
As the sun comes up, I will be gone
Waiting until the sun has finally shone
Once more you will be mine for the night
To brush your skin with a tender touch
To see you smile, knowing all is right
After all that time will mean so much.

-----

Wine for Eternity

Somewhere in the mists of time I met you
Sharing wine and bread together you and I
Singing songs to echo through eternity
And each life we wait until our rendezvous.
With each meeting this life the days are few
Sharing wine and bread and being happy
Confident of a love that is a certainty
Planned by fate, getting stronger as it grew
Once again somewhere in time we shall meet
We will move in time and feet will tap a beat
As we sing and speak of our love in rhyme.
Breaking bread, and from the wineglass sup
Life's wine growing tastier with each cup
Certain we’ll meet again, somewhere in time.


-----

Within the setting sun

Your eyes reflect gold from the setting sun.
Your kiss is far sweeter than any breeze.
Your movements show intent to please,
In my heart I know our eve has just begun.
That feeling now, oh how my head has spun,
Just like waves I feel your gentle touches tease.
Your voice, a whisper gives my senses ease,
I can't wait to see your eyes in the rising sun.
Like the sand succumbs to the waved measure
I lie back awhile and savour this time of leisure.
Your eyes still flashing, they are oh so bright
I know now that I have found my treasure.
A life spent with you would be a pleasure,
So I kiss you, and bid you, a loving good-night.


-----

Works end

At last my work is o’er and the sheet
Of knowledge that is my curse cast off
Replaced by words of which some scoff.
For a while I must struggle with this feat,
Because the world of logic has its beat
Much too strident, fit only for the toff
Who ridicules all art for TV is enough
Walking his road on patent leather feet.
Whilst I poor mortal that I am must fight
To find my muse and words that feel alright
One more quatrain and my task is through
But against jet lag and tiredness I must stray
Searching for that magic breakthrough
So that I may finally win the day.


-----

Yin and Yang

We talk as if we know the facts
That we have met and loved before
Realising it was on another shore
Since then we have taken many tracks.
The Yin and Yang always attracts
Separation making love grow more
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
Our souls progress and their need for what?
We are now aware of what we need
Knowing fate has carefully laid the seed
We will make the time to carefully plot.


-----

You Know What I Mean

Some foolish jokes can amuse you
Others can hurt and break your heart
It takes time to mend that broken part.
Sometimes it takes a week or two.
Sometimes the relationship is through
Because of words and what they impart
When a friend is trying to be too smart
And things said in innocence end in a blue.
Foolish jokes are made to make us grin
Not meant to humble us or get under skin.
The more serious we take ourself,
The greater will be the resulting pain.
Just put your ego back on the shelf,
And learn to be human once again.


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Leny Roovers

Connected

As my awareness stretches to reach out,
its tendrilled fingers weave connecting arcs;
each joining of new yarn transmits bright sparks,
illuminating shadows of old doubt.
Across this mind-made net the strings are stout;
in all directions crystals light the dark,
assisting those who seek, to find their mark.
To walk this web I learn to be devout.
As silver threads of consciousness connect,
I center in my silent core- reflect.
My inner home is growing, it expands;
while deep within each veil is searched and torn,
I’m slowly being cleansed and thus reborn.
My thornless rose will bloom- she proudly stands.

-----

Boulet

Kuan Yin II

Into Thou my body is dissolving,
Thy substance permeates my very skin,
uniting Self of Thy with self within;
by this transmutation I’m evolving.
Each flow of breath is bind absolving,
I feel the touch of mercy of Kuan Yin-
her peaceful smile invites me to join in;
Thy light illuminates- last debt's solving.
As barriers are slowly brought to naught,
I realize my last fight has been fought.
Abandoning my burden at Thy feet,
I gratefully accept the offered chance
to sever bonds of karma with Light’s lance.
Into Thou my soul can now retreat.

-----

November

Each gust of cold November wind blows leaves
from branches, shivering and almost bare;
stark silhouettes against sky’s sharp-gray glare-
in black ink on white canvas, Autumn grieves.
Yet hidden from our sight, next year’s Spring conceives;
within warm veins of shrub and tree prepare
new, growing buds, their shining green-leaved flare,
while wren and robin hide out in the eaves.
As dark eats light at both ends of each day,
my energy turns inward, I will pray.
I search my heart, ignore temptation’s pull,
but watch pink cloud-ships float in night’s mauve sky.
While wisps of thought drift upwards with a sigh,
my joyful understanding blooms in full.

-----



Path of Truth

I am the witness- I watch breath and thought.
I feel the turmoil in my mind slow down,
my brow relaxing, now it lost day’s frown;
as air flows in and out, attention’s taut-
observing skeletal ideas uncaught,
I choose not to adorn them with dream’s gown.
My silent rose is reaching for my crown
as wisps of thought drift off and come to naught.
Within, Your light is spreading in my chest-
It’s showing me the next steps of my quest.
I’m steadfast in my search for inner peace,
and discipline is welcomed as a test;
I’ll trust the hand that guides me, won’t protest,
all paths of Truth are leading to release.

-----

Patience

Each newly planted seed takes time to grow
after it has been put in prepared soil-
in secret Nature starts her hidden toil
as drops of water entice seeds to glow.
It might be months before there is first show
in tiny promises of leaves’ green coil;
impatience at unfolding well might spoil
still hidden splendour future bloom bestows.
In time each bursting seed will shed its skin,
it’s tendrils reach for light and dark within.
As searching roots creep deeper in the earth,
they feed on heaven’s tears while love drips in;
we’ll have to trust that new life will begin
when hidden from our sight the seeds give birth.

-----

Universal Love

I’ve felt a stream of Universal Love
connecting to the essence of my soul-
the joy then born fulfilling my heart’s bowl;
my mind is shining with the glow thereof.
Your Hand now steers my life with velvet glove,
I’m anchored safely, though wild waves might roll.
Until the moment comes my bells will toll,
I can tap in to peace here and above.
As veils grow slowly thinner through the years,
I know I’m ready when your Light appears.
Each time I meditate, confirms our bond;
in peaceful silence grows my thornless rose-
unfolding petals gradually expose
her inner core, she sends her spark beyond.

-----

Yoga

As muscles strain and quiver, breathing slows;
I concentrate and straighten up my spine,
distracting thoughts are offered on a shrine-
my sanctum, where a thornless rose now grows.
With every inhalation freedom flows-
old bonds drop off as vertebrae align;
I stretch my arms behind me, hands entwine.
On breathing out I bow and touch my toes.
In yielding mind and body I’m set free-
I balance on one foot- a pliant tree.
As fragrant incense wafts from copper bowls,
it enters nose and sinuses- dissolves
each blockage met, till slowly peace evolves.
Soft music thrills my ears- reborn, I'm whole.

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Dinah Serritelli

Free to Be

I have looked long for that I could not find
Love and comradeship with a kindred soul,
The missing part of me, to make me whole
I had eyes…I saw…so why was I blind?
I’d step out in makeup and too high heels
Although each day 'twas your face I had seen
Yet it was not for you that I did preen
I did it for him who had fancy wheels.
Thank heavens I have come to my senses
No more façade…I’m done with pretenses.
Clean skin, flat shoes, jeans at last I am free,
I have what I want with a kindred soul
To be who I am, just free to be me
You came, I gave, you took and I am whole.

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Nicola Wynter

Cafe of Life

When the warm wind of life was first time felt
It was not as warm as mother inside,
Then when he walked into the cafe side
Door, a new wind blew candles flame to melt
The heart of that first beloved girls vault
Where she kept love for just this one confide,
Before that fateful word of diatribe
That decided the end once it began,
No deja vu to carry on the plan.
So out went the wind in such a hurry
Cold snow in it's wake, for she had awaked
From the dream that life had planted, inked
With the quill no bird had shed from worry.
That decided the end once it began,
No deja vu to carry on the plan.

-----

Gold

Warm leaves scent the air in golden relief
Though grass is green until bitten by wind
Of winters frigid hag and frosted mind
Who lately hastens to change our belief.
That seasons ne'er come to pass nor days seize,
Yet they do though time removes our traces,
Continue we on from here and there places
To the now we know to embrace at ease
Skies of gold bestow the way of each day
Recalling us to beautiful new ways.
As we please in twilight shadows amber
Deeper than out hearts can imagine us,
Falling into Octobers grapes so lush,
Cares slip away from angry September

-----

Still Lives

Coffee, neon yellow with green letters,
Stem rising blanc above counter top
Where brewing continues all day, non-stop,
Sink stains permanent by pot spatter.
Review the mundane scenes that glow
Dully in memory, yet stand out
As a beacon in times of lesser doubts,
When pouts the lout with the mug over plow.
More life than what it offers for a dime.
More like thousands of bees buzzing "more time"
. A face care worn, hands opening just doors,
Clothing clean but well used, no holes or tears;
Busy people, slow people in their fears,
Underwear and makeup, waiting for more.

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Leny & Ryter

Daylight Saving

Right in the middle of this night at three,
we’ll set the clock back to the hour of two;
as daylight leaves us early, says adieu,
we fool the time by worldwide set decree.
In darkness I’ll wake up and drink my tea,
when driving down to work, the night’s dark blue.
Then slowly in the east the sun comes through-
first coffee will be served when we can see.
My body doesn’t like this changing clock,
my biorhythm is confused, in shock.
I’ll need at least a week to settle down,
until my inner clock will lose its block.
Despite this trick, light still runs out of stock-
till March will turn the scales in spring’s new gown.

The clocks go back tonight at two
Six months now of lighter eves
From the morning daylight thieves
We’ll all be sad when it is through.
Those who dislike it, are very few
But some would argue who believe
In balance, when days start and leave
That would cater for just a few
But winter is the blackest time
In darkness in and out of bed we climb
But on summers eves we sit
Outdoors and enjoy the warmth
A pleasanter time you must admit
Than indoors on a winter month.

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