2010 Poetry Theme Challenges

#02 Happiness

Happiness is the state we all hope to achieve - but what is it? What makes one happy and why? So often we use poetry to express our deep, painful feelings so this theme is ringing the changes of a new decade and is about expressing happiness.

To A Skylark

Hail to thee, blithe spirit!
Bird thou never wert-
That from heaven or near it
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest,
Like a cloud of fire;
The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

In the golden light'ning
Of the sunken sun,
O'er which clouds are bright'ning,
Thou dost float and run,
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

The pale purple even
Melts around thy flight;
Like a star of heaven,
In the broad daylight
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight-

Keen as are the arrows
Of that silver sphere
Whose intense lamp narrows
In the white dawn clear,
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.

All the earth and air
With thy voice is loud,
As when night is bare,
From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflow'd.

What thou art we know not;
What is most like thee?
From rainbow clouds there flow not
Drops so bright to see,
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody:-

Like a poet hidden
In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,
Till the world is wrought
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

Like a high-born maiden
In a palace tower,
Soothing her love-laden
Soul in secret hour
With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:

Like a glow-worm golden
In a dell of dew,
Scattering unbeholden
Its aërial hue
Among the flowers and grass which screen it from the view:

Like a rose embower'd
In its own green leaves,
By warm winds deflower'd,
Till the scent it gives
Makes faint with too much sweet those heavy-wingèd thieves.

Sound of vernal showers
On the twinkling grass,
Rain-awaken'd flowers-
All that ever was
Joyous and clear and fresh-thy music doth surpass.

Teach us, sprite or bird,
What sweet thoughts are thine:
I have never heard
Praise of love or wine
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

Chorus hymeneal,
Or triumphal chant,
Match'd with thine would be all
But an empty vaunt-
A thin wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

What objects are the fountains
Of thy happy strain?
What fields, or waves, or mountains?
What shapes of sky or plain?
What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain?

With thy clear keen joyance
Languor cannot be:
Shadow of annoyance
Never came near thee:
Thou lovest, but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.

Waking or asleep,
Thou of death must deem
Things more true and deep
Than we mortals dream,
Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?

We look before and after,
And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Yet, if we could scorn
Hate and pride and fear,
If we were things born
Not to shed a tear,
I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

Better than all measures
Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures
That in books are found,
Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!

Teach me half the gladness
That thy brain must know;
Such harmonious madness
From my lips would flow,
The world should listen then, as I am listening now.

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Happy Quilling and Season's Blessings to All



Maryse Achong

Happiness Lives

Divena Collins

The Exotic Dancer
Gladdened Heart
The RoadTo Happiness
Ye Joyful Maidens

Jem Farmer

Better Tomorrows

Ryter Roethicle

Hidden Treasure
No Regrets

Peter Willowdown


Nia Wynne

Happy Thoughts
Partial to Words

Maryse Achong

Happpiness Lives

There are people who’ve never known
What happiness is all about,
With lives that have been troubled by
Desolation, despair and doubt.

You see it in their downcast eyes,
In shoulders bowed by stress and strain,
In faces set as if in stone,
Reflecting all their inner pain.

But others have received the gift
Of lives that unfold like a dream,
And it is obvious to all
That happiness reigns there, supreme.

They look the world straight in the eye,
Shoulders upright, they’ve borne no load
They face the future unafraid,
Because ‘fear’ is an alien word.

But blessed are those who have known care,
Who have been battered by life’s gales,
Have stood with backs against a wall
Or balanced on precarious scales.

And yet their eyes are gentle, kind,
Their shoulders still squared though weary,
Their faces sometimes wrinkled, worn,
But wreathed in smiles for all to see.

May we always remember that
No matter how pitch black the night,
If we can only wait and trust,
Ere long we’ll see that chink of light.

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Divena Collins

The Exotic Dancer

Oh I wish I was a pole dancer To slide up and down a pole, I`d be as sexy as can be And tease all hungry souls. I would look cute in a thong And topless maybe great, To make men shout for more And entrap them with my bait. Oh I wish I was a lap dancer And dance away the blues, To do a jig on their laps in Winkle picker stilletto shoes. If only I was a belly Dancer I`d wobble and shimmy all night, With a jewel inside my navel I`d be their turkish delight. Oh I`d love to be a stripper If I was once again young, I would be their cutie pie If my body was better hung. But I have floated in the clouds Had much too many wishes, Now I`m back to earth again I`d better go wash the dishes.

A Gladdened Heart

How gracious thus, thy bounteous smile
Which verily gladdens much my heart,
I would but treasure thee constantly,
And ne`er would I ever deign to part.
Much happiness showeth in thine eyes,
Which doth shine from thy soul within
And I shalt forever, hold thee dear
Deep in spirit and thoughts therein.
I hath loved thee for many a day,
Hast cherished thee all the while.
And I shalt not forsake thy love.
For e`er my heart thou shalt beguile.
How gracious thus, thy bounteous smile
For e`er my heart thou shalt beguile.



There is yet another form of happiness.
It is when you are loved and contented,
When there is nothing in life to suppress
And both lovers have unduly consented,
Mixed feelings could be misrepresented
But if happiness is there from the start,
And together still blissfully contented,
No situation shall force true love apart
Thus happiness has become a finer art.
Kept forever embedded in their hearts.


The Road To Happiness

Narrow lanes that twist and turn,
In a figment of imagination,
Red ferns grow in swirls of snow
In the strangest presentation.

Green and blue liquorice sticks
Form all sorts of tasty things,
Butterflys wings that now flutter by
Stringed harpsichords that sing.

A pathway twisted on it`s own
This morning being only tonight,
A large dog sat sucking his food
Forgotten he had lost his bite.

The rains came up instead of down
On Islands formed in the sky,
A woman briskly walks through air
Before she`d grown wings to fly.

She finds her road to happiness
Which is not a great distance away,
For she opens the gates of wisdom
And kneels on the clouds to pray.


Ye Joyful Maidens

Oh Come all ye pretty maidens
Maketh merrie whilst thou may,
For thy shalt surely soon be wed,
In a quaint olde fashioned way.

Oh thou may sing to a merry tune
Let thy silken locks freely flow,
Thou shalt sup, sweet honeyed mead.
Until thy heart warms to a glow.

Oh come all ye pretty maidens
Bring happiness and frivolity,
For love of life shalt be too brief,
Seeking much of it from jollity.

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Jem Farmer

Better Tomorrows

I dared not dream of better tomorrows
when darkness filled my mind with caustic rage
my heart could only know of love's sorrows.
as angry words lay cursed upon the page
My blackened senses were coming of age
reflecting bitter pain with opaque eyes,
ignoring pleas from love, a bitch's wage;
conceals a child beneath a mask of lies.
Yet you my love could hear my lonely cries
and days of sadness are left in the past,
as tears are dried with more sensual sighs,
my softened heart has found true love at last.
Those days of emptiness now disappear
where darkness reigned I feel you drawing near

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Ryter Roethical


She could not wear a dress of blue
Instead she had picked the black
Blue was the colour of his eyes
She knew he wasn't coming back.

He'd left that day in a bitter rage
Slamming doors as he rushed out
Driving too fast on sodden roads
His car wheels sliding on the route.

On the freeway no thought or care
As his madness made him drive on
Vision blurred by tears of rage
He knew his wife, his love was gone.

Then he thought of days not long past
Of times spent in each others arms
Of loving days and loving ways
And of the ways that loving warms.

His foot rose off the madness pad
As slowly his sanity returned
Then he reached the turning point
And homewards the car he turned.

She lay in tears upon the bed
Thinking of cruel words she'd spoken
Of spite and hurt no thought just said
Regretting no peaceful token.

"Regret! Oh much too late" she thought
As the tears poured from her eyes
She did not hear him come to her
And she looked up in surprise.

He took her in his tender arms
Hugging, kissing her tears away
And through her tears she heard him say,
"I'm not going to work today."

She did not wear a dress at all
Instead something flimsy and red
And the two, lovers made their peace
Upon their loving bed.


Hidden Treasure

I stare deep down into the pools
That I'm certain were your eyes.
I am touched by thoughts unknown
Is it true that you are fates prize?

You reach out your hand to me
Your touch is warm and familiar
And my soul remembers once more
Warm nights sat by an open fire.

I am drowning in soul memories
Yet it's life, it is not a death,
Or lives that we have lived as one
And in those memories I find wealth.

I realise now, any time we have
Is a pittance this time on earth
Yet every moment is a treasure
Adding to the total of loves worth.


No Regrets

I don't regret my life or weep
Passing like smoke from a chimney
Autumn has me in her cold grip
A young man I shall never be.

My heart now feels September s chill
No longer beats as once it did
The stairways banister no more tempts
As in my spring I often slid.

My wandering spirit's is less
But still you stir my lips aflame
I've lost freshness of passions eye
And yet I love you just the same.

Oh life do desires grow tamer,
Or is life all a useless deed,
When in springs echoing early hours
I had galloped by on winged steed?

We're all mortal, watching silently
The trees spill their leaves of copper.
May you be blessed ever more
Till death comes with her final offer.

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Peter Willowdown


The joyful birds proclaim the morning,
the flowers open their petals to sing;
in the meadow the trees are dancing
- only man has crippled wings.

Self-bound in the swathes of doubt
he glowers at another day,
he shakes his fist, rails and shouts
at the sun's bright yellow rays.

Armed with spears and portfolios,
bristling with cell-phones, deadlines and facts,
he takes no part in creation
and does not even know he lacks.

Tired and bloody from massacring the heavens
he gazes at the pale white moon
and wonders at the hidden powers
from the shelter of his room.

In his heart wild beasts roam,
he warms himself beside the fire;
his little cave is his home
- let no-one test his vengeful ire!
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Nia Wynne

Happy Thoughts

A bird flying by a window,
Bread baking in a home oven
Captured within love kneaded dough
Delightfully fragrant as proven.

Exile from every storm,
Freedom from all retributions
Gathered at the dawns of each hour,
Holding on to hopes fair form.

Indigo twilight's at the edge
Just short of the horizon dream
Kilted with the cloth of loves light
Lingering together by pledge.


Partial to Words

The words are there but just get blown away.
Everyday is a rare opal gem,
Yet each day is swept out like common stones
Pebbling the beach that now, we condemn.

What is left are the shadows we once saw
Together, now apart by three long weeks,
Blue moon of fable and lore's we know
Though seldom do stories tell what tears speak.

So here the poet in me seeks release
For peace of mind shouldn't be a blue moon
And friends bring hope in less rare moments,
Love then stays when sad songs end none too soon.

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