2011 Poetry Form Challenge
Lets look at a free verse example of the form.
Pentastich Challenge Replies
Leaping waves while watching moonbeams
Play with their reflections there
A horn headed lass sings to sunsets
Burnished by the voice of earths child
Wild on the ocean or asleep in the sand.
Ever vigilant even in dreams
The merest tremor in the land
Awakes her one eye of blue
The other orb a different hue
Dreams of emerald trees and jade seas.
You may hear her at dusky twilight
Or that tinkling laugh while you dream
For she brings the amber to every sky you will see
And silver fishes to your waiting rod
Along the shores you walk in summers melodies.
Hear the running of the wave
Waves run red with sunset rays
Scattered beams of light there play
Waiting to skip on the shores
Sandy lanes where love remains.
Hear the call of friends at morn
Where dawns pink recalls red
On the eve lovers found the 'shrooms
Mushrooms gold behind wan moon
As twilights glimmer leads their way.
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I walk this day on a road to nowhere
There is nothing in front or behind
I hear not a sound either side
Not a voice or sweet bird song
Tho` to venture on I must.
Void is the darkness before me
I see only one glimmers of light
Far across the silent waves
Where the skyline meets the sea
But moonlight fades.
Could it be then that this is a sign
For heaven and earth to see
Before great changes are made
From experiences of tranquility
Or the calm before a storm.
Tiny little cottages `neath a cliff top high
On a winding cobblestone road
Now leads towards a smugglers cave
That once held pirates teasures
Now empty apart from the tide.
Tiny coves hide to explore within
Crustaceans awash from an ocean blue
Limpets that cling to the rocks
With the pungency of seaweed green
`Midst a salt spray from the sea.
Skeletons of shipwrecks washed ashore
From a fierce and turbulant storm
Barely recognised and beyond repair
Once fishermen now lost and gone
In a relentless watery grave.
Still the seagulls screech their song
Above ghostly mines of tin
Many a long shift the miners bore
From early morning until late dusk
Spent and paid for by lives.
Once more sun shines on an azure sea
And the beautiful landscapes thrive
Untouched as it was of olde
Withholding those memories
Of a lore recalled from the past.
Vast is the sea that carries me forth
From inland cliffs thro` ocean waves
Awash with motion towards my fate
At the foot of the sea bed
I am none other than a pebble.
Down I float in a darkened abyss
Where I cannot see speak nor hear
No sun nor stars no moon above
Nor can I breathe the air
I am no more than a grain of sand.
Here do I lay so long now forgotten
From past storms `neath the sea bed
No longer in motion to sail the ocean
All that has now survived
For all that I am, shall be driftwood.
Once there was love in this old abode
Of a family that is now long forgotten
Memories linger in every room
Laughter and tears echo the moors
From the past of bygone days.
How sad this derect cottage appears
When once there was warmth therein
How cheery the log fire glowed
When the family all gathered around
What bygone tales did they tell.
A ghostly ruin that crumbled to earth
From the snow storms, winds and rain
With nothing left to repair
If bricks and mortar could tell a tale
The tragedy would be known.
God Bless Mama
I could not wash away the tears I felt inside
For the agony of loss was so great
You raised my hopes when they were low
Encouraged me when I needed it
Oh how I missed you Mama.
You were always there when I needed you
For a mother as well as a friend
You gave me your all and much more
I never expected you to die so young
Oh why did you have to go.
I think of you often and still see your face
How could I ever forget that smile
You were everything to me and I was proud
To have had such a lovely mother as you
Oh how I loved you Mama .
I still cannot wash away the tears inside
Tho `it has been a good few years
My memories of you shall now forever be
Always dearer in my heart and thoughts
God bless you Mama.
So quiet is this day of perfect silence
No birds are singing in the trees
Something must be wrong
Even the breeze dare not whisper
It breathes of death.
There is not even a murmur to be heard
Of open mouths that cannot speak
Something has happened
Waves of the sea are without sound
And ebbs in silence.
There is but a haunting calm in the sky
Throwing shadows of deep discontent
That feels so strange
World without sound may be heaven
Perhaps that is why.
My time has come to call it a day
And retire most gracefully
For words and rhymes I did my best
There comes a time I can do no more
But to say goodbye.
I am mentally tired bodily fatigued
With a mind thats not mine any more
I need to relax and rest awhile
For the pressure is driving me wild
And wearing me down.
I feel I shall never achieve my goal
And maybe I left it too late
For my age it is ever creeping past
So now I need to slower the pace
And let time drift by.
But I wish you well in all you may do
And I shall forever remember
The times that you have stood by me
When you taught me how to dance
How could I forget.
The growth of a tree is a wonderful thing
Strong of trunk for the branches frame
Growing like arms spread out wide
With leafy hands and sap bearing veins
To endure all weathers.
In wind and rain and the burning hot sun
We never think that a tree has feelings
It only takes a moment of time
To appreciate beauty that trees can give
And cool shade beneath.
Are we too wrapped up in our own illusions
Where would bird go if they had no trees
To build there nest within shade
When a weeping willow weeps for love
Sympathize and give her a hug.
Waltz of Flowers
Tchaikovsky`s music drifts thro`the glade
The orchestra strikes soft notes
Faeries awaken and stretch their wings
For the ballet of the flowers waltz
And the dance begins.
Round and round the faeries pirouette
Within a sacred faerie ring,
To magic spells of musical descant
As they dance in a mystical trance
In a soprano of song.
As they weave in and out of the ferns,
Rose petals float in the breeze
Releasing sweet the scent all around
Whilst toadstools take their bow
To deep notes of lore.
The whispers of leaves upon the bower
To the gentle hum of the bees
When raindrops sprinkle thro`the clouds
And the orchestra takes a final bow
The waltz of flowers end.
I hear them in the darkest hour
When I am tucked up in my bed
Whispers of love divine
That delights my awaiting ears
I lie await for him.
To arouse these aching desires
How his arms reach out for me
Our bodies entwined
To be my lover one more time
And surrender to love.
Come my love unto my dreams
In a fantasy of loves passions
Entwined in a sensual dance
Of loves sweet harmony together
When gently caressing.
The furnace has now extinguished,
Of flames that burned with desire
Flicker and dance in the night
Now spent of vigour and passion
That echo`s of whispers.
Strength from sap of the branches strong
With powers that flow through leafy veins
Aromatic oils from Cedars balm
Enhanced by morning dawns sweet dew
And soothing salves from the honey bee.
Woodlanders gathered from far and wide
With ailing bodies and of troubled minds
For relief from medicinal herbs
To feel this effect from natures source
Of healing powers of the forest.
Sickness and strife spread thro` the lands
Nature provided her own perfect cure
A source from trees shared by all
Remedies there from all things that grew
Upon ancient trees of the forest.
How knowingly you walked towards me
Gazing through beautiful amber eyes
You sensed the love and respect
Which forever remains in my heart
No fear whatsoever between us.
For you had come to me so willingly
I caressed your thick soft coat
When we walked I felt complete
As if spiritually it was meant to be
I cared for your existance.
I am only ashamed, I am part of a race
Which eradicated your forefathers
I saw only a beautiful social animal
Raising cubs with no hindrance from man
You had captured my heart.
I am grateful for the spiritual feeling
You stirred in the depth of my soul
And forever treasure the privilege
To have walked among your pack and heard
Your wolf song, on my departure.
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Here in the valley just beyond the rushing fall
so long ago when first we met
a time of rash youth and madness
a time when our true love was born
which would last for eternity
Through the long golden summer we clung as we danced
lingered in softness of moonlight
bathed in the newness of romance
no one but you and me on earth
to enjoy the beauty of love
The coming of autumn brought shadows of your past
as slowly our music ended
at coming of night I waited
through the lonely dreary darkness
but knew in my heart you were gone
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Amid the weald land trees she lies,
The girl whose eyes shone with amber dreams,
Her hair the shades of golden rain,
With russet lips she sang her song
The voice of a soulful nightingale.
Before the dawning of the day
When sunlight dances o’er the forest ground
Her honeyed-voice sings of love
With the braying of the wolves
Calling for a restful day.
Tendrils of early light
Stretching through the darkest green
Vibrant hues reflecting life
In rainbow of colour greet the day
And nature’s love is born again.
In lives gone by, I spoke their language,
The ancient words of Mother Earth
Without the aid of a mobile phone.
I could touch the breeze in harmony
And understand the chorus of dawn birds.
I tasted sweet ambrosia,
The honeyed nectar of the gods.
I danced in the wooded pantheon
To the beat of single drum
While listening to the moon.
Yet now I have forgotten
The ways of age old mystery,
I have lost the joy of creation.
Yet an echo thunders in my soul
Drawing me to the forest trees.
As the sun rises, animals and trees
Rejoice the season of life
Deer are dancing in the forest glade
To cicada waltzes played in the meadowland
And the tawny owl hides in the viridian leaves.
Rainbows of colour ripple in rivers
Trout and salmon, swimming upstream
In celebration of the summer,
In celebration of living,
Yet one place remains dark,
Encased in frosted ice and snow,
A gnarled oak tree with no song to sing,
Excluded from the sun’s living rays,
A place untouched by love.
Steely eyes staring from the darkness
Seeing nothing but wars of sorrow,
Yielding to the fates of destruction
A gateway to nothing:
Where I end my days.
Circle in Motion
Majestic limbs reaching for the sky
Capture a breeze that whispers in the night
Ancient wisdom drawn from deep within,
Deep within the core of Earth
And I can hear Her heart beat.
Cooling canopies keeping out the sun
Or the first droplets of rain
While I walk among the bluebells
A mystical arcana
That chimes amid the green and brown.
Wild winds of fragrance bathe the air
Cleansing the breath of life
Life nurtured from death’s debris
Scattered on the ground
The circle in motion
Here in the weald lies absolution
A loving mother giving up her heart
The certainty of our creation
The essence of life
Are found here in Her heart and soul.
A forest of callous crystals cascades through the cavern
Like a carousel of tears frozen in time;
Barren and bereft, devoid of emotion,
Unwanted and unheeded,
Deserted in a desolate place.
Slipping and sliding, this way and that
Avoiding the dual with destiny
But fate says there is nowhere to run;
In coldness she weeps ebony tears
Beneath a cheerless carpet of snow.
From the snow burst quartz flowers
Reflecting the beauty she knew as pain
In a heartless world of Man
As destiny decreed it should be
Until humankind is deserving again.
On the wall mirrored moonshine torments
Aching eyes staring within darkness
As drowsy dreams drift without vision
Confused thoughts consort with nightmares
And I just want to sleep.
A battle of wits in shadows of reality
Turning the page of yet another book
Insomnia incites my own insanity
Chaotic memories sleep cannot silence
And dawn breaks on the horizon.
From the beginning of time
The fiery flames have burned in her belly
Flames that nurtured life
Beneath her robes of green lands and blue waters
Dwells the Mother of all.
Her history told in geology
Her mystery a guarded secret
Through countless days She has seen
The joys of life celebrated
Amid the pains of war.
In Her boundless beauty
Her wrath roars without mercy
She knows no compassion
Yet she consoles with Her bounty
Those who heed Her call
From the crystal top mountains
To hidden oceanic depths
Crowned by twinkling stars
Beneath the veil of summer clouds
In meadowsweet pastures Her children play
Golden shadows on seas of blue
Touch my eyes with your beauty
Let me linger awhile in your serenity
In that peaceful place of the garden
Where the iris blooms.
Vibrant summer roses cannot compare
To your delicate allure
Nor can the sunshine daffodils
Grant me that exquisite unity
I find in an indigo dream.
Light of Destiny
She appears; a vision before my eyes,
This lady knows me, my voice, my name
She knows if my journey is true
And guides me when it’s not
For she is the light of destiny.
She can see through my lipstick smile
And taste the tears I cry
She knows the darkness of my fears
And consoles my heart when I face pain
For she surrounds me with divine love.
As I kneel in her lunar light
I cannot run away,
She holds my heart in her eternal embrace
Yet I am free to fly
And be the best I can be.
Just a Bloke
He lives across the road
In a house adorned with flowers
An ordinary chap
Just a bloke
I think I’ll call him Dave.
I don’t know what he does all day
Or even where he goes
From a suburban balcony
He seems the friendly sort
He’s okay is Dave!
There in majestic white he stood
Amid the bowers of the weld
His chocolate eyes watching
The glade where the fairies play
And the unicorn stood in silence.
Cascades of ivory silk
Ripple in the evening breeze
The muteness of the moment
Shivers on his stilled ears
As the fairy dance began.
Music lost to human ears
Blows gently on the wind
And while the unicorn observes
In the realms of fantasy
I bid you dance with me.
Name of Love
Cast out by the clothes I wear
Shallow judgements of who I am
Because I wear jeans and not a dress
So many empty words to break my heart
Said in silence behind my back.
Why should I care what they say
When a lipstick smile is all I need
It is not me who can’t accept the truth
Yet I feel alone in a dark place
Suffocated by prejudice
You can’t understand my pain
The daggers of shame that pierced my heart
Falsehoods and frustration made it worse
Living behind barriers built of denial
With no room to breathe
I tried to change reality
Believing love belonged elsewhere
Not daring to be myself
I could not change my desire,
My love of her.
Pebble of Thought
Salty seas mingle with fish and chips
As pebbles crunch; sliding between toes
Thunder grey seas reflect
The fate of slate grey skies
Upon ocean-worn stone,
Each shingle stone a single memory
Slowly released to the sea
An ebbing echo of a long lost thought
Tides of time flowing like ink
From poet’s pen to an empty page.
Postkart zu einem Freund
A post card sent to you, my dearest friend,
As azure skies now blend into twilight,
An end to this another sunny day,
And I can feel the scent of Black Forest trees
Relaxing aches within my hiking limbs.
Those limbs that climbed upon the mountainside
Then stood to hear a yodel for a goat
My camera captured the snowy peaks
So we can share the view when I get home
Until then dearest friend I say adieu!
A Smile at Dawn
In those early hours of dawn
When sunlight barely shines
And crystal tears of dew sparkle
On tender lawns and lashes
It’s then I gaze on your smile.
The smile that beguiles my eyes
And lifts my heart from sorrow
A gentle ray of wonder
That breaks the solemn darkness
And gives my soul its hope.
You smile through my fears
While awakening the ache
The endless yearning to feel you close
Recall the gentle embrace of love
All caught in my gaze.
Its roots spread deep into the ground
As stretching branches reach for the sun
Yet it stands still for centuries
Watching how the world has gone
Without a word or wanton sigh.
But as I lean against the solid oak
I feel an echo far below
As light trickles softly through the leaves
I hear the voice, deep and wise, surmise
All life is of the Earth
Silent thoughts held within;
Within an aged heart,
Every whisper caught on the viridian breeze
Held within the secrets of life
If only we should ask.
Eternal beauty rustles in their leaves
A joyful aria and echoes of refrain
The music of truth’s delight
Reflecting nature’s awesome wonder
If only we should look.
If only we should stop to hear the song
That echoes in the trees
We would hear their spirits strain
And understand with ease
If only we should stop.
Humming bees and lavender define
A summer’s day as children play upon the green
Building daisy chains of forget-me-nots
And cicadas sing among the grass
That grows wildly in the park.
Foaming froths of ginger beer
Cheer the child while mum and dad sip tea
Cream teas in the marquee for one and nine
Spin the wheel for a penny
And win a bottle of wine
Tombola turns the raffle prize
A jumble of clothes for sixpence
Find a treasure with a threepenny bit
The joy of bric-a-brac has no measure
With memories of times gone by.
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Celebration of Truth
It is so beautiful after the rain has passed,
The air is still and fresh with wet fragrances.
A kaleidoscope of aromas surround the senses
And the birds loudly celebrate the Earth,
Singing openly with joy as only they can.
Surrounding me is a forest of flowers,
Shining, freshly risen from the hammering rain,
The various types of roses and others smile
Opening their petals and scents to everything,
Showing themselves off as the tarts they are.
As the Australian Sun reaffirms herself
Steam rises from shiny green grass
Gradually the lustrous shades will vanish.
The familiar brown landscape will re-appear,
And this moment of peace will be forgotten.
Sandman, please pour sleep into my eyes
This wakened state is of no use to me at all
My love is fast asleep and I need join her
I know my admission is no surprise,
The waking state is where I don’t want to be
To be always with her is what I prefer
To have her by my side night and day
One night of dreams is a simple request,
And surely not to difficult a task
What you ask is all too easy for me
I question, have you weighed up all?
Are you prepared perhaps to fall in love
And spend life with her through eternity?
I wonder have you been alternately led
Thinking just of her and her in the bed?
G'day Rest of the World
Looking beyond the Eastern horizon,
See how the red rose slowly becomes the dawn
As she opens her petals and forms the early morn
The redness denotes the coming day
And we are warned about the coming wind and rain.
The trees come to life as the darkness lifts
There is not much green as winter is upon us
So we see mostly empty limbs and a promise
That will be fulfilled in just two months time
They will be amply covered and no longer embarrassed.
The birds are awake and call to each other
Their normal raucous calls echoing along the emptiness
And again two months will bring a change
With protective aggression emerging from the nest
But at present that aggression is tempered by the cold.
New consciousness awakens with the cold
Reluctantly forcing our dreams to disperse
As reality forces its way into our minds
The eyes open and see the rose at work again
But closing them is no longer an option.
The Hard Sand Breaks
The Hard Sand Breaks
....The hard sand breaks
......And the grains of it
........Are clear as wine.
The hard sand breaks
And the grains are clear as wine.
The waves one by one run o’er it
Each time shaking the pattern they created
Til the seventh wave crashes and drops back.
The wave this time has broken the pattern of the sand
And this process is repeated again and again
Until gradually the sea overcomes all the sand
Claiming the beach for herself alone
Softly, softly, the inevitable crash then softly, softly again
The day becomes evening and the tide changes
This time the crasheous wave retreats o’er the sand
And the following waves move softer almost caressing
Leaving its ripple pattern behind in the sand
Softly, softly, a gentle kiss, then softly, softly again.
I am old, I am bloody ancient!
Once upon a time I enjoyed kids playing,
But now I whinge and bitch because of the noisy brats
Disturbing my creative thoughts with their screaming.
Suddenly all the lights went out.
In time the breaker was switched on
Magically the screaming kids are gone
Taken no doubt by their sadistic parents
To some lit place where they can annoy others
And their miserable bloody parents share their pain.
July in Penang
I head back from my walk now
The narrow roads are packed with cars
And motor bikes, all in a hurry
To get home in five minutes
That’s five minutes before they start.
The street vendors are busy
Selling all sorts of scrumchous tucker
All far too heavy in carbo’s
Guaranteed to increase my waistline
And deny my exercise.
Around street tables are young men
Bragging about their day
And alternating with their Facebook texts
I have to be careful as I walk past
Lest I step in some of the Bullshit.
Just a Scene in Life’s Play
In the bus shelter the dero snoozes Gripping the brown paper bag As if his life depended on it. His grizzled face speaks of hardship From which he escapes with wine each day. Although it’s mid afternoon A group of bored teenagers descend on him Hell-bent on mischief and causing misery As a form of their amusement It’s too much of an effort to think positive. Little do they realise there are opposite traits Between the drunk and themselves; He is possibly escaping life, Whilst they have never lived And can’t be bothered to try. But their use of drugs and grog Will probably reduce them to a similar plane And society will think no more of either one. Suddenly a bus appears and the driver pulls in Seeing the stationary bus the thugs move on. Looking back the driver waits and watches As an old lady finally arrives And the driver helps her on and to her seat. The coast is clear now and the angel at the wheel Takes the old lady and the Dero off to the final destination.
There is no love in the heart of a city
The trees are gone and no green is left
It’s all concrete and brick reinforced with steel
What love can exist in that?
What chance has love without trees,
There are no roots, no veins to feed the blood.
The birds have no real home except the gutter,
The wind has no real song
And there are only sewers to remove excrement.
What chance has love without trees,
When the buildings constantly cast shadows
And hide life from the sun for hours,
Hiding reality and creating a new faith
A faith where gain is all, and money is God.
Questions at a Distance
Too soon time flies, then lovers must part
Spending their time regretting times waste.
Would that wasted times together replaced
By ones not thought of when love first began.
But think again, what did you really miss?
Were you not together as much as you could,
Or is it that you just long for one more kiss,
Perhaps one extra coupling, one extra touch?
Consider only that you were there together
Two lovers who shared laying souls out bare.
A time where love and honesty the only style
And lasting promises were made to care.
Although apart now love’s still worthwhile,
With dreams temporarily replace reality
But in reality making love appreciated more.
Questions of Love
Is love made of rock, of hard granite stone
Heavy and solid, and sometimes a bore?
That rock shatters and wears away to sand
The constant battering of waves breaking it down
Is that what love is and how it degrades.
Or is love an illusion of hormones and wishes
Where the instinct to breed is only a chore
Never receiving anything that was planned
Like a superannuation scheme gone wrong
And all that’s left is the memory of a promise.
Real love is nothing like this and never was.
Real love is expecting nothing yet giving all
Real love is receiving far more than planned
And giving back as much and the more
Until in the end there is no need to give.
True love is a smile, a touch, a look
A look that says everything and doesn’t need proof
A touch that can arouse or calm the worst fear
A smile that warms your soul
A soul that you now know you both share.
And in sharing, realising, love is everything.
Everything is open to receive what’s freely given.
Giving is receiving, but only love truly feels this.
In giving my heart and soul, I gain yours
And you know, you possess all of me.
Questions of Love II
Is love like a flame that flickers and burns
But when trimmed it burns smokeless and hot
Like oil lamps shine when paid attention to
And warming our lives as the years go bye
But will become smokey, and die if ignored.
Is love like a flower, with a glorious bloom
Like an exotic orchid so dearly bought
But soon is no more than contractual obligation
Superficial, only a colour and a strong perfume
Because of a reluctance to nurture and care.
Questions of Love Answered
Enjoy the mystery that the moon inspires,
Walk down those paths you have never trod
Perhaps that will lead you to another path
One where your experiences will not help
And you’d best have company to help.
You must take your heart in your hand
And surrender it to love completely
In return it will offer you all you wish
Where you’ll create and live your dreams
And it will paint you a thousand pictures.
Those pictures are a million experiences
That writes an eternity of loving words
Until the final days are just thoughts
Where love spirals down into infinity
And memories are just the dust of time.
The apples on the trees are small, tasteless
The tree is starved and thirsty
And she is depriving her children of a future.
But what future can there be,
The soil is too hard, too dry?
The promise of fruit is no longer valid
There is no rhubarb anymore
Nor do the strawberries have promise.
The lemon tree is the only one that thrives
She’s in a tub close by the door and gets doses of grey water.
The native trees still survive
They are hardy and used to droughts
The foreigners expect to be spoilt
And shrivel up under the suns heat
And the dry soil below.
In front of me are the mountains
With the blue haze rising from the trees.
The heavy greens contrasted by the black rock
And that contrasted by the whiteness of the waterfalls,
But most of all is the serenity arising from it all.
There is a path that took me from here at peace
Round to the thousand steps I once could ascend
But now am content to only view
And enjoy as if I were a Japanese tourist
Still I am left with memories they could never have.
Their cameras would never go where I have been
Thus will never see the treasures I have.
Treasures that are beyond gold and silver,
The joy and love of nature that can never be bought
And because of memory can be ever enjoyed.
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Crab apple blossom
flying in the morning breeze,
and showering down
a myriad of petals.
Splash of the frog,
his raucous croak
as he reaches his stone.
scarlet and yellow,
through refracted shapes
The distant call
of the peacock;
on the water,
pink petal boats
The dragon spout
of a clay teapot,
cups for four.
Rain in the Mountains
Rain, rain in the mountains,
rain on the rocks and trees,
replenish the swamps and rivers,
nourish the bush with your bounty,
rain, rain in my heart.
Water carries its cargo,
silt to enrich the soil,
pools for insects and birds;
it reaches each thirsty root
and waters my wanton heart.
Waterfalls tumble in torrents,
leap over rocks and cliffs,
plunge into gorges and valleys,
filling up creeks and rivers,
slaking the thirst of my soul.
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