2013 Poetry Theme Challenges

#07 Blue Enlightenment

It is easy to reach out for panaceas and elixirs of instant joy when we hit the bleak walls of sadness, grief and depression. Anything will do if it means we can bury our troubles for another day. However, I think these times do have a purpose as when they blues depart we see world and life different with a clearer perspective as beautifully illustrated by John Keats' "Ode to Melancholy". This challenge has two aspects share the things you use to beat the blues and/or how you enlightened by the blues.

Ode to Melancholy

No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
Wolfs-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss'd
By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;
For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
Or on the wealth of globed peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty - Beauty that must die;
And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight
Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine;
His soul shall taste the sadness of her might,
And be among her cloudy trophies hung.

John Keats

Blessings to you all


Blue Enlightenment

Maryse Achong

Fashion Sense
Melancholy Mood

Terry Clitheroe

Black Widow (Mathlish)
Paean (Pleiades)
Posare la Testa (Mathlish)
Quintessence (Mathlish)
Sometimes Pleiades)

Divena Collins

Eyes Cannot See (Mathlish)
Guitar Ensemble (Mathlish)
Needs (Pleiades)
Visions of Love (Mathlish)

Jem Farmer

Sadness (Pleiades)
Singing the Blues (Blues Sonnet)
Turning Time

Liz Rule

Bitter Lemon
For Den
From the seed springing
Love's Bounty
Reveal to me
Summer Blues
The day my world ceased to sing
The Swing

Maryse Achong

Fashion Sense

Immerse me in the waters of eternal life,
Enfold me in Your all embracing care,
Mould me in Your Image and Your Likeness,
Anoint me with a strength that dispels fear.

Garb me in garments woven with understanding,
And gird me with a sash that will erase
All bias; give me shoes to carry me
Along the path that leads to saving grace.

Adorn me with the jewel of integrity,
Humility forever be my guide,
Kindness sweeten every word I utter,
With honesty and justice at my side.

Provide me with a wallet full of charity,
And faith to hold on to when hope is gone;
As the final touch to my ensemble
Throw on a shawl of love for everyone.

And so equipped with all of these accessories
No doubt I’d be some kind of fashion plate
Not just for the moment, but for always,
I'd never be considered out of date!


Melancholy Mood

I'm having a bad hair day
And that’s not even the half of it
I'm feeling down; it seems as if
My "Get up and go," got up and left
Leaving behind my drooping spirit.
This too shall pass I know.
Life does not stop because we're sad,
The sun still rises as night turns into day,
So maybe I shall put a hat on my frizzy head
Paste a smile on my stony face,
And look that old world in the eye.

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Terry Clitheroe

Black Widow (Mathlish)

Step this way he smoothly said
As he slowly led her to his bed
Gently touching her bare shoulder
Take off your clothes he quietly told her,
With each soft touch becoming bolder.
She coolly let him have his way
Smiling knowing that he would pay.
After all the end justified the sin
Then with release he felt the pain
As her venom took his life from him.
His death is only natures way
To restore the balance of each play
With nature there is always gain and loss
I wonder if its her way to show who's boss.


Paean (Pleiades)

Place your hand on my heart
Pheel the
Pulsing you create, each beat
Praising you and love
Pair bonding's now achieved.
Peals of twinkling stars
Pray in thanksgiving,


Posare la Testa (Mathlish)

Because of fate we must live apart
Knowing now what is in each heart.
Life has decreed it must be this way
We seize each moment, each new day
With other souls we stop and play.
Tempering souls whilst we're divided
Taking all of goods fate had provided.
Drawing strength, learning the art
Wondering when true love will start
And if the path of love is on our chart.
Enquiring what is in the muses mind
Curious about what the future will find
Praying again our soul mate we'll meet
And once again dance on winged feet.


Quintessence (Mathlish)

The feeling never leaves when you love someone
The parting of a lifetime when your love is gone.
It's with you for eternity when your soul is shared
That you'll never meet again is nothing to be feared
Her spirit looking at you, knowing that you cared
Her spirits touch, a spirits kiss, a spirits gentle tears
Keeps her by your side through the passing years.
Knowing deeply in her heart that you love her so
Smiling softly, knowing you'll never let her go
And with each passing day love will only grow.
You feel her guiding you, helping meet your fears
Sob gently over her, show your love with your tears.
If being together is part of the greater beings plan
Then you’ll be united, your woman, with her man.


Sometimes (Pleiades)

Sharing is only a wish.
Sharing becomes a dream.
Sometimes from that dream
Scenes are shared
Securing sacred affinity.

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Divena Collins

Eyes Cannot See (Mathlish)

It is I who my affections shall hide
For what I have felt so deeply inside
Shall remain as a feeling of the past
For it was a love never meant to last
It was I in my ways that was outcast
For once in my life I felt so besotten
Now it shall remain better forgotten
Casting aside was never meant to be
How could I forget memories of he
When his love was always a part of me
A lesson learned from a broken heart
Of what I once had is now left behind
For I know now I shall never be a part
Of what I had felt when love was blind.


Guitar Ensemble (Mathlish)

Bee boppin'hop with old Cotton Eye Joe.
The guitar ensembles now a'ready to go
Sock it to me babe them rhythm and blues
Stomp thro' the swamps whenever ya chose
Whatever you play is gonna be good news
The guitar ensemble's gonna beat around
C'mon everybody ya gotta dress down
If'n ya aint heard music like this afore
Betcha bottom dollar ya'll beg for more
Barn dance astompin' on the ol' barn floor.
Lookin' like y'all are gonna have a ball

The guitar ensemble's a mighty fine show
Swingin and stompin an' arockin' an' all
Bee boppin' hop with old Cotton Eye Joe.


Needs (Pleaides)

No longer shall I love again
Not within fate or destiny
Nor to walk my paths dreams
Never ending lanes that hurt
Needs shall just have to wait
Nature can go take a hike
Naturally until the next time.


Vision Of Love (Mathlish)

Once I had seen him afloat on the lake
Within a canoe or was that my mistake
It wasnt him at all then I wonder who
May be in my imagination images grew
Dreams had returned in shades of blue
Recalled when we were here together
We made an oath that would last forever
Both of us would return here once more
Love may be stronger than it was before
How on this earth should we both ignore
The promise we made that love shall be
There upon the lake where I saw a vision
Remaining within tho` the eye cannot see
Fantasy of love shall be there to envision..

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Jem Farmer

Sadness (Pleiades

Sobbing sings a lost love song
Sombre thoughts
Sigh through a fading dream
Smiling a distant destination
Sorrowful tears
Seeping from empty visions


Singing the Blues (Blues Sonnet)

Songman capture my heart in a tune,
And sing to me: a heart out of tune
A lost spirit alone beneath the moon
Songman sing me as I cry out the night;
Embrace my heart with your love songs tonight
And ease my soul into a brighter light.
Songman, I dance to your lyrical beat
I'm caught in the wonder of a heartbeat
A spirit alone never takes defeat.
Songman, how did you know I'm feeling blue
Confusion reigns and we’re singing it blue
The long lonely nights and I've turned to you
Songman, I'll not hide nor can I deny
It's you I need when I got tears to cry.


Turning Time (Pleiades)

Ticking seconds pass
Tormenting memories of regret
Teasing thoughts into dreams
Trophies overcoming the past
Telling the success stories when
Taking heart in the moment

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Liz Rule

Bitter Lemon

magnetic the swarm
of bees to lemon blossom
nectar scented
the tidal pull of young love
recks not the bitter fruit

nippled globes
hang among green leaves
ripe for plucking
just so his memories
of her in summer's blush

picking the fruit
he bites into firm flesh
lips pucker
as acid pours unchecked
from his thoughtless tongue

at leaf fall
old fruit rots into the soil
fleeing him
she knows not how she still seeps
into his soul's crevices


For Den

In quantum webs of love, our souls entangled,
We lived our lives together and apart;
And whether I am near or I have wandered,
Know you are forever in my heart.

In the golden hour, we sat and gazed at sunsets,
Or wandered in the Valley in the mist,
And looked upon the starlit sky at moonrise,
And watched as dawn the silent treetops kissed.

We are together, though we are sundered
By death's deep gully; into Eternity
Your heart is yearning homeward, ever homeward;
Forevermore your spirit will roam free.

I know the places where your spirit lingers
On pathways that our feet have often trod,
By statuary of stone and twisted tree trunk,
In valleys where we found the key to God.

At mystic hour of night, my spirit wanders
And finds you where the blue meets the gold;
And from that shore, set free from the wheel of drama,
Our minds into the netherworld enfold.

We are together, though we are sundered
By death's deep gully; into Eternity
Your heart is yearning homeward, ever homeward;
Forevermore your spirit will roam free.


From the seed springing

from the seed springing
the roots of trees pulse a path
through the strongest stone
entwined inextricably
in love's dance - you and I

meadow sunlight...
leaves tremble in the breeze
dragonflies glide
on love's warm currents
I tremble at your touch

in a jam jar
by your door -
my colour-clad messengers
to welcome the wanderer

azaleas in Spring
a spider bridges the gap
between two branches -
the way we weave in and out
of each other's lives

photo on the web
a map of your face
with my cursor
I trace the tracks of our love
from half a world away

his empty house
the floor tessellated
with manuscripts
each a chrysalid poem -
his doors padlocked against thieves

since your passing
Earth turns once around the sun
last night
I read your poems of love
to the rain's soft tattoo

leaves crunch underfoot
morning dew on bare branches
does the falling leaf
grieve for the loss of its tree
as I grieve for you?


Love's Bounty

Autumn reverie:
late afternoon mist
rises from the lake
and hovers like a pall
above the earth;
red gold of falling leaf
reflects the evanescent
colours of the sky;
the plaintive honking
of the geese
haunts my memory.

Is it a shimmering tear
or a soft rain
that caresses my cheeks,
and cascades like glistening
diamond dewdrops
down my face,
as I turn, expectant,
in the half light,
seeking one last
glimpse of you?

Is it your voice,
whispering to me
on a passing breeze,
or merely a shadow
of memory,
playing on my mind
like a magic lantern show?

Or is it a last whisper
of a dying season,
surrendering the fullness
of its bounty
to the earth,
as I surrender
the twisting threads
of our love's bounty
to the tapestry
of time?



I have no name
But bliss.

Blissful was I born,
Like a rose upon a thorn;
Blissful I became,
Still the thorn could cause no pain,

Until that day, shattered and torn,
I crushed the rose and plucked the thorn,
And with the thorn, my finger pricked,
Till from the wound my life’s blood dripped,

And with the blood, a field was sown,
Yet the blood that flowed was not my own;
Full many a year I watched that field
And saw the crop that it did yield.
I reaped the crop upon an age,
And discovered that my name was Rage.


Reveal to me

Reveal to me, my child,
Your innermost secrets,
For I have within my grasp
The power of healing.
On me wreak vengeance
For crimes long past,
Promises not kept
And deeds not done,
For I accept you, child, as you are,
Human being that you be.
I bear your burden as mine,
For it is mine,
And only long to set you free.


Summer Blues

Summer wind, chase all my blues away,
Twistin' and twirlin', chasin' my blues away,
Like a leaf on the wind, to your mansions of yesterday.

My lover has left me, sent me away from his door,
Left me, bereft me, sent me away from his door;
Coldly he scolds me, "don't want you round here no more."

Black dog, he bites me, chases me down the street,
Bites me and smites me, follows me down the street;
I can't escape him, he's always at my feet.

Summer rain, wash all my blues away,
Rivulets moilin', roilin' my blues away,
Like a rock in a river rollin' to oceans of yesterday.

All through the winter, I called his name out loud,
Warm in his arms, I called his name out loud;
The fire's burnin' low, love's gone like a high flyin' cloud.

Black dog, I want you, I'm takin' you to my bed,
No flowers this springtime, I just want you on my bed,
And whiskey to warm me, blot out those words that he said.

Summer sun, burn all my blues away,
Shine ever brighter, burnin' my blues away,
Like a fire in the sky, pipin' smoke rings of yesterday.


The day my world ceased to sing

You were born when I was just fifteen,
My golden-haired, blue-eyed queen;
I thought you looked just like your father,
A laughing boy of sixteen.

You were never seen by your father,
He was not even told of your birth;
They said we were too young to marry,
They didn't know what love was worth.

Where have you gone to, my baby,
Since last you were held in my arm?
Who has your first smile, my baby?
Does she keep you from harm?

An unwanted baby they called you,
Such a terrible crime it seemed,
But by me you were never unwanted;
When they took you from me, I screamed.

They said you'd gone to a good home,
They told me I'd done the right thing,
But it still seems to me you were kidnapped,
That day the world ceased to sing.

Where have you gone to, my baby,
Since last you were held in my arm?
Who has your first smile, my baby?
Does she keep you from harm?

For many years now I have pondered,
Watching mothers and children at play,
And I've seen many kids unwanted,
And none of them taken away.

I search in the streets of the city,
In playgrounds, and by the seashore;
I gaze at the faces of strangers,
Hoping to find you once more.

Where have you gone to, my daughter,
Since last you were held in my arm?
Who has your first smile, my daughter?
Does she keep you from harm?

The passing years bless me with children,
Whom I love without counting the cost,
Each one more precious than diamonds,
Yet I yearn for the one who is lost.

And still my heart's silently screaming,
For without you I'll never be whole;
I could learn to forget you, my baby,
But how fill the void in my soul?

Where have you gone to, my daughter,
Since last you were held in my arm?
Who has your first smile, my daughter?
Does she keep you from harm?


The Swing

Doors open… doors close…
Out into the world she goes.
Which way? Show me please!
Moments later, life's a breeze.

Is it here? is it there?
Should I climb the winding stair?
Where is love? Where is laughter?
Happiness for ever after?

Indecision... moments dark...
Life's a journey, sometimes stark.
Am I right? or am I wrong?
Who will listen to my song?

Who will understand my plight?
Someone: tell me I'm all right!
Where's the pointer? Where the sign?
Is this someone's Grand Design?

Love and hate, war and peace,
Death, destruction without cease.
What is Truth? and what illusion?
Am I rapt in grand delusion?

What is life? and where is God?
Does it pass me by without a nod,
Or am I entangled with its thought,
A part of all that it has wrought?

Who is the Watcher in my life,
The one who sends me joy and strife?
Does it bend me to its will,
Or does it lie quiescent, still...

Observing every thought of mine
And moulding it in mills divine,
Reflecting back my every whim,
My darkest thought or lofty hymn?

Am I the Mover in my life,
The one who calls forth love or strife,
And is every thought of mine
Sculptor of the will divine?


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