Tag Archives: French verse forms

You Came to Hear: rondeau redoubled

The music that you came to hear:
a sonic bridge that helps you cross
some gulf of time no longer near,
or spend as a mere hour’s loss,

so in the maelstrom sound’s great fosse
you find your sorrows light to bear,
your jagged rocks made soft with moss,
the music that you came to hear?

What in these tunes allays your fears,
makes sunshine from an endless dross
and with a modicum of beer
a sonic bridge that helps you cross

in mirthful, bright and shiny gloss
from disconnection, felt so clear,
to friends who share a sense of loss:
some gulf of time no longer near.

And when at last the end appears:
last call, that winging albatross
whose warning bursts the happy sphere,
you’ve suffered a mere hour’s loss

and gained a bright and shiny gloss.
Now, when the new day’s dawn appears
and there may seem no way across,
you can reflect back in the mirror
the music that you came to hear.

05 MAY 2017

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I Cannot Speak: rondeau

I cannot speak of what I’ve seen:
the smell of bleach is on those scenes,
and faintly, on each memory’s breath,
a subtle scent of loss and death,
with hints of joy and hope between.

I hear the dripping fat, I dream
of crackles in the kerosene
that sizzle ’til there’s nothing left;
I cannot speak.

I stand aside, and watch, and lean
a while. I wait as the new green
begins to sprout amidst this death;
a garden is a grave, reset,
that in each’s season prayer and sweat
writes of the sacred and obscene
I cannot speak.

04 MAY 2017

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Closing Time: rime couée

Down at the bar we sit and wait,
as if our glory days, so great,
still might return anon.
We act younger throughout the night,
so we forget, while we get tight,
that halcyon is gone.

And all the girls who tend the bar,
pretend to laugh, but just so far;
it’s hard to hide pity.
Last call, they turn on all the lights;
watch us shuffle into the night,
mumbling something witty.

1 MAY 2017

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Good Grief: rimas dissolutas

Good grief! What else did you expect?
A world set suddenly to rights,
some glibly promised golden dawn,
rough places sanded down to plain,
and milk and honey handed out
to both devout and infidel?

Instead, you got a fresh train wreck:
horrific days and sleepless nights,
with conflict that just lingers on
and brings no joy at all, just pain.
Why such surprise when people shout
and damn your policies to hell?

My God! Did you expect a prize
for proudly showing ignorance
of what it means to “keep it real”
or silent, suffer in the dark
while your parade glides loudly by
and celebrates your privilege?

And even now, with “opened” eyes,
you make clumsy attempts to dance,
pretending you can still appeal
to those who see you as a shark.
You’re blind to even your own lies
but still call protest sacrilege.

28 APR 2017

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Blank Canvas: kyrielle

Believe it: in a moment’s time,
what plans you’ve made can all unwind
and with a splash of turpentine
your canvas is again a blank.

No matter the expense and time
in pigment, brushes, sweat and wine,
no other act is as sublime:
your canvas is again a blank.

Perhaps it’s opportunity:
to start again, to disagree
with first intent, to be set free.
Your canvas is again a blank.

Or maybe just a timely prick;
ego’s balloon deflates so quick.
True art employs such dastard tricks:
your canvas is again a blank.

The simple blinking of an eye,
and one’s whole lifetime flashes by
before an ounce of paint is dry,
your canvas is again a blank.

The painting is your legacy,
but won’t reflect the means, you see,
only the end is guaranteed:
your canvas is again a blank.

31 MAR 2017

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Cut the Crap: descort

You seek for “truth”:
for the origin of being,
the thing in itself,
but either don’t look hard
enough,
or waste time looking
in the wrong spot.

It’s right here:
the meaning is no recipe,
it is not the history of a dish
to be rehashed at leisure
to impress special friends.

What a double-edged sword
is imagination!

The way you classify a thing
in theory doesn’t change its lifestyle;
it makes no difference,
one way or the other,
what you choose to call it
when you think it’s out of the room.

To imagine that a thing exists
because we think of it,
and blinks away to nothingness
once it slips our minds
imposes a two-dimensional framework
on the world
wherein our consciousness
is the only proof of life.

You see the dog on your lap.
You see the ant at your foot.

How stupid is that supposition?

24 FEB 2017

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Lines from Our Epitaph: chant royal

’Tis morning, for the cock at dawn has crowed;
and in the bustle of the waking day
each wipes away the sleep and takes their load
from where it slept – and moves along their way.
Some burdens may seem lighter than the rest,
mere trifles, more akin to happiness
than heavy sacks of lead, that like regret
retard our steps to what’s not happened yet,
and on that journey teach us not to laugh.
Each morning thus compels us to forget
when we erased lines from our epitaph.

’Tis midday, for the luncheon horn does blow;
we clamor at our labor’s too brief stay
to gossip cursed luck and need to know,
then guess what waits thru the rest of the day.
In blind and muted prophecy, the jest
of some wild, mad extravagance suggests
of universes far beyond us yet;
eternity, with lies, makes us forget
the vanity of hope, prayer of our past,
the time before this toil, and work, and sweat,
when we erased lines from our epitaph.

’Tis twilight, for the sun is falling low;
we wander aimless home at break of day
and with the last of energy’s brave glow
lay down our burdens to escape the fray.
For some, the pause is the part they love best:
the proof of having passed some trying test.
While others, in the dull and sticky sweat,
self-medicate to soothe plaguing regret
that their grim lives just slip away so fast,
still filled with what were dreams not happened yet
when we erased lines from our epitaph.

And now the sun at last is finally set,
its golden hours replaced by hues of jet
with just a few pale lanterns on the path,
to hint at what had not quite happened yet
when we erased lines from our epitaph.

7 FEB 2017

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