Chance cinquain poetry prompt

This week’s Paint chip poetry challenge from Linda Kruschke is for cinquains. The chance part of the challenge arises from picking paint chips. Here is part of Linda’s post, which I recommend you read in full. Her poem is much better than mine, both poetically and in content!

My challenge to you is to write seven cinquains in the 2-4-6-8-2 syllabic pattern, one for each of the paint chip words or phrases, used in the order in which they were drawn. Or if you’d like a little less strenuous challenge, write however many five-line stanzas you desire, but still using the “chance” words and phrases in order.
And the words and phrases you have to work with are:
before the rain, new leaf, Garden of Eden, matcha, dragon, black tie and half-and-half

Paradise lost

At first
There was sunshine,
Moonlight, rivers, a man
And his helpmeet, before the rain
Would fall.

The trees
In the garden
Were beautiful, growing
Just as God meant: ev’ry new leaf was

And Eve enjoyed
Living in the Garden
Of Eden together with God
At first.

Tea leaves may have
Grown on one of the trees
In the garden with other fruit
To eat.

The Fall
Was caused by lies.
The serpent (or dragon)
Told the first lie to the woman;

It was
Two aprons of
Fig leaves they made themselves
Rather than a funereal
Black tie.

Whose fault
Was it? Dragon’s?
Woman’s? Man’s or even
God’s? The math giving half-and-half
Is wrong.

Based on Genesis chapters 1-3.


Five more books I read in December 2020

The first four of these books were from BorrowBox. As for my previous book review post I am working from memory, having returned all these books. The Art Fiasco was a Christmas present. While many of the links in this post are to Amazon, I urge you to support high street bookshops and libraries.

Book cover

I owe you one: Love means all debts are off by Sophie Kinsella

I owe you one was a light read. A chance meeting set the scene for lots of twists and turns. I raced through it, enjoying the description of the characters and development of the plot. It was the second of Sophie Kinsella’s books I have read.

A tale of two families by Dodie Smith is a story of its time. Long ago I had read two books by Dodie Smith: The Hundred and One Dalmations and I capture the castle, but I was unaware of A tale of two families. Like Josephine Tey and Margery Allingham, Dodie Smith was writing in the 20th century. This book is set in the 1970s. The families in the story become neighbours. I found the characters fascinating; some of them were decidedly eccentric. All the loose ends were tied up in the best possible way. I am unsure whether the number in the title refers to one extended family and another family nearby or two nuclear families from the extended family.

In search of a name: a novel Marjoliju van Heemstra

This book read like real-life. An expectant mother researches her family history to decide whether to honour the promise she had made about naming her son.Book cover There are a lot of medical details about her pregnancy as well as the story of her research. Events following WW2 are remembered in archived documents and by characters in the story. It is a very interesting book set in the Netherlands.

Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay’s memoir Red Dust Road has much in common with In search of a name. Jackie was adopted and decided as an adult to find her birth parents. The story is not told in chronological order. It flips from accounts retold by others of events in her childhood to her own accounts of more recent events. This could make it disjointed, but in fact it works very well. There is intercontinental  travel too.book cover


The Art Fiasco: Poppy Denby Investigates by Fiona Veitch Smith

The Art Fiasco is the fifth Poppy Denby book. It is set in the North East of England and includes a historical map of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. There are two mysteries, which Poppy finds herself drawn into while on a visit to relatives. There is also some romantic interest. The status of women in the early 20th century is important in this novel and indeed in all the Poppy Denby series. There is enough background that the books may be read as stand-alone historical novels.Book cover


Ballade paint chip poetry prompt

Linda Kruschke has set a challenge for this week’s paint chip poetry. Unusually she has not yet posted her poem for the prompt, but has promised it for Monday 11 January. Her full post with the paint chip colours is here.

To quote:
There were some interesting choices, including Beat Poetry, but I decided on the Ballade.
The paint chip words and phrases you have to work with are cowboy, polished stone, raw silk, spinach, avalanche, Rocky Mountains, and robin’s egg. I would like you to pick three of the paint chips for your Ballade. Choose the three that you think have the greatest connection to each other.

I learned that the form of a ballade is 3 verses of ababbcbC and an envoi bcbC, where C is a repeated line. After clicking on Linda’s links I consulted a wonderful paperback for further clarification of this form – How to be Well-versed in Poetry Edited by E.O.Parrott. I mentioned it previously on this blog and how I came to buy it on my photo blog.

A Ballade of Hazardous Weather

The avalanche of snow slides down
One of the Rocky Mountains.
Its whiteness mixes with brown,
As with a loud roar it gains
More and more stains.
Logs, rocks or polished stone
Cause terrible pains.
Selfless kindness will be shown.

Buried in snow’s no way to drown.
(Minor complaints like chilblains
Give some skiers a frown.)
Ski sticks akimbo like canes,
Their faint hope wanes.
Will they be able to phone
For helpful snow-chains?
Selfless kindness will be shown.

A rescuer coming from the town
Has brawn as well as brains.
He does not seek renown;
Hollow praises he disdains.
Common sense reigns.
The skiers are flown
To safety and trains.
Selfless kindness will be shown.

Now when it rains
Logs, rocks or polished stone
Can block the storm drains.
Selfless kindness will be shown.