6

Paint chip villanelle

This week’s prompt from Linda Kruschke is for a villanelle.

The definition in the poetry dictionary Linda is using for these prompts is very long. Do read her post for the definition, colours and the poem she has written as well as links to other villanelles.

She writes:

‘My challenge to you today is to write a villanelle with octosyllabics. I’m a big fan of the eight-syllable line. You may, as John Drury mentions later in the definition, alter the exact wording of your refrains if you choose. I think the original theme of country people has long since been left by the wayside, so I don’t expect you to follow that part of the definition, but you can if you want to. Just remember that you had better really like your first and third lines because you’ll be repeating them.

‘My tip for you, as you write a poem in this interesting form, is to write the following rhyme/refrain scheme down the margin of your paper to help you keep track. A1/b/A2, a/b/A1, a/b/A2, a/b/A1, a/b/A2, a/b/A1/A2.

‘The paint chip words and phrases you have to work with in crafting your villanelle are marigold, ice cap, deep-sea vent, Earl Grey, porcelain, elephant, and euphoria.

‘I would like you to use at least three of these paint chips in your poem. You can also use your own descriptive words for the colors of the paint chips. For example, you might think marigold looks more like day lily or summer sun. I mean, what fun is it to have colors as part of the chips and not get to play with those too?’

How to be Well-versed in Poetry
How to be Well-versed in Poetry

For this challenge I have written my second poem about Earl Grey. My first poem was dramatic monologue.

I found an entertaining villanelle consisting of instructions for writing one in the book, How to be well-versed in poetry, which I mentioned previously.

Tea-drinking villanelle

Bergamot in tea pleased Earl Grey
When the weather was ice-cap cold
(Tea’s best from fired porcelain clay)

Or on a glorious summer’s day
When the sun set like marigold
Bergamot in tea pleased Earl Grey.

Some add milk or sugar; say
Whether you drink it hot or cold!
(Tea’s best from fired porcelain clay)

Others add lemon or ice – hey!
Not the fashion in days of old.
Bergamot in tea pleased Earl Grey,

Remembered for it to this day,
But how he drank it we’re not told –
Tea’s best from fired porcelain clay.

I take my tea decaffeina-
ted sooner than it might go cold.
Bergamot in tea pleased Earl Grey;
Tea’s best from fired porcelain clay.

2

Ubi sunt paint chip poem

This week Linda Kruschke has reached the Letter U in the dictionary she is using for these prompts. Do visit her blog for the full prompt, the colours and her poem.

‘We’re writing ubi sunt, which John Drury defines as follows:
UBI SUNT (uh’-suhnt’, “uh” pronounced as in “put”; Latin, “where are”) Poetic theme in which the poet asks “where are” certain people, where have they gone...

‘The actual form of your poem is your choice. You could write couplets or free verse. You could practice another terza rima or sixain because you enjoyed them so much.

The paint chip words you have to work with are peachy, illumination, graphite, rattlesnake, spring, octopus, and pizzazz. Interestingly, there are no phrases among the randomly pulled cards this week. I would like you to use at least three of the words. Extra bonus points if you use them all, but again, the bonus points aren’t worth much other than bragging rights.’

I chose to practise a terza rima and to use one of the words in the title, as for last week’s challenge.

Beach illumination

Where are all the seashells now?
Peachy crab shells dropped by gulls
Litter the beach; those birds make a row!

This poet seeks rhymes and mulls
Over the way the beach changes.
Graphite coloured clouds appear. Light dulls.

Spring tides have highest ranges.
Opposite extremes are neap tides.
Motion of the rough sea arranges

Shingle, while sand’s movement hides
Fixed rock and prehistoric wood.
Human curiosity abides.

Learning about creation is good.

6

Paint chip terza rima

Linda Kruschke’s Paint chip poetry challenge this week is for a terza rima, which has the rhyming pattern ‘aba bcb cdc ded efe fgf, etc. The poem (or individual section, called a canto by Dante) usually ends with a single line or a couplet, rhyming with the previous tercet’s middle line. But it may also end with a tercet, it’s middle line rhyming with the opening tercet’s first and third lines, making the form circular.’ (Poetry dictionary)

Linda writes:

‘Your challenge for this prompt is to write a terza rima of at least three stanzas. In keeping with the theme of three, I would like you to use at least three of these paint chip words and phrases: blank canvas, lavender, whirlpool, seedling, happily ever after, golden, and cliff’s edge.
I would also like you to use one of them as the title of your poem without actually using it in the poem itself.
Since the terza rima form doesn’t specify line length, you could write in short, terse lines, or long ambling ones.’

Happily ever after?

Over the red sandstone cliff’s edge
Seabirds congregate in pairs
Raising their chicks on every ledge

No space for twigs, eggs of theirs
Sit on the guano-stained rock
Looks from parent birds are glares.

In the sea spawning fish stock
The larder for days ahead;
Famine could decimate the flock.

The rising sun does not shed
Its light on these birds’ young chicks –
But golden light going to bed.

As these birds’ future lives mix
Chances – death or survival,
So we should be helping to fix

Seedling hopes of revival,
Offering heartfelt prayers
For every new arrival

That eternal life will be theirs.