Tag Archives: formal poetry

Wisdom Crieth Without Publication

Wisdom Crieth Without, Issue 10

I have another publication to announce! My villanelle about Adam leaving Eden has been published in Wisdom Crieth Without, Issue 10. It’s an online journal, which means that you can read the poem for free here!

Wisdom Crieth Without is a journal for traditional literary arts, so it’s a great venue for my villanelle. This is the poetic form of Dylan Thomas’ famous poem “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night.” It uses only two rhymes and two of the full lines repeat throughout the poem. I have tried to play with the punctuation of the repeated lines to make their meaning slightly different each time. I hope you enjoy it.

Please read the rest of the journal too and admire the fine artwork that accompanies each piece of fiction and poetry.

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On the Occasion of Your Engagement

Congratulations follow in your wake

Like tropical fish on parade to greet

A passing snorkeller, swept off her feet

By waves of flitting fins outstretched to shake

Her hand and glisten with her ring—but make

Way! New arrivals tread the tide to meet

With her and pay their social dues. Repeat

Until she knows everyone knows. I take

My turn and sink into the tidal gloom

Past memories of dying coral reefs

And sea anemones that will not bloom

Now. They did last year, but I was a thief

In my own mind and stored those all away

Behind a door marked X barred shut today.


Nine of Pentacles

Her practiced fingers stroke the well-worn keys—

A simple melody with simple ease—

Then reach for fifths to fill the pattern’s run

Alone. No rush. There’s no one else to please:

No judge, no jury, no race to be won.

So she slows—settles to a mournful pace

Reminding her of all the pain it took

To get her here: the lines she had to trace

To rise above and toss away the book

Alone. No rush. There’s no one else to please

And that’s enough. She sets her music’s sun

And beauty echoes from her hard-earned grace…

But sly shadows steal an embarrassed look.


Mirror, Dreams

The I in the soul patch slapped off my face

Spread scattered ego shuffling on the breeze

Over every emaciated place

Diminished by my exile’s treason’s ease.

.

The man in my mirror, the man in my dreams

Splits snicker-snack in the caesura’s claws,

Neatly striking my name from where I’ve been

And scribbling it back in between the pause.

.

Same sign, new meaning: a coincidence

Of arbitrary logos advertising

Two different products—and yet all sense

Points at the sameness the change tries disguising.

.

So on these stilted thoughts wobbling across

My portrait, I know I and he are me,

But marvel that a mask’s symbolic loss

Can warp my memories based on what I see.


There’s Nothing Else I Want (Adam’s Villanelle)

That burning image will forever haunt

My mind: within—beyond—my promised land,

Despite my fears, there’s nothing else I want.

I think it’s meant to grab my hate, to taunt

My urge to see why all alone it stands.

That burning image will forever haunt

My love. She comes to me (yet strangely gaunt)

And bears a gift clenched hard within her hand.

Despite my fears, there’s nothing else I want

But what she grips; too innocent to daunt

Me now.  I swoon to feel my mind expand

That burning image.  Will Forever haunt

Me as I rush towards my end? A jaunt

Disrupts; the plants disperse: all turned to sand.

Despite my fears, there’s nothing else I want

But this new choice. We erred and sinned to flaunt

Our free will.  Though—I’m now alone with her and—

That burning image will forever haunt

Despite my fears—there’s nothing else I want.

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