Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Poetry Thursday: Cinquain Central

This week I have been learning about cinquains as a form of poetry, and I thought I would integrate my new knowledge within this week's poetry thursday brief. And such an inspiring brief... I was overwhelmed with ideas and then went blank, only to find this medium perfect for my task. Apparently, cinquains are written using the following guidelines:

Line 1: one noun or subject.
Line 2: two adjectives that describe line 1.
Line 3: three action verbs (ending in –ing) that relate to line 1.
Line 4: a four word sentence that relates to line 1.
Line 5: one word that sums up or means the same thing as line 1.

For example;

Clear, wonderful,
Slapping, whirling, flowing
The river is cold.

Of course, the idea though is to keep the subject or object of the poem secret, so the noun or subject would necessarily have to become a synonym for mystery or surprise. Here is mine:

Deep red You
Warm flow of breath, strength
Empowering, refreshing, liberating
You bring me life
Dark blue Me

Monday, February 19, 2007


I could have made a tenuous link to the brief this week, but my own poetic inspiration got the better of me, again. I've been reading more Shakespeare, Vicki Feaver, Barrett Browning, Tennyson and John Clare, all of whom have written about the topic of my poem this week, love. Many of these poets have described love, celebrated it, warned against it or lamented its loss. This one by Tennyson is quite beautiful: he remains one of my favourite poets.

Now Sleep the Crimson Petal

Now sleep the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font.
The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.

Now droops the milk-white peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.

Now lies the Earth all Danae to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.

Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.

Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake.
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.

When I read poems which communicated their adoration of someone, something, I realised that right now love is something completely different for me. Still wonderful, a true gift, our heart's greatest desire, love also brings grief when someone or something is lost, still fights your reason and your rationality when you need them to be the winners, only thinks of itself. I'd say that sometimes love is impossible, holding you up against a wall, where fighting becomes obsolete. Love, in reality is selfish. It so often hides behind the other faces of humankind, a seemingly dormant source of motivation for our actions, yet its strength is in fact immeasurable. Because you can't destroy love, you can't deny it, you can't ignore it. Masked behind a different face, it will surge up and over that wall, and flood the place. I still marvel at how our body, our emotions are capable of feeling this intangible enigma which is love, in all its different forms. But that is besides the point, although perhaps not besides the brief... Anyway, now I've stopped rambling...


Out damn spot, love's recall a haunting
of togetherness and nurture,
Blinding all to greyness and lack,
Filling out the space like the tide reaching the wall,
Flowing down to the wheel to crank slowly into motion.
After all this time, this chronicle of wasted time.

My heart's resting place invaded, squeezed and stretched,
The rack on which lies the symbol of your house
Your home, your flower.
Words spoke from you as chords do from the string,
And blood burns around my heart,
You've seemed to hear my silent voice
Which rested sleepy, dreams of night.

This coat, your gift, now weighs heavy
My shoulders fight to throw it off,
But then the cold seeps into my bones
and I am filled with thoughts of the warmth I once felt.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Dance

As I drove along a busy road yesterday, I got stuck in a traffic jam, and I witnessed a couple clearly in love, and it really moved me. It felt like new love... they danced with each other in every movement and an energy moved between them. It was so heart warming to see them, brought my attention back to an experience beyond the mundanity which life can sometimes become. It was just love between two people, romantic love.

Dragging her hands along the iron railings
which lined the river's bank,
she felt him brush close, a feather touch, then move away in the rhythm of his walk.
Consumed by it the noise of the cars beside them drowned out,
as they danced their endless dance in their duality,
interweaving amongst the changing lines of the road,
tailing, leading, tailing, leading, synchronising in rare moments,
not daring to look sideways.

And so with eyes focused away from him,
her whole soul in fact watched only him, a sightless vision,
blinded to the immediate watery landscape
where two swans glided effortlessly down the lifeless water,
heads bowed, moving in tandem,
their soft tranquility uninterrupted by their desolate surroundings.

Another brush, words without sound filled her senses,
and with a shy laugh his hand sought hers and she took it,
feeling tension flow away through him and out.
Cars inched along beside them, a man shot a passing glance at her
and then moved on, his destination once more becoming his reality.

Slowing, she looked at him, eyes soft, unsure, becoming stiller.
Her question returned and needing to know, submitting to the pull,
he took her neck in one hand, followed by the other,
And drew her in.