‘Return Me To My Youth

Followers of Roland’s Ragbag will know that, on occasion, I enjoy attempting a, for me, unaccustomed poetic form.  I was again encouraged to do so earlier today by a post on Linda Luna’s blog: ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ .   Please do take a look at her description of the Decastitch and, in particular at her outline of a particular variation of this many-faceted form named the ‘Ravenfly’.  Her blog contains a clear outline of the form, which I quote as follows:

  In summary, the Ravenfly is:

• A decastich (10-line poem) written in 3 stanzas: 2 quatrains and 1 couplet.
• Syllabic count: 8-7-8-7, 8-7-8-7, 10-10
• Rhyme scheme: abab cdcd ee
• Meter is optional

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Prisma-whb01

RETURN ME TO MY YOUTH

Return me to when I was young 

And life had not yet happened; 

The loves I’ve had, the songs I’ve sung,  

 But now I’m truly saddened, 

For life has bitten me so hard, 

Removing joy and pleasure, 

Leaving my swollen heart so scarred

The pain I cannot measure.

My memories of youth are dear,

The future – still obscure, unclear. 

Prisma-whb04

 

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A full account of the Decastich and its many different guises can be read on the Poet’s Garret website   (q.v.).

I have posted my above attempt at ‘The Raven’ to the ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ Challenge.

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Love and Wisdom

Robert Herrick

Bust portrait of Robert Herrick, 17th century English poet,  from a rare print by W Marshal

 

One of the great love poems in the English language is Robert Herrick’s (1591 – 1674) poem ‘To Sylvia , to Wed’.   The poem was published in 1674 in a collection of Herrick’s poems called ‘Hesperides’.  You will find a transcription of it at:  poets.org   The last line of this extremely short poem is . . .

“No Man can at one time be wise and love.” 

The truth of these words by Herrick have often struck me, and I have been led to compose the following poem to amplify my thoughts on the beauty of the words and the wisdom which they hold . . .

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Love and Wisdom

Great truth lies here
For love consumes the soul
Drives out the rational
In favour of those headstrong thoughts
Those unconsidered deeds
Which couple love with lust
And joy with pain
Breaching reason
As a burst dam
Floods life’s valleys
As the wildfire strips life’s undergrowth
Devouring what it most values
In the thoughtless rush and swell
Of its inflamed ardour

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A Secret Sonnet

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‘Moonlight Tryst’ – WHB: Pen an ink, Dec.2017

A SECRET SONNET

They stressed my heart and bled it
Seeking to find you there,
But try as they could to discover
They never will find out where
You hide in lonely seclusion,
Your impregnable lonely lair.

For you are my cerebral lover,
Living a life in my brain;
We hold our trysts in the moonlight,
Let them look for ever in vain,
They never ever will find you,
For there is nought to explain.

Just a salve to pain and depression,
A caprice with a discreet confession.

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SCROOGE … A Meditation  

Scrooge-BahHumbug

‘Scrooge’ – WHB: Black ink, 2017

SCROOGE … A Meditation

 

What the dickens does it mean?
Well let me paint for you the scene;

For love came down at Christmas time
To this I pen a gentle rhyme.

I know that Scrooge was lean and mean,
Counted every single bean.

But visitations from the past
Meant that he would learn at last

That stinginess was no way cool,
No joy at all in being cruel.

Life is not there to be destroyed, 
It is given to be enjoyed.

At Christmas we should not be stressed,
But let us remember the dispossessed,

And hope for all, what Scrooge discovers,
To open our hearts to the pain of others.

 

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NOTE:   The expression “What the dickens?” does not have any connection with Charles Dickens.  It pre-dates him by at least two centuries and was in fact used by Shakespeare in his “Merry Wives of Windsor”, ( Act III, Scene II ) where ‘dickens’ is used as a euphemism for ‘the devil’ . . . “I cannot tell what the dickens his name is”. 
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In Resignation – A QUATERN

My attempt at  … A QUATERN

Definition … 

A Quatern is a sixteen line French form composed of four quatrains. It is similar to the Kyrielle and the Retourne. It has a refrain that is in a different place in each quatrain. The first line of stanza one is the second line of stanza two, third line of stanza three, and fourth line of stanza four. A quatern has eight syllables per line. It does not have to be iambic or follow a set rhyme scheme. 

Ocean Waves

”Ocean Waves’ … Pen & Wash – WHB . May 2017

‘In Resignation’

I wish the tide to swallow me whole
As though a thief had from me stole
My life, but then in guilt forgone
His gains, paused, and then moved on.

I’ve had enough of body and soul
I wish the tide to swallow me whole
For now I see, I realise,
Life is too short to compromise.

Decisions hurt but must be made,
And so, before my debts are paid
I wish the tide to swallow me whole;
I’m ready now, I’ve  lost  control.

No longer can I bear the pain,
Resigned to never feel again,
Towards the waves I edge my stroll
I wish the tide to swallow me whole.

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The Seashore’ … Pen &  Wash – Photoshopped  with edge effect … WHB – April 2017

“YOU HAVE A VISITOR”

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Winter Trees 1 – WHB … 1988

YOU HAVE A VISITOR

 

“You have a visitor”

 “… Have I ? …”

 Hello!  How are you?”

Me?
To see me.
Who?
I know him . . .
Not …? … I think so
You?
Who are you?
Do I know you?
Should I know you?

“… Oh … Yes … Hello! …” 

Familiar …
and he knows
who I am.
 … Who I am
… Who am I?

‘I’m not at home, you know.’

Not at my home.
In a Home
On my own.
At home.

“Are you happy here?’

I used to know,
I think,
what happiness was …
Now? …
It’s not important
… Is it?

“ … Yes …”

Nod …
Shake my head.  

“Do they feed you well?”

Do they?
Sometimes …
I think

“… Yes …”

“Isn’t the weather lovely?”

I like the sun.
When it shines.
… and the rain.
… Not the wind. 

“… Windy …
It’s very windy …”

“Do you sit outside sometimes?”

I think so.
I don’t know
It’s nice.

 “Yes . It is very windy”

“ … The leaves are moving …”

It’s not my day
It was my day
…  Once.
It’s not my day.
Yesterday was my day.
…  Once.
 When I was a child.
But I am a child.
Aren’t I?

“Do they provide entertainment for you?”

“… Sometimes …”

‘Are they looking after you?’

They help me.
She helps me
Who is she?
She wants to help me.
I don’t want help
But I need help
Don’t I?

When I’m wet
My chair’s wet
I need help
Take me away.
Let me be
Help me

“… Oh, Yes …
… The leaves are moving …”

“Oh, look, it’s tea time

My time
They’ll help me eat
Something else to do.
… To do something
To be me…

But not here.
I’m all right here
I’m happy here
… Am I?
For now …  Yes

 “… Is it ?…
… I do like tea …”

“… When can I go home?…”

“You are at home

 “. . . Am I? …”

 “I’ll come again  …  soon”

 “… Thank you”

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 Perhaps next week?

 We are not dead
Neither are we alive

Only react
Never initiate
Only react

 We …
mechanisms,
contraptions

Feel
But
No sense –
That’s nonsense

Only Pain brings relief
from not being alive

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Winter Trees 2 – WHB … 1988

 

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