Stark Lights for Remembered Shadows

This is the one I submitted to my teacher (although I’m not completely happy with it either). It comes in two versions – the original:

Let lights be stark
To forthright
Shadows lie, squandered in the dark

Should all ye hark
at break of dawn, when faded is the light
Let lights be stark

The innocent remark,
For we who travel free of fright
Shadows lie squandered, in the dark.

When moonlight rises, a warning bark
Will tell all travellers to ‘ware of the bedevilled wight;
Let lights be stark

Should you embark
Upon a quest, always remember, and recite:
Shadows lie squandered in the dark.

So light the spark
For those fools who walk this Earth at night
Let lights be stark:
Shadows lie squandered in the dark.

And then the second version, in which I changed a couple of words – literally – to the last stanza at my dad’s behest. This makes the last stanza feel more like a turning point, I think. The revised stanza read:

So light the spark
For those few braves who dare to walk this Earth at night
Let lights be stark:
Shadows lie squandered in the dark.

P.S. Wight is a real word, albeit in Olde English. You can look it up if you like :)

A Villanelle About Beef Stew

I was hungry, okay?? It was late at night, and I was trying to write a villanelle, and I was hungry and looking at rhyming words for you, and I came across beef stew, and then I had the sudden urge to figure out what the difference between soup and broth and stew was, and then I decided after looking at an image of beef stew on google, that I would incorporate it somehow into my villanelle.

In the end, I didn’t even use ‘you’…still, I like this villanelle much better than my first one.

Your anger is a bit like beef stew
Chunky hunks of anger that you chew on deliberately
Chopped-potato-feelings that you sardonically, constantly review

Carrot slices of resentment crop up sometimes, long overdue,
Adorned with spicy regretful filigree
Oh yes, I’d say your anger is a bit like beef stew;

Sharp with wrenched out scents that rang true
As you roughened your throat indignantly
with chopped-potato-feelings that you sardonically, constantly review.

A simmering broth of emotions that you keep close in lieu
Of releasing like the scented herbs, stirred viciously
Together, (y) our anger is a bit like beef stew

Full of garnishes to stew
over, replete with mistakenly
chopped-potato-feelings that you sardonically, constantly review.

Sometime I will learn to
revel in it more palpably:
Your anger is a bit like beef stew;
Chopped-potato-feelings that you sardonically, constantly review.

It’s A Villanelle (About Fred)

And I remember Fred
- In the dying of the night -
because he’s dead.

A girl walks past with small steps, beloved,
With starlight
Reflected in her eyes, and I remember Fred;

I remember how he had often fled -
no shining armour for this reclusive knight,
And I wonder if I see him in this way only because he’s dead.

The laugh lines lie around my eyes; my face looks like crumpled lead
because warped window-corner fragmented shatter-sight
is not conducive for self-reflection, and I remember Fred.

The rain stills to a light drizzle and up ahead
I see him standing in the greyish pre-dawn light.
Except he isn’t any more; because he’s dead.

Turning over in my bed
I see a shadow and scream in fright,
And I remember Fred;
because he’s dead.

For English, we had to write villanelles – a very rigid form of rhyming poetry. This was my first attempt – at the beginning I had written ‘him’, and then forgotten that the third and first lines had to rhyme, thus the name Fred. Also, it’s still kind of cheating because I’ve added to the repeating lines – they are meant to remain unchanged.

The most difficult part is to find a decent rhyming couplet. This one wasn’t. Also that because things have to rhyme, the poem doesn’t sound like a natural grouping of words; rather, “this has to rhyme and make a decent amount of sense, what can I do?” (Therefore, this attempt’s awful)

L Plates

They sit on the desk,
They sit half covered in paper, a wallet, an opened envelope and a black rubber piping end.
They are garish in colour, and they do not belong but
There they will – stay -
Until the time comes and I pick up the keys
And get into the car, and twist on the engine and hear those dangerous wheels scritch-rough-brace on the concrete under my weight and the weight of the metal,
The dense, solid metal that may one day cause pain
or form the perfect crumple zone that will save my life,
And I know that when I stop feeling crippling guilt,
Of sustainability quarrels and the rights I should have,

I will get into that car,
and begin to drive.

Let Them Not Be Forgot

Rubber shaving are collected in plastic bags

Grey, rolled slithers of lead and words and

Birds in flight over skies of bleached white, lined

with blue traffic indicators of where to go -

Suggestions that have been ignored -

Implications forgotten, flight path replete with defiance and scrawls;

Scrawls of expression and freedom and thoughts

That have been rubbed out.


They leave traces;

A crease in the landscape they inhabited momentarily

as they gripped clawed talons onto the edges and bent them to form

new shred-shapes and motion where once all was still;

Shadows of themselves, their being etched

Into place, into space; into the flattened depth of the page;

Dark smudges where they tried to escape

And were caught

And were bled

Bits of themselves that remain

In striken smears upon the white and in the fingerprints of theirs,

To Be Identified

you think to carry my heart?

i carry your heart with me

e.e. cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
My response:

you think to carry my heart?

You told me, my love, that you’d carry my heart (within mine,
you said, I carry your heart with me – I carry it in my heart, you said),
that whatever you do, and wherever you go so will I (and oh how you smiled,
with your smug little smirk, so pleased of yourself that
your dimples could burst) and that I was your moon’s meanings and your sun’s singing – that I lit up
your world, (I was beautiful and your world, a beautiful world with a secret;
a petal hidden from view within the petal of the flower
that grew under the tree of life) and you did not once stop to wonder (and who can but wonder,
for no soul and no hope and no mind can restrain) if I was not enclosed in your heart,
trapped by your loving embrace as you carried my loves in your own? And
You did not stop to ask whether I wished to act as a world, empty for you to fill up
with your creatures (your words and your grasp and your suffocation of light)
You kept the stars apart with your wonder of the moon’s
meaningless glow (which you attributed to me, and how could you
but know that I need not the moon, nor the sun’s songs to shine me as bright as my own)
whatever that meant to you, I do not know (I do not think, I do not grow)
Ever my heart was in yours, my love,
in chains and constrained by the size of your heart
whatever was done to me was only your doing (for you carry my heart with you -
you carry it within your heart)