Pantoum: Leaving a Wake — a Poem

Much like on the water.  Leaving awake
a surface turmoil that stirred the deep.
Was it disorder purely for passion’s sake?
Emotion like waves crashing my heart’s keep.

A surface turmoil that stirred.  The deep-
rooted belief that faithful love would prevail.
Emotion, like waves, crashing.  My heart’s keep,
a false wall erected, destined to fail.

Rooted belief: that faithful love would prevail
caused me to assume a guise detached;
a false wall erected.  Destined to fail
(she was passing swiftly), I became attached.

Caused me to presume.  A guise, detached;
was it disorder?  Purely for passion’s sake
she was passing (swiftly I became attached)
much like on the water, leaving a wake.

* * *

So, Jilly is at the helm at dVerse Poets Pub for Meeting the Bar.  She’s raised the bar, bidding us to “…write a Form Poem that makes use of Repetitive Lines.”

Dandelions’ Rhymes — Colin/Charley


photo by Charley

Awake my soul into a dream
A dream of robins’ poetry
Whereon tickly fluff of dandelions rhymes
And in silken crepuscular rays the verses stream
I hear a heartbeat
Dripping warm dewdrops of mead
Into the wind
Into her melodies of angelic sweet

Awake my psyche to reality
Where robins’ song is days-end chant
Upon dandelions’ parachutes ride poets’ hearts
And in woolen shadowy rays our fancies see
A tell-tale heart throbs
Ripping acid moans from deep
Caught in a dream’s wind
Waking to bird song, imagined melody robs


This is my attempt at completing Colin’s amazing poem, “Vernal Flutter.”  He submitted this as a challenge half-poem in Jilly’s September Casting Bricks Challenge, and as a poem in dVerse Poets Pub, Meeting the Bar.  Tonight Björn is hosting, and he asks us to be metaphorical.  For those who can’t keep them straight, a simile is “like” or “as” a metaphor, but a metaphor is, like, not a simile.  (or something as that…)

Shine In – Frank/Charley


photo by Charley


Autumn changes focus on school schedules and condo movements, but now for our children, not for us. It’s the same with Spring. In between these events, like sunlight going through the leaves of trees, there is viewing the lake and parkways where trees can reach for the sun because the buildings are small enough for them to have a chance.


Winter’s focus for many means wind chill factor, snow removal, and washing salt from cars when the mercury rises.  The children – and adults – wrap in layers over layers; Autumn’s wool exchanged for Down and Thinsulate.  For children it means that most transient and renewable of playthings: Snow.  Our winters down here share the clearness of light and not much else.  Ours is the beautiful days filled with biking, walking by lake-sides, and picnics.  We spend many nights on our back balcony sky-watching.  Summer light is hot, yellow-white and withering no matter where you live.



For Jilly’s September Challenge of Casting Bricks, this is my completion of Frank Hubeny’s excellent Haibun called “Let the Light Shine In.”  I have written a second Haibun, trying not to stray too far from the original intent, voice and tone.

Frank’s words are first and in bold.

Renga – “Road of Ashes” Charley/Jilly


Jilly has taken up this crazy challenge!  I will update our ongoing collaboration through 10 couplets.  Stop by and see what insanity she & I cook up!  If you are interested in joining in, stop by the original post for On the Road of Ashes and let me know!  This is a part of the September Challenge of Casting Bricks; join us!  (plagiarized from Jilly’s blog almost verbatim)



I was on the way, on the way
and suddenly, precipitously, I wasn’t

I wasn’t
more than a shard of glass

reflecting the distant light
of “had been” back

grinding image of a bad roll

of aching bones
blow-for-luck wind, shot glass

tossed back
chaser of bitters, straight

from paradise found
to snake bats eyes by the fruit stand

I would sell it all
for a do-over

Reflecting back to what had been
I see the distant light, a shard

Flotsam of ashes
blown down the path

Renga Challenge: On the Road of Ashes*

On the Road of Ashes

Ivan Bilibin (from Pinterest)

I was on the way, on the way
and suddenly, precipitously, I wasn’t.

[Your couplet…]

[Repeat 5x]


Administration, Thoughts, Plots, Plans &tc:  (Which have been ‘borrowed’ directly from Qbit because I’m too lazy to reinvent this wheel! Addtionally, he gets credit for the title of this one.)

OK, I think this is a Renga of unstructured couplets for two people, but certainly fun if folks want to do one with more people, although then we’d probably want 20 couplets instead of 10.

I’m hoping that by keeping each writer to two lines, our push/pull on each other stays strong, but leaves enough room to develop a new idea, pivot, etc.

PLEASE SIGN UP IN THE COMMENTS BELOW, and we will work out logistics and kick off the working version in another post.

This is another attempt at a group Renga, part of Jilly’s September Casting Bricks Challenge.

* — “The road of ashes” was coined by Robert Bly

Continue to Carry On


Cultivating Hope – Project Heal


When it seems all hope is faded, gone,

We must make up our minds to carry on,

As heart beats ever steady as a drum,

As doting doe spurs on her newborn fawn.

For hope’s seeming fade may not be true;

It might be only sent to make you blue.

Your heart deserves cake, not just a crumb.

Hope doesn’t come from, but abides in you.


So this is my take on Jenna’s (revivedwriter) really cool challenge poem, called “Finish This Poem.”  This is part of Jilly’s September Casting Bricks Challenge.  Poets are posting half-poems, and other poets are taking a try at completing them.  The trick is to be yourself but not lose the tone, voice, and intent of the initiator.  Feeling brave?  Come give it a go!

Blue-Bottle Whistle… Stop!

Blue-bottle Fly

Baroque-Gothic — DeviantArt

drifting into the Vanguard
in ’61, Trane blows a blue-bottle
fly into my silken ear

a nightmare
pursues me
through the streets
allowing a taxi
to precipitate me
home where I have never been

the blue-bottle fly beats
on the window of my aching,
jazz-torn crux.  He wants

I let the blue-bottle fly slouch
in across the threshold
and watch him dance
around the swirling

Now he’s beating
on the window to get
out.  Where’s the swatter?


So this is my take on Jilly’s really cool challenge poem, called “Trane Blows.”  This is part of Jilly’s September Casting Bricks Challenge.  Poets are posting half-poems, and other poets are taking a try at completing them.  The trick is to be yourself but not lose the tone, voice, and intent of the initiator.  Feeling brave?  Come give it a go!

Minstrel — Casting Bricks Challenge

Frans Hals/ Der Lautenspieler/ um 1625 - Frans Hals, The Lute player - Hals, Frans l'Ancien


“The minstrel in the gallery / Looked down
upon the smiling faces.” – Ian Anderson


I am but a minstrel, a singer of songs.
A righter of wrongs.
And I sing to make my mistress happy.
And I sing to bring her peace.

When my voice and my lute
do not suffice,
I unsheathe my sword
And I become….


This is written and submitted as part of Jilly’s September Casting Bricks Challenge.  There is no discernible form; but it leans toward a faux-Madrigal (in case there are any Madrigal experts lurking nearby).  If need be… channel Jethro himself… or listen to Traffic’s John Barleycorn Must Die (the song).

Sestina — Lemonade Life

L. Burton — devious as she is — posted a half-sestina as her challenge piece for Jilly’s August Casting Bricks Challenge.  Not that I’m not up to the task….



Sometimes those lemons that are squeezed from life
can leave a sour taste in the mouths of children
and adulthood thrusts upon them less time
than they had before to play and dream.
What they wouldn’t give for some special words
to carry with them, to hold and treasure.

Like the attic trunk overflowing with treasure
immeasurable memories before life
became chaos, before silence was words
before the steely grip of a child’s
nightmares tangled with hopeful dreams,
tripping along with the angry flow of time.

Resilient are they, and know in time
the importance of what’s to be treasured;
tap dance on the devil’s schemes, dreaming
on pale blue skies, contemplating life
as only the wonder of a child
can bring.  Chalk-dust scribble all the words.

When mystery meets meaning, say the words,
the ones that had been trapped in time.
Amber-bound fossils.  Children
who once upon a time were.  Treasure
every coo-coo-clock crisp of life.
Treat life not so lightly, but dream

of playground chaos.  Dream
those now nearly sacred words:
Hopscotch, Jump Rope.  Before life
intruded, adulthood stole golden time.
It is chalked memories we treasure.
Remember what it was like to be children?

So much leaves a sour taste, children!
So long since we could play and dream.
Dreams we carry, hold and treasure.
What we wouldn’t give for some healing words!
Adulthood has thrust upon us, taking time
to deliver lemon upon lemon – a lemonade life.

Why are children infected with life?
Why do our dream bubbles empty with time?
We search for lost treasure, gaining only words.


Day Off

IMG_2967 (2)

photo by Charley

Our days of release
are uninspiring,
dusty cotton gray.

I recline half conscious,
murmur my desire:
describe without descriptors
the roll of the pond,
the nod of the trees.


This is my half-poem challenge for Jilly’s August Casting Bricks Challenge.  To participate, find the link on the right-hand side of Jilly’s home page and read the directions.  All are welcome!