Prose Sonnet (an experiment)

can it still be called a sonnet if it lacks of fourteen lines, yet has one-hundred-forty syllables? And if the words fit within a prescribed rhyme scheme, so instead of counting lines, syllables were counted and then multiples of ten were all rhymed and broken into lines they amounted to Elizebethan form or they mimed the schemes of Petrarch or Spencer?

Can you call it a sonnet if it reads more like prose than poem, but it still adheres to a few of the rules? Is it a sonnet? Who knows!

Count my syllables, and after each ten, make a line break. Is it a sonnet then?

~~

The above is my experiment in what I would like to call a “prose sonnet”. My idea with this is to do with the sonnet what Allen Ginsberg did to the haiku with his “American Sentence”. If you do count the syllables in my piece, you will find (unless I miscounted), that syllables with a multiple of 10 are rhymed ABAB,CDCD,EFEF,GG as would be the case in an Elizebethan sonnet.

I’m posting this to dVerse, for Open Link Night. Please do go visit, and read the works of some rather fabulous poets!  (This also responds to Bjorn’s Tuesday prompt to write a poem in questions)

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Song of Fire – Part XI

One by one we bid each other goodbye.
There are the hugs given to friends who are
heading to the airport from where they’ll fly
to some resort. They never seem too far
away, as we know that they’ll soon be back.
Harder, though, are those final farewells, said
to loved ones who have stepped beyond the crack
that separates this world from the next. Red
eyed from grief, it might be tempting to think
we’d be better off if we didn’t bare
our souls to that most temporary link
called friendship, and yet, how sad not to dare!
for though each life like each flame one day ends
we’re richer for the time we’ve spent with friends

~~

for dVerse Open Link Night

The whole cycle, thus far, can be found if you click on the link for “The Elements – Sonnet Cycles” at the top of this page, and then select “fire”

Song of Fire – Part X

It was over a year ago that I posted part IX of this cycle, so if you need some context, click on “The Elements – Sonnet Cycles” at the top of this page, and then select “fire” (or select “water” if you would like to read a cycle that has actually been completed) .  Needless to say, this installment is drastically overdue.

~~

Around the circle a silence descends.
There’s a feeling, sensed by all, that soon
this joyous time celebrated with friends
must draw to a close. Someone strums a tune
softly on a guitar. A soothing song:
perhaps to the flames, or maybe to those
with whom you would now gladly carry on
(though strangers an hour ago). Who knows
why the fire works in this way: to draw
people together from stranger to friend?
Perhaps, though, this circle has its own flaw:
we are reluctant to let the time end.
And so, it is with a most heartfelt sigh
One by one we bid each other goodbye

~~

Sharing with dVerse for Open Link Night

Dotted Line

A border is a crossing/division/barrier
a dotted line on a map that says
this side/that side
a dotted line that says
trust/suspicion
truth/propoganda
mine/should be mine
a dotted line on a map that gives
an excuse for hate
a dotted line that says
war/war

~~

“Border” is the theme of the day over at dVerse

Psalm for Times of Peace

You are quiet
Your voice I hear not
And in silence I suffer
Longing to hear you once again

O why do you keep your lips pressed closed
When I am drowning in the quiet
And a word from you would be
Breath in my lungs to sustain me?

It is not so much your reticence that
Has doomed me to suffer this disquieting quiet
But my own foolishness
For when you have spoken I have not been keen to listen
Release me from this hostile peace
And I will open my ears to hear

~~

a free verse sonnet for dVerse

One Small Cog

“I’m merely a cog, one insignificant gear,” said Charles to his friend Robert at a dimly lit table in the corner of a small cafe. His voice, not much more than a whisper, was not meant to travel beyond the booth in which the two men sat, but travel it did. Not far, but just far enough to be heard by an older man at a booth nearby.

The older man rose slowly from his seat, a slight hunch to his shoulders betraying his age to any who might care to look. His hands and face wore the lines of years as well, but his eyes…if you only looked at his eyes you would think that you gazed upon a much younger man.

He took the five steps that it took to arrive at the table of the two younger men, and he pulled a card out of the pocket of his immaculate three-piece suit, presented it to Charles, and said, “If you would care to come to the address on the card, I have something to show you that you may find interesting.” Without another word, he walked to the front, placed some crisp clean bills on the counter, and walked out of the cafe.

The two young men exchanged a glance, and shrugged off the unusual experience before continuing the rest of their meal in silence, but the thought of the older man did not quite leave them alone.

A few pages of the calendar turned, though, before the two men broached the subject of the old man again. “Do you remember that old man?” asked Robert one day, and Charles only replied by putting his hand in his pocket, and pulling out a card. Only after placing the card carefully on the table did he speak, “I can’t stop thinking about him. What do you think he wanted to show us?”

“Should we go find out?” asked Robert, and with little more discussion, the two men found themselves on a journey they had never quite intended to take.

~~

At the end of their drive, they found themselves at a small and unremarkable building. A door, a small window,and little else. “What if he doesn’t remember us?” asked Charles as he lifted his hand to knock.

After knocking, they waited long enough that they were certain that no one would answer, and were just beginning to turn to walk back to their car when they heard the sound of the lock being turned.

The older man slowly opened the door, looked at his guests and smiled. “I’ve been expecting you, but I didn’t realize my humble shop would be quite so hard to find. Please, come in!”

Robert and Charles noticed immediately the sound of ticking. As they followed the old man, they saw the source of the sound: clocks of all sizes, too numerous to count, lined all of the walls, and when they arrived at the back room, they saw a table covered in gears, springs, pendulums, each laid out in a precise order. At the end of the bench was a clock that was nearly assembled, but had not yet been placed in its housing. “Come! Look!” The two men went and were amazed at the fine intricacies of the work in progress. Some gears were large, others were tiny.

The old man then said, “I once heard one of you say that you were ‘merely a cog, an insignificant gear’. Can you tell me, in this clock, which gear is the least significant?”

The two men stared intently at the already ticking time piece. After a lengthy inspection, they finally called the older man and pointed to the smallest gear that they could locate.

The old man then put on a pair of magnifying glasses, pulled a pair of tweezers from a drawer, and pulled the tiny great from the workings. Immediately, the clock stopped.

“You can see that that gear was more significant than it first appeared. Would you like to try a different one?”

Charles guessed that any gear removed would have the same result, regardless of the gear’s size.

“Correct!” replied the clock maker (for that is what the old man was). “We are all, indeed, ‘cogs’ or’gears’, but my friends, never make the mistake of thinking that any gear is insignificant.”

On my head…your helmet

My mind is prone to wander
my thoughts too often stray
to things I should not think upon
to thoughts that lead away

from thinking about pure things,
about the good and true
the praiseworthy, the excellent,
the thoughts that lead to you

Oh Lord I pray that on my head
your helmet you would place
the one that guards my wayward mind
with peace, with love, with grace

so that the things I do each day
will help me truly know
the depth and width of your great love
that my own love may grow

~~

Based on Philippians 4:8 and Ephesians 6:17