Wednesday, April 16, 2014

what NoNseNse!

is for Nonsense verse

Nonsense verse is humorous or whimsical poetry that resists conventional interpretation, often using coined words and written targeting children.  Lewis Caroll and Edward Lear are two very famous names here.

No rules, just pure fun.  Here is my first with coined words:

With ten mune nolet that jarroped the vode,
gruddied and huggled the primist but plautwell.
For squish simmerlaked, the plaby grimode
henroaches of tristew locked paleud and crenel.
Revenhoe the barrush ludding bilode,
revenhoe the felish groudent psychelle.

And rho in nucket frippen teleclappode
dellinged slideways flaryn heave and foundel,
avit shipe gribbed colite by nematoad
theep was newit chumbler and charmelle.
Revenhoe the barrush ludding bilode,
revenhoe the felish groudent psychelle.

But if you prefer your nonsense rhymes to use regular language, here's another with everyday words:

lose every verse by reverse osmosis
nothing’s served hoarding lines no use at all
bend distort huddle and sort into bliss
shuffle and roll struggle-hold pencil scrawl

online offbeat ring side seat street and mall
filled to brim empty grim whittled gray ash
from ghost towns floats around your world is small
the cars are large tiny stars shiny trash

take it out and the mote don’t touch the lash
who said it’s dead? no you don’t scratch at backs
not polite try to write a bit less flash
go where you want! make sure you don’t leave the tracks!

whine and feud too subdued? just turn them up
rinse repeat drink then spit and stir the cup 

Posted for the A-Z Challenge.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

the saMe old but never Monotonous soMehow

is for Monorhyme

Monorhyme means “single-rhyme” (compare monochrome, monologue etc) and uses the same rhyme sound all through. It was a feature of ancient Arabic and Latin poetry.  It is also used in Welsh poetry.  Some of the pre-Islamic Arabic poetry called Qasida (praise poems eulogising a tribal bigwig or military commander) used a single rhyme for poems of a hundred lines or more.  Some poets hunh? kudos!

My attempt is more modest.  I'm sure the ancient Arab poets would have shuddered at enjambment (that’s one line spilling over to the next), and they would have followed strict rules of syllabic counts and beats etc, but I have chosen not to.  This is my version of the Arabic monorhyme, presented as couplets only for ease of reading.  I just don't like to read huge blocks of unrelieved text, especially if it's poetry.

A left-handed compliment for the Hibiscus

The hibiscus is my flower, forget the forget-me-not!
The tulip is way too frigid, and the rose blooms too hot,

the tuberose wishy-washy, very special old pale fusspot -
tries to pick perfume over looks ends up being caught

somewhere in between; okay, nice enough smell but nought
to look at. Some red-white carnations you brought

like crumpled business papers from the office, I thought.
The lotus is high-status, nothing lowly about its lot

except where it grows in the mud, totally overwrought
with its schedules of open and shut, nervy, narcissistic, shot

to pieces with its own importance in worship, and a spot
of symbolism, spare me all that forever. And don’t allot

a space in the vase for marigolds either, smell like dry rot
even at their cheerful best; the sunflower’s more of a sunspot

if looked at closely, they have the darkest hearts, so what
if the rest is bright? The orchid’s too showy, the jasmine a dot,

the lantana much too small.  Surely no-one ought
to have flowers forced on them. Even tied in a love knot.

The sweet pea is so not me, is that what you’ve got?
The hibiscus is my flower, don’t tell me you coolly forgot!

Halfway through already, my god!  Have managed to keep to the schedule of both posting and reading targets, so far so good. Discovered some new blogs and generally having fun.   

Posted for the A-Z Challenge.

Monday, April 14, 2014

comicaL or Lewd, either wiLL do

is for Limerick

The limerick is often comical, nonsensical and/or lewd.  It follows a five line rhyme scheme aabba, often used in children’s poetry and in parody. Puns and wordplay are common, and coined words are used in some cases for comic effect.  Mother Goose Rhymes and Edward Lear’s are very well known examples, though Lear preferred the term nonsense verse to limerick.  

The verse form follows strict syllable counts and a metre known as anapestic, which I won’t bother you with.  A rigid pattern of two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed one (da da DUM).  Enough said.

If you want your poem limericked
two neat rhyming lines must be picked
and then you make do
with shorter lines two
and the last wraps it up anapesticked.


Some amount of weird and whacky play
this form allows, now don’t run away
thinking it’ll get lewd
must be fam'ly-friendly, dude!
and double entendre’s fine, but not risqué.


The pot called the ancient kettle black
and preened its slim, round self on the rack;
the kettle replied, stung -
at least I am well hung
and my front is quite distinct from my back.

As usual, I am not sure whether I have got the anapestiferous stuff right, but there they are. My limericks. Hope you enjoyed them. Read some more limericks over here and also here. 

Posted for the A-Z Challenge.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

easier than the haiKu

is for Kelly Lune

The Kelly Lune was created by American poet - Robert Kelly, an English language adaptation of the Japanese haiku.  It is therefore also known as American haiku.  A simple form with the structure 5-3-5 syllabic counts, it does not have the constraints of the traditional haiku, no “cuts” no season words, rhymes or not as the poet pleases.  Incorporating any other poetic device is fine too.

Here is my Kelly Lune -

Her eyes burdened with
thick lashes
and whip-thin, sharp grief.

She smiles in her sleep
her eyelids
tremble in some dream.

An easy form to write to.  You can read more about Kelly Lune (and its variations) here.

Posted for the A-Z Challenge.

Friday, April 11, 2014

mostly Jolly

is for Jingle

A jingle is a simple repetitious rhyme sound; a catchy musical verse, often used in advertisements.  It is a piece of light singsong poetry.  It is also much used in parody.  Here's mine:

Blood is mostly red
poisoned it turns blue
I hear someone called RaGa
has this blue blood too
don’t know if they’re toxic
tell me if you do.

Posted for the A-Z Challenge.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

commIt thIs to memory

is for Interlocking

Poetry has existed long before widespread literacy and even writing, the earliest poems were chanted rather than read off pages and screens, in fact rhymes themselves and poetry evolved from the need to commit things to memory.  So anything that helped memorisation along was welcome.  Interlocking is a technique that helps with that. 

The feast is ready call the guests
the groom is keen, the bride is dressed
her henna’s deep, her step is light
her love is large, her doubts suppressed.

Who tiptoes in from the dark night?
his face is masked, his pistols bright
the talk’s cut off, frozen midair
laughter abruptly clamped up tight.

The father calls out, “who goes there?”
The mother mumbles a quick prayer,
the groom’s suddenly pale and stressed
the wedding guests whisper and stare.

Can you spot the pattern? Interlocking is a rhyme carried over from a previous stanza to the next.  Technically, the rhyme scheme here is aaba bbcb ccac.  Here, the ‘light’ from the 1st is taken up and used as the main rhyme in the 2nd, and ‘midair’ from the 2nd used in the next one and so on.  The last stanza loops back to the rhyme of the 1st

Posted for the A-Z Challenge.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

like an epipHany

is for Haiku

The haiku is a traditional Japanese verse form, in the original it consists of 17 syllables distributed over three lines of 5-7-5 counts.   It consists of colourful imagery drawn from nature, pairs two different images with a break at the end of the first/second line, marked by a word that often depicted season or time.  Rhyme is not necessary.

These rules have got fuzzier as the form has been adapted and adopted into English.  Variations exist, but the 5-7-5 format is mostly unchanged.  The season word, the “turn” at the second line may or may not be dropped. 

The haiku should feel like it has captured one transient moment in nature. Like a mini epiphany come to the reader, to be read in one single breath.

Here is the one I wrote for this challenge:

Cold hard nickel coin
tossed in the blue hat in hand -
the foggy dawn’s broke.

Posted for the A-Z Challenge.