Villanelle by Nancy Beauregard

A Tall Tale
 
I once caught a prehistoric fish
It had no meat on its ten foot bones
I’ll serve it up with ketchup, mayo, and relish
 
I found it swimming between some sedimentary rock
Honestly, I took pictures but then dropped my cell phone
I once caught a prehistoric fish
 
Old timers know how to use sweet talk
To coax it out of its ocean of stone
I’ll serve it up with ketchup, mayo, and relish
 
It’s not like casting off a dock
You have to croon to the beast in pleasant tones
I once caught a prehistoric fish
 
Now just don’t stand there and gawk
This would go very nicely with some cranberry scones
I’ll serve it up with ketchup, mayo, and relish
 
It really was stolen by a flying hawk!
There must be a way to make an identical clone
I once caught a prehistoric fish
I’ll serve it up with ketchup, mayo, and relish

Old Stager: A Villanelle by Rodney Williams

old stager

a villanelle

This grand old stager, he filled many a part
as lead or as a cameo of note,
yet he never quite learnt his own script by heart.

Hungry for life outside his own, from the start
cosmetics gave masks, costumers a coat:
this grand old stager, he filled many a part.

When a pup he was seen as a vain upstart –
reviews he’d recite, not afraid to gloat,
yet he never quite learnt his own script by heart.

In living many lives, he lived one apart –
passionate in role but in truth remote:
this grand old stager, he filled many a part.

To be tolerated now, a frail old fart
well past his peak – some were happy to note –
he had never quite learnt his own script by heart.

In old age less clear on what was real or art –
years since playing lover merely by rote –
this grand old stager had filled many a part,
yet he never quite learnt his own script by heart.

Rodney Williams
Australia

First published in Five Bells Vol. 13 No. 1, Summer 2006, Sydney, NSW
Republished in In this dusty rear-view mirror: 55 poems,
Ginninderra Press, Port Adelaide, SA, 2015

Equinox: A Villanelle By Annabella Farmer

Equinox

I poison me to live, and so I die
with every tiny fire I consume
I am tempted, and a temptress I

Eating pomegranates on the sly
Thanatos will be my nom de plume
I poison me to live, and so I die

If, by some immortal syncope
my sound and syllables are with me entombed
(I am tempted, and a temptress I)

and if, by some unquenchable esprit
I charm the devil- which to be my groom
I poison me to live, and so I die.

Demeter, surely, tended fields of Wry –
the devil-devil what, the devil- whom?
I am tempted, and a temptress I.

Feasting must connote a jubilee
regardless of the guise it may assume –
Poison me to live, and let me die
for I was tempted, and a temptress I

The Butt Crack: A Villanelle by Marguerite Kearns

THE BUTT CRACK

 
Thirty days at a nudist colony free.
The cover-up started with a large fig leaf.
A vacation or a sentence laid on me?
 
Pasties cover my nipples, no more to see.
My body feels as big as an ocean reef.
Thirty days at a nudist colony free.
 
I have everything planned if I got to pee.
And I’ll paint up a storm like Georgia O’Keeffe.
A vacation or a sentence laid on me?
 
The problem is my butt is no longer wee.
A feast for mosquitoes. A dish of roast beef.
Thirty days at a nudist colony free.
 
How to cover the butt crack, I say “Oh, gee.”
Spreading the duct tape is giving me much grief.
A vacation or a sentence laid on me?
 
Now with my outfit, I can go on a spree.
Feathers in my hair as if I am a chief.
Thirty days at a nudist colony free.
A vacation or a sentence laid on me?
 

Time to Villanelle

THE ADJUNCT’S VILLANELLE

You just come in and teach, then you can go,
she says, distracted by her tenure file.
I wish someone would tell my students so.

From there I leave to meet with one who’s slow
to understand the work. It takes a while
to teach him what he needs. Then, I can go.

Another texts: the fetus didn’t grow.
She’s on bed rest for weeks. Can I compile
the work she’ll miss? I can, and tell her so.

Two student emails wait: one’s in a show
and really wants me there. Good kid. I smile
and write back saying I’ll be thrilled to go.

The second wants a reference. Just say no,
I’m told. I could, but cannot reconcile
this with the student I remember. So,

the one whose mom died doesn’t need to know
my story, how I have to swallow bile
when I hear how I come, and teach, and go.
I don’t. I wish someone would tell them so.

—from Rattle #53, Fall 2016

Tribute to Adjuncts

__________
http://www.rattle.com/the-adjuncts-villanelle-by-anna-m-evans/

Monday Feature: Michaela Kahn Writes A Villanelle

–A Writing Exercise …

I was coming up with some writing exercises for a workshop this week and thought I would challenge myself to a few. For this exercise I used 2 things as a starting point. First the quote was an inspiration for the theme. And second I used a villanelle for my form (though without the rhyming). Five stanzas: four tercets and one quatrain at the end. The 1st and 3rd line of the 1st stanza are used alternately as ending lines of the next 4 stanzas, with those lines then used as the last two lines of the whole poem in the ending quatrain.

It comes at the strangest times …

“Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.” –Rainer Maria Rilke

It comes at the strangest times:
a shock, a scent, a dream that won’t
let go. There is nothing in your hands.

Last night the dogs chased you through
endless forest until at last you reached the sea.
It comes at the strangest times —

The knowing that what was hidden so carefully
is yourself. Tiny now, a seed, thistledown, the part
let go. There is nothing in your hands

to save you from the dog’s teeth and the sea
up to your knees. No escape but waking.
It comes at the strangest times.

In the car, a song reminds you of childhood.
Smell of lunchbox bologna, the day you sat alone and
let go. There is nothing in your hands

but a book, some dandelion petals.
Waking is harder than dying –
It comes as the strangest times.
Let go. There is nothing in your hands.

Sestina and Villanelle by Doug Bootes

Beyond Winter

In order to write a Haiku about spring
Confine the paradigm to real time,
Plum blossoms, cherries and a humming bird
Nectar feeding intent of a flower,
Will seventeen syllables make enough words
In a brain thinking volumes and books?

Kerouac wrote about girls toting books
In short skirts, on sunlit Spanish steps of spring
Using unpunctuated flowing perfect words
In a manner transcending time,
Blowing memories into a roadside flower,
Flitting from thought in the chest of a bird.

Be careful not to crush a trembling bird,
One in the pocket is better than two on the books.
And to capture a moment, a wild flower,
Blooming, running melody, bubbling spring
Into a dew drop golden web spinning time
Might be too many words.

I question the assumption, stumble on with words,
Drunk with the dance of a caged bird,
Pacing the immeasurable floor, marking time
With colored pins on maps and hidden note books;
For now, I am ready, ready to spring,
To capture the moment, to apprehend the essence of a flower.

So why write poems about a flower?
Why articulate thoughts into words?
Why not lie down in the snow blossom spring,
Live life as a song, learning how from any bird,
Experience now what’s been written in books,
For no one’s a hero but time.

Put away memory, put away time
Hold in your mind my holographic flower
Meditate briefly on these three stacks of books
Feed them to your soul slowly, forgetting the words.
Time is the cage, our self is the bird
Fly away in the fall, return in the spring.

Spring time,
Song bird serenades flower,
Words fill up with books.

***

Ghost Flower
I remember what we were, wonder why
Fragile rain sun tears, beads on the sill
Lingering scents, orchids under night sky

Floating in lost, unable to fly
Quiet and luminous, fragrant and still
I remember what we were, wonder why

Thrashing in lust, pretend not to die
Succulent, voluminous empty to fill
Lingering scents, orchids under night sky

Never is enough, grasping at the sky
Loving like credit, screwing like the bill
I remember what we were, wonder why

Pull then apart, scream not to cry
Stars shrivel, mercurial balls on the sill
Lingering scents, orchids under night sky

Laundered for future, laying tears out to dry
Glide over the moon, fly past it until
I remember what we were, wonder why
Lingering scents, orchids under night sky.