Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Tale of Love and Woe: Act IX - The Revealing & Act X - The End

Act IX - The Revealing

It happened quite some time ago
when dragons roamed the land
and princesses fought not for love
nor with a sword in hand

What should have been a quiet loss,
a victory of sorts,
for both our princess and young knight
instead brings shameful snorts.

Our princess reaches for her love,
but meets his hurt-filled eyes.
With sinking heart she feels his pain
at her deceit and lies.

She casts her eyes upon the king
to find his angry gaze;
On strength of will she rises up
and brushes off her daze.

Then turns her face as hard as stone
to meet her father's glare;
With shoulders back and head held high
her mission she does bare.

She speaks of love as poets do
and hearts that know no bounds.
Her words appear to weave a spell
along the battle grounds.

She fears the truth but says it still.
When all is said and done,
the crowd's loud cheers affirm her plea
and prove her heart she won.

Her father stands to silence all;
his stare still firm and gruff.
"You asked me once to let you choose;
my law, you did rebuff.

"But what you did not understand
is you were mine to shield.
Now here you stand before my eyes
with sword you sharply wield.

"My little girl has more than grown
beyond my wildest dreams.
She needs no one to keep her safe
except herself it seems.

"So darling dear I do concede
your wish I shall permit.
Your heart is yours and yours alone
to give as you see fit."

As joy does swell beneath her breast
she searches out her knight
to find his sword upon the ground
and him nowhere in sight.

And still goes on our tale of love
in shadows filled with woe
our princess finds herself alone
as doubt begins to grow.

Act X - The End

I thought to tell a tale of love
but truth should not dismiss
this tale I spoke did hold much woe
for hearts that found true bliss

It happened quite some time ago
when dragons roamed the land
where knight and princess had their place
perchance with hand in hand

Our princess lost and broken finds
her knight at light's last gleam 
where love had first took hold of them 
what now seems just a dream 

The silence stretches out as thick 
as night's embrace of light 
and just as fear begins to wrap 
its claws around her tight 

our princess feels the gentle brush 
of fingers 'cross her own 
which spans the chasm in between 
so each feels less alone 

soon hope unfolds as if a bloom 
dispelling her despair 
her gaze alights upon his face 
the distant stare still there 

and just as words begin to form
he turns and rests his eyes 
where pain and love wage war within 
on her and all her lies 

"I don't know where we go from here;
if all this was a joke.
I'm torn between my foolish pride 
and words of love you spoke.

"My heart can see the truth of us,
but I - I need some time 
to wrap my mind around this all.
(*sigh*) Can you afford me time?" 

With that the bells do tole the end 
of day's forgiving sun
she nods uncertain what to say
the healing has begun

Alas we see our lovers there
their hearts still marred and frail
what shall become of their sweet love
(hmmm) in time they shall prevail

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Tale of Love and Woe: Act VII - The Decision & Act VIII - The Bout

Act VII – The Decision

It happened quite some time ago
when dragons roamed the land
where chivalry was in the heart
and valor close at hand

we find our princess with her knight
her heavy heart so frail
for should she share with him her ploy
their love might still prevail

to tell him now might save his pride
and help her win her cause
but fear does bind her words within
this angst does give her pause

she looks into her sweet’s kind gaze
and finds her heart set free
so swept away by all she feels
she says to him, “let’s flee!”

his grin does speak the truth she knows
the two of them hold dear
to run away would not be right
their honor they would smear

he takes her hands in both of his
her gaze he does demand
to let her know all will be fine
their love shall guide his hand

she pulls him in to her embrace
and preys he’ll understand
her heart is his but hers to give
she must proceed as planned

At last with her decision made
she’ll fight with all her will
and let the chips fall where they may
and prey her love be still

And so moves forth our tale of love
in shadows filled with woe
our princess knows what she will do
yet fears she’ll loose her beau

Act VIII – The Bout

It happened quite some time ago
when dragons roamed the land
where men were measured by the sword
and swiftness of their hand

the time has fin’ly come to pass
for our two loves to meet
no longer in their secret place
upon their garden seat

instead they strut the battlegrounds
two men for all to see
and bow to king and princess dear
but wait, how can that be

the princess in two spots at once
not possible you say
(hmmm) but ‘tis our lady’s maid who stands
as princess on display

‘tis with a cry the king declares
“the victor here within
will wed my daughter as proclaimed.
now let the bout begin!”

(ahhh) but to describe the artistry
with which our two loves sparred
their courtly dance with clashing swords
no one could disregard

oh what a match these two do make
both on and off the field
they fight with every breath they have
and still they do not yield

yet like all things that come to pass
this bout must find an end
for with a trick he stole from her
our young knight does descend

and with this final move he makes
her helmet goes astray
revealing who she really is
to everyone’s dismay

And thus moves on our tale of love
in shadows filled with woe
our knight now knows of love’s deceit
his princess is his foe

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Tale of Love and Woe: Act V - The Uncertainty & Act VI - The Tournament

Act V - The Uncertainty

It happened quite some time ago
when dragons roamed the land
and princesses wed not for love
for kings gave 'way their hands

our princess finds herself engrossed
from secret rendezvous
to bouts upon the practice yard
her world is all askew

while soon the tournament will come
and test her strength of will
she dwells not on what choice she'll make
nor blood she'll have to spill

instead she dreams her heart away
and hopes their love is strong
for should she have to face her knight
she fears she'll do him wrong

so onward goes our tale of love
in shadows filled with woe
our princess still knows not her will
nor how she'll face this foe

Act VI - The Tournament

It happened quite some time ago
when dragons roamed the land
where tournaments were common place
and fought with sword in hand

we find our knight with new resolve
his loss is in the past
he's ready now to take all down
to hold his love at last

with heart so pure he knows he'll win
yet still he'll face that one
who stole his pride and marred his heart
(hmmm) a rematch might be fun

And thus the tournament begins
divided into rounds
that will encompass four long days
upon the battlegrounds

our knight gains marks with every bout
and by the second night
a favorite he has become
to everyone's delight

he's careful not to let his wins
go straight up to his head
he keeps his eyes upon the prize
his sweet he hopes to wed

each blow he strikes he does for love
as fear begins to swell
for anxiously he notices
his foe moves forth as well

so thus goes on our tale of love
in shadows filled with woe
our knight moves to the final bout
to face--once more--his foe

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Tale of Love and Woe: Act III - The Meeting & Act IV - The Dilemma

Act III – The Meeting

It happened quite some time ago
when dragons roamed the land
where knight and princess had their place
but never hand in hand

Here was our young knight sad of heart
whose world was crashing down
with spirit crushed he finds himself
just wondering around

He found himself a garden bench
and sat awhile to stew
there skimming pebbles in the pond
he pondered what to do

So lost in thought he almost missed
a beauty pure as light
he raised his head to meet her gaze
and felt his heart take flight

Here came our princess heart in hand
to sit beside our knight
she wished to take away his pain
which she’d caused with her plight

An’ talk they did for quite some time
until the hurt was gone
then talk some more ‘til darkness set
when evening light did dawn

Alas they had to bid farewell
so with hearts open wide
they promised they’d soon meet again
somewhere they’d not be spied

And thus goes forth our tale of love
in shadows filled with woe
our princess holds a secret still
which might destroy her beau

Act IV - The Dilemma

It happened quite some time ago
when dragons roamed the land
and kings did marry daughters off
to gain an upper hand

There came the mighty king’s decree
which spread throughout the land
a marriage soon would be announced
upon the king’s demand

the princess wished to choose her mate
and wed her heart’s true dream
our king did not agree with this
he had a different scheme

for knights and princes from all lands
would travel far and wide
competing in a tournament
to win themselves a bride

our princess is appalled by this
and wants to show them all
her heart is hers and hers alone
how dare they have such gall

to force her hand in such a way
her wrath shall not be swift
this tournament is hers to win
as is her heart to gift

but suddenly she is quite torn
by forfeiting the win
her sweet young knight could claim the prize
but losing seems a sin

And thus moves forth our tale of love
in shadows filled with woe
our princess has a choice to make
that might cost her her beau

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Tale of Love and Woe: Act I - The Knight & Act II - The Princess

Act I - The Knight

I thought to tell a tale of woe
but truth wish not to bend
and so instead I speak of love
with hearts that had to mend

It happened quite some time ago
when dragons roamed the land
and knights wore armor made of gold
with silver swords in hand

There came a young knight brave and strong
whose skill no one could match
with bow or sword it mattered not
he never felt a scratch

he parried every thrust he met
until opponents wept
with tears of sheer exhaustion spent
defeat they did accept

Then came the day that struck a blow
to heart as well as skin
a new opponent he did face
who took him for the win

And thus begins our tale of love
in shadows filled with woe
this poor young knight with broken heart
has met more than a foe

Act II - The Princess

It happened quite some time ago
when dragons roamed the land
and princesses were lady-like
in gowns with fans in hand

There was a princess strong of will
whose gowns were laced with jewels
she wished to wield a mighty sword
regardless of the rules

she begged the king to change the law
but he refused to sway
and so there was no choice for her
but find another way

A plan she did at last conceive
a simple plan it seemed
to dress the part in clothes of men
as only she had dreamed

Upon the practice yard she went
to see what she could glean
yet every mighty thrust did show
a skill no one had seen

she made her way all through the ranks
and never missed a beat
'til finally she lost her heart
and almost saw defeat

rebound she did and just in time
to meet his heavy blow
she spun around and struck him true
with her lost heart in tow

And so on goes our tale of love
in shadows filled with woe
our princess wields her sword with force
and make herself a foe

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Tale of Love and Woe (Revived)

Approximately a month and a half ago, I began a series here called A Tale of Love & Woe - Lovers' Song.  To date there are five pieces in this collection.  But this collection, as mentioned in the first post, is a spin off of a ballad I wrote (what seems like) forever ago.  What started off as a simple exploration of the ballad form turned into ten separate acts; the first posted February 2, 2011 and the final one posted June 13, 2011.  It was a painstaking write for me (being fond of neither strict meter or rhyme).  In the end, I admit I was so exhausted of the form that the last act was really a farce.  I have provided it below to prove how pathetic an ending it turned out to be.

The worst part about the ending is that it implied there was another tale to be told.  If I had a hard enough time making it through this tale, was there really ever going to be a continuation.  (No would be the answer to this rhetorical question.)  In my head (or maybe more my heart), I knew that I would inevitably return to this final act and give it justice.  So, approximately 33 months later, after having written my first five spin-off pieces, I decided it was time to revive this tale and give it its due.  (It has taken me almost a month to write this and, to be quite honest, I am still putting the finishing touches on it.)

That being said, over the next five days (not including today), I will be posting the ballad, A Tale of Love and Woe, (two acts per day) with a more satisfying ending.

A Tale of Love and Woe:  Act X - The End

I thought to tell a tale of love
but truth should not dismiss
this tale I spoke did hold much woe
for hearts that found true bliss

It happened quite some time ago
when dragons roamed the land
where knight and princess had their place
perchance with hand in hand

Alas we see our lovers there
their hearts still marred and frail
what shall become of their sweet love
(hmmm) that be another tale

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Meant to Be

to steal 
my heart shall not 
be such an easy task 
it's locked behind an iron door 
and guarded by ferocious starving fear 
 intent on twistings breathless sighs 
around until I hear 
the truth as lies 
quite real 
this love of mine 
will fight and strive 
against the demons that hide 
inside of you my precious sweet 
my words will find a way to ring as true 
I know my touch can set you free 
there's no denying us 
your heart I will 

A note on form: I continue today with another verse written in a form inspired by dVerse Poets Pub prompt to invent a new form or variation on a form. The form above was developed by Gay Reiser Cannon (who actually created the prompt to start with). She has dubbed it by two names, "Falling Diamonds" and "Quarrel."
"It is composed of a series of lines beginning with one line of one iambic foot, then two, three, four, five, four, three, two iambic feet and then again one iambic foot where the one foot lines must rhyme. Basically then the form is blank verse that is shaped in diamonds or triangles with one sustaining middle rhyme. You may choose to add either internal or end rhymes as well but the only requirement is for the one foot lines to rhyme. Hyphenating end words is prohibited. A minimum of two diamonds should be made." (Cannon, 2014)
As I have mentioned in the past iambic feet, or meter in general, is not really my cup of tea. Maybe that is why I stopped at two diamonds instead of continuing on. What I did try to do, reading Gay's note on writing the piece where each diamond is a different view point, was try to write this as though two different people are speaking. In addition, I made it so that the single foot in the middle could be read with either piece indepentently of the other...linking them.

On creating in form: It is not alwasys easy to follow through with an idea in a given form, whether that be becasue the heart is not in it or it just doesn't flow quite as easily as hoped. Anyway, I had three (well almost three) half diamonds started prior to this piece. I don't know if it was the given-and-take I was trying to accomplish that I couldn't wrap myself around or the meter. Either way they found themselves scribbles in my notebook...

Saturday, April 12, 2014


A note on form:  Recently over at dVerse Poets Pub, poets we're asked to through their hat in the ring for inventing a poetic form.  There were a lot of interesting ones presented.  So, I figured I'd try to give some of them a go.  This was created for those with short attention spans.  Sparked from the mind of Brian Miller comes the form he has dubbed tenWord.

On whittling down:  One might think ten words should be easy to put together, but...well they'd be wrong, at least for me.  This started as "every breath is a labor of love; I wish was for me." (12 words)  Then I managed, "every breath is a labor of love, just not for me." (11 words)  Getting closer. It actually took me way too long to realize a contraction would get me to the final count of ten.

About the image:  The photo was taken by me.  The original rose was a deep pink.  I used an app called Aviary to edit to what you see above (minus the words).  As to the words...which have a magnetic poetry feel...they were added using an app called Poetics.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tendency Toward the Complicated

On creating poetic forms:  In late 2010, I came across my first poetry challenge to invent/create a new form; I only truly began to explore form in mid 2010.  While a self-proclaimed free verse writer, I did come to notice that (the logical left side of my brain which dominates most of my day) liked to design pieces with structure.  And so I looked back at some of my writing until I unearthed a particular piece that I thought I could model a new form after.  Thus was born the Triquest (and approximately 3-5 variations on it...I have a tendency to overdue). 

By happenstance (I really just wanted to use the word happenstance), three months later I wrote a piece using one of my favorite poetic devices (repetition)...and then another and then another until I finally deemed it needed its own name (which I eventually changed).  I ended up settling on Nota as the name, though if you were to see its construction, one might think d'vile-nota might be a better name.  But I really was not 100% content with this because it was a 14-line poem, which made it feel too sonnet-ee for me (and I, forgive me, don't like writing sonnets...the whole meter and rhyme thing was never my forte...thus free verse).  And so in January of 2013 the Expanded Nota was formed. 

What I have learned in the process about me is that I am insane.  No seriously.  Recently, over at dVerse Poets Pub, a prompt was given (DIY) that asked the community to invent their own form (or a variation of an existing form).  And let me tell you, there are some very creative people out there...even those who typically don't work with form or have yet to explore it...created some really nice forms.  Not that I should be surprised...poetry and creative do tend to go together.  But what I learned is that I have a definite tendency toward the complicated.

And so, instead of sharing the intricacies of either form, I am just going to share examples of each here.  (Though those curious and/or as insane as I can find the details on each form and additional examples from the links provided above.)  The poems presented here were the first of their kind.  (I did not include variations of the Triquest, because as I mentioned that would be an additional 4-ish pieces...far more than the attentions span of a TenWord-er.)

On a side note:  The triquest has a quinzaine feel to it, though I had yet to meet the quinzaine form prior to writing my first triquest.  The nota has a definite pantoum and/or villanelle feel to it.

I wish for somebody (Triquest)

i wish for...
someone who can see me...
someone who can help me see me...
is that too much to ask?
how long do I have to wait?
is that someone even out there?

i wish for...
someone who will hold me...
someone whose embrace can ease the pain...
am i asking for a fantasy?
can i hope to find him soon?
does he even exist?

i wish for...
someone who will open himself up to me...
someone who can help me to open up...
is that more than i should want?
might he be in my near future?
is that someone real?

i wish for someone...
who will help me feel whole...
someone who will help me feel. 

Infinitely Delayed (Nota)

i can't afford to take this risky trip
deep within the recesses of my mind;
where sanity hangs on by just a thread
and the Fates' scissors do threaten to snip.

i can't contend with the fear that does bind--
paralyzing me from taking this flight
deep within the recesses of my mind.

my sanity hangs on by just a thread
and my tour guides are far from a delight.
how can i not fear what lay up ahead?

while the Fates' scissors threaten to snip,
how do i contend with the fears that bind--
when i do not know what lies up ahead?
i cannot chance taking this risky trip.

Embodying Her (Embracing Myself) (Expanded Nota)

she wades through my dreams just out of reach--
a dancer in the shadows of my grief.
I'm not sure how long she'll wait there for me
to realize the beauty I possess
while I struggle with a heart I can't breach.

Every once and again I catch a brief
glimpse of the person I'm supposed to be;
she dances in the shadows of my grief

bound to the darkness--longing to break free.
I wonder how long she'll wait there for me?
Full of pure love, she implores me to see

the amazing beauty that I possess--
dares me to embrace all that I should be
if I banish fear to love's sweet caress.

As I struggle with this heart I can't breach,
every once and again I feel a brief
ray of hope knowing she waits there for me.
Still I fear I'll never feel love's caress
for she wades through my dreams out of reach.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

6 Feet (One Way or the Other)

There are tiny treasures hidden within;
only I know the secrets they possess,
like the young girl kneeling in prayer reflects
an image of me time had to unearth.
I wonder what beauty they'll see herein.

If I never tell them, they'll never guess
why the virgin Mary rests on my chest;
only I know the secrets they possess.

Little pieces of me I've not confessed,
like the young girl painting toe nails reflects
confidence and moxie (all while undressed),

an image of me time could not unearth.
And what of the cross worn beside my breast;
will they understand how much it is worth?

I'm unsure they'll see the beauty herein
for if I do not tell, they'll never guess
how the young woman shedding tears reflects
my feelings behind how much I am worth.
There are tiny treasures hidden within.

Inspiration for this piece:  Over at dVerse Poets Pub, the Poetics prompt is about Looking for Treasures.  It is amazing all the things that come to mind that hold meaning and memories.  I'd be able to settle on something to write to.  After reading several different responses from the amazing talents that had already begun to link up yesterday, I got to thinking.  What happens to all those treasures in the end?  Will someone else find meaning them?  Will they know the meaning that they held?  Will they take on a new meaning?  So many questions running through my head that it lead to the piece above.  Hidden within this piece are five different treasures I have held on to over the years.  Some from the day I was born others from college and then adulthood.  Below is an image of each with, I'm sure you'll be able to locate each within their given stanza.

An aside:  Even as I wrote the first line, I felt the double meaning it held.  There is definitely a lot more hidden in this poem than meets the eye.

A note on form:  I'll be sharing more on that probably tomorrow or Friday.  I'm certain you are sitting on the edge of your seat in anticipation.

A bit on editing and while driving:  Okay, so I originally wrote this last night when I could not fall asleep; stayed up quite late...initially saying I'd stop after the first stanza and laying out the repetition, but that did not happen.  As for when I typed it up, well let's just say that today was a very rough day emotionally and so still the error eluded me.  It was not until my drive home (where I typically do my best thinking) that I realized it wasn't Mary Magdalene; the pendent was of the Immaculate Conception and thus of the Virgin Mary.  Lucky me the syllable count matched and thus the change for any who may have read the original.  It also dawned on me as I drove home, which is either a reflection on my state of mind since last night or true to the fact that I do my best thinking while driving, this piece has a very prevelent (unitentional) religious association.  I wonder if that is my subconscience's way of telling me something.  hmm...

This young girl use to hang above my bed whan I was a little girl.
She still resides close to me during the evenings slumber.

She was a fixture in the upstairs hall bathroom as I grew up.
I stole her when I got my own place and she now hangs in my bathroom.

I got her when I went away to college.
She still hangs on my wall.

I've had the cross since my Christening.
The pendant of the Immaculate Conception was found
among my grandfather's things; I don't know what it meant to him
for I had never met him, but it is something of him that I can hold on to.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Tale of Love (and Woe) – Lovers' Song #6

Knight #6

Princess #6

This series is a branch-off of a ten act ballad called A Tale of Love and Woe.

On a side note:  I recently sat down and started toying with the final act of A Tale of Love and Woe.  As I have previously admitted, by the time I got to act ten of this ballad I was quite exhausted of meter and rhyme; and so I short changed the final act.  Since, as the original leads you to believe, I have no intention of revisiting this story beyond what is already written, I thought it would be nice to write a true or at least better ending.  Hopefully, I'll iron out the kinks soon and share the tale in its entirety here.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


I sit stock-still
staring straight ahead
what would it be like
to transform my appearance
and blend completely into
my surroundings

1 (zzzip)... 2...
3 (zzzip)... 4...

what might if feel like
to be painted head to toe
that I am indistinguishable from
my background

5 (zzzip)... 6...
7 (zzzip)... 8...

It doesn't take long
to realize
I don't need to possess
such an ability
nor be painted
so perfectly

to disappear.

Inspiration for this piece:  So over at dVerse Poets Pub the exploration for MeetingTheBar is emotions.  The idea is to explore them in poetry without actually speaking directly of no saying happy or sad or mad or zanny.  So as I was staring off into space thinking about where I might take this, I truly did begin to wonder what it would be like to morph into my surroundings...I suppose it is indicative of my current mood, which hopefully most will be able to decipher from this piece.  (Interested to see how others attacked such an interesting prompt...check out the zanny talents of the dVerse community.)