Posts Tagged ‘Paradise’

This poem is very close to my heart. It is written in a poetic form called Villanelle, a rather complex rarely used poetic format. Wikipedia describes it as follows:

A villanelle, also known as villanesque, is a nineteen-line poetic form consisting of five tercets followed by a quatrain. There are two refrains and two repeating rhymes, with the first and third line of the first tercet repeated alternately at the end of each subsequent stanza until the last stanza, which includes both repeated lines. The villanelle is an example of a fixed verse form. The word derives from Latin, then Italian, and is related to the initial subject of the form being the pastoral.

Dylan Thomas’ poem, “Do not go gentle into that good night,” also is written in that form.


My Darling Turns to Poetry at Night

My darling turns to poetry at night.
What began as flirtation, an aside
Between abstract expression and first light

Now finds form as a silent, startled flight
Of commas on her face — a breath, a word …
My darling turns to poetry at night.

When rain inspires the night birds to create
Rhyme and formal verse, stanzas can be made
Between abstract expression and first light.

Her heartbeat is a metaphor, a late
Bloom of red flowers that refuse to fade.
My darling turns to poetry at night.

I watch her turn. I do not sleep. I wait
For symbols, for a sign that fear has died
Between abstract expression and first light.

Her dreams have night vision, and in her sight
Our bodies leave ghostprints on the bed.
My darling turns to poetry at night
Between abstract expression and first light.

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Once upon a time, long long ago, there was a vast savannah on which only lions and gazelles lived. The gazelles ate the grass that grew on the savannah and the lions ate the gazelles when they could catch them.

Although the lions were endowed by nature with fierce teeth, claws, and strength, they generally only were able to catch the weak, aged, unwary or unlucky gazelles because nature, in order to maintain a balance on the savannah between predator and prey, made young healthy gazelles able to run faster than the lions and escape. Those gazelles that got away ate the grasses that grew on the savannah, mated and new gazelles were born. And so, they all, lions and gazelles, thrived among the savannah’s endless grasslands.

One day there was born into the pride, the biggest, the meanest, the fastest and the hungriest lion of them all. One who was able to catch, kill and eat any gazelle that lived on the plain, which of course eventually he did. And the Great Lion as he was called and all the members of the pride prospered until that day the Great Lion finally had caught and killed every gazelle living on the savannah and there was nothing left for any of the lions to eat.

So the Great Lion, still being hungry, began to kill and eat all the other lions until they too were all gone but one. As he was about to be dispatched by the Great Lion to be the Great Lion’s last meal, this next to last lion alive asked the Great Lion, “Why? You could have just eaten what you needed and we all could have and prospered forever. Why didn’t you?”

And the Great Lion looked at him with a smile and said, “My job was only to kill and to eat. I was just following my nature. It was your job, the job of you and all the other lions in the pride to make sure I did not run wild and destroy our grassy paradise.”

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