I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

31 December 2011

As the Year Ends

not knowing she is atheist
he sends up a prayer

through air and ether to heaven
for the girl across the water

who now must be dead or near
whose spirit felt close last night

as if she hovered to read
a poem I could not write

An sequence of attempted Crystalline couplets, submitted for (and the form explained at) dVerse FormForAll — Couplets for the New Year — but I am still caught in this present ending.


  1. Wonderful Rosemary. The crystallines are opaque here, aren't they - a sort of contradiction but not outright but like the chunlian each line holds with its counterpoint to elucidate, yet neither stands alone. Quite impressive. It must have been a difficult write; yet it reads impressively easily. Excellent write!

  2. Having just tried my hand at the form, I find these brilliant. I doff my hat to you!

  3. Thank you both for the praise!

    Yes, Gay, difficult emotionally. Your post on couplets gave me the way in and then it all fell into place. I think some of these are more contrast than — as you say — outright contradiction. I was using specific words as contrasts: atheist/prayer, air/water, dead (implying lifeless)/spirit (implying life), read/write. I'm glad you think it works!

  4. Oh dear, and I quite forgot the 17 syllables too!

  5. I like the poetry form and words. The first and last verses are specially lovely with contrasting images and thoughts ~

    Beautifully done ~

  6. These are just lovely--I read them more as a single poem--the first and last couplets especially moving I thought. K.

  7. Thank you both.

    Yes it's true that it is meant to read as a single poem, albeit comprised of couplets. Only the first could stand alone; the rest all follow on from each other.

  8. playful words.
    great take.

    Happy New Year.

  9. After reading your post explaining what lead up to this, I am moved beyond tears. This is very touching and beautiful.

  10. Thanks for the kind words.

    Taylor, I think all poetry is playing with words — even when the mood of a piece is sombre.

    Laurie, after reading what you say here, I have decided to add a link from the poem to that post; thanks again.

  11. Fabulous job with the couplets!

  12. i love the beginning. it's so true, people out there do not appreciate that there are individuals who see no use to prayer. and then they ask, can i say a prayer for you, you should come to the prayer meeting, and you look at them like you don't care, and they just don't get it...

  13. Mama Zen, I do like using couplets!

    zongrik, I think it's important to respect other people's views and wishes, and to realise that one could actually give offence by taking them for granted as you describe.

  14. nice couplets...i dunno that it matters if she was atheist...i hope it still is answered...smiles...happy new year!

  15. a prayer is a thought offered up to the heavens, anyone can do this really, terrific poem to learn from, in life and writing :)