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.

24 June 2017

Think Positive

The TV shows me Kenyans dying of drought.
Cattle become skeletal; babies droop.
On facebook people chirrup:  'Life works out.’

The parents of the babes don’t scream or shout.
They weep, but are resigned. Their shoulders stoop.
The TV shows them close up, dying of drought.

Calm commentators tell what it’s about.
I pour myself another bowl of soup.
On facebook people burble: ‘Life works out.’

The self-help gurus urge us, 'Banish doubt!'
I sign a petition, join a spiritual group.
The TV shows me Kenyans dying of drought.
On facebook, though, we know that life works out.

Prompted by dVerse: How to Write a Villanelle (I have written this one a little bit 'wrong'; let's call it a modified villanelle.)


  1. I liked this modification of the villanelle removing two stanzas. I have often suspected this form was too long. The theme of positive thinking while others are dying is a challenge to positive thinking although I don't know the alternative to positive thinking. I also liked the modification of the repeating lines. They are still similar enough to know these lines repeat the same idea. Very nice villanelle.

    1. Oh! (Laugh.) I have misread the instructions at this point, and was thinking this was the correct way to do it (and that other people were being very clever by adding stanzas). Oh well, I'll call it a modified villanelle; glad it works.

  2. The contrast between the real world and the glossy facebook likes is really strong here...

  3. You make the villanelle seem so effortless with this up to the minute topic - I like your moderations and the message is profoundly moving

  4. Life is tough in other parts of the world ~ I find it sad to read news these days ~

  5. This seems to me a very successful integration of form and content Rosemary

  6. Cleverly executed twist of form of reality as opposed to FB niceties. Brilliant thoughts Rosemary!


  7. That you delivered your message is what is important. It kinda works out. (The TV shows me poem suffers drought.)

  8. Yeah, reality differs and the contrast is heartbreaking. Sigh. Nicely crafted.

  9. What a sad reality we live in. I liked how you contrasted Facebook life with real life. I admit to experiencing a tinge of envy when I see some gorgeous postings in FB. And yet, there is the other side about people suffering and accepting what fate has dealt them. The image of parents watching their child suffer is painful (but perhaps something we all need to see to burst our indifference and such).

    Have a great week.


  10. Well, the modification of the form worked very well here. Real world problems, dilemnas, atrocitires, horrors, difficulties happen every where every day and we just glide through, chatting with our facebook friends. The numbness created by social media....