Pocketfuls (Englyn Byr Cwca)

Why do we fill our pockets
with gravity: iron and lead and stone
Beyond man’s own limit?

Why not accept the pack
Stocked with food, clothes, supplies that sustain us:
Love, our quartermaster?


What is an Englyn Byr Cwca?

Champion (Italian Sonnet)

For Deanna

The dust runs trembling, escaping the horde:
Horizon-hiding, all-defying foes.
The drumbeat––marching feet––felt in my toes,
My heart long since migrated to the north.
My guts now water, my throat dry and sore:
Breath gasping, voice rasping, my blood runs cold.
What strength I had replaced by fear that grows,
Waiting for their champion to come forth.
Then, breaking ranks, my own hero appears:
Neither armed nor armored nor skilled in war
Instead armed and armored and skilled in love.
No keening war-cry cuts the air, but near,
Whispering courage in my ear before
The fear brings me to the dust, given up.


What is an Italian Sonnet?

Government (Terzanelle)

How do you feel when you hear there’s a king?
One who conquers the nations and who reigns
On high with happiness unwavering?

Do you clap your hands? Does your heart feel pangs
At the thought of a Sovereign like this?
One who conquers the nations and who reigns

Lives in eternal, unchanging bliss
And blesses His people with His love.
At the thought of a Sovereign like this

What melody gushes out, when hearing of
Authority with kindness, power that serves
And blesses His people with His love?

What response would such a king deserve?
We should behold in laughing wonder
Authority with kindness, power that serves,

Glory that eagerly soothes and thunders.
How do you feel when you hear there’s a king?

We should behold in laughing wonder
On high with happiness unwavering.


What is a Terzanelle?

Catch His Eye (Spenserian Stanza)

Poem-a-Day Challenge #16 (Two for Tuesday): Catch Poem or Release Poem

You don’t have to wonder if you’ll catch his eye;
Forget makeup; forget the fancy clothes.
There’s no need to fuss; there’s no need to try
To get or keep his attention; he knows
Precisely who you are, and even though
He bears no obligation to notice you
He sets his affection on you and throws
Off hindrances to believing he’s true
And destroys your fears that his love will ever cool.



What is a Spenserian Stanza?

Muscles and Nerves (Skeltonic Verse)

When muscles move
and flex to fight,
eyes widen
at the sight.
But what drives,
the muscles to move?
What are the nerves?
What brain do they serve?
Is it hate?
Is it spite?
A hunger to sate?
A love to bite
And claw and scratch?
Is it love?
Is it the shining face
looking, lighting
with divine grace
instead of spiting?
Defending the defenseless
despite unworthiness?
Does ḥesed hail
or echo emptily
in the hall?


What is a Skeltonic Verse?

This Is Love (Shakespearean Sonnet)

The better: laughter, smiles, shared happiness;
The soft and sure touch of a lover’s hand.
The worse: bitter anger yet unconfessed;
Hurtful, stabbing words and proud stands.
The sickness of selfishness untreated
Festers and fevers the gangrenous wound.
Health usurps the selfish throne––unseated––
And finds the other’s joys its highest boon.
Richer treasure hoards kindness as its gold;
Gems of patience and forgiveness in chests.
If poorer days should find us in the cold,
We trust the Crown to feed us, give us rest.
Thus to each other, tenderhearted, kind,
May we with royal love and mercy bind.


What is a Shakespearean Sonnet?