FanStory.com
"2015"


Prologue
ToC-2015

By mountainwriter49

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This is a test


Chapter 1
Happy Birthday, Kar!

By mountainwriter49

o 0 o

Today’s a very special day for Kar
as she begins another year.
For just a moment, she’ll reflect upon
her yesterdays with tears of joy
 
as she recalls her father’s love and how
he saved her magic silver wand.
She’ll laugh about her crazy sister’s deeds;
they’re like the Lucy-Ethel team!
 
But Kar is focused on tomorrow’s light
in which her friends and family
will always thrive in love and happiness.
As Bacchus fills her cup with wine
 
she’ll play some Muse and then begin to scribe
most wondrous prose and brilliant verse.
‘Tis through her gifted pen the ink will flow
upon the parchment of her heart.
 
So very Happy Birthday, my dear friend.
I raise my glass to you and sing--
please have a happy thirty-nine point twenty-four!


4 January 2015

o 0 o

Author Notes Inspiration:
Celebrating Karyn's Birthday today-4 January. Karyn's screen name is IndianiaIrish and is known to most of us as Kar, or the Poetrywoman.

Poetic Form:
Blank verse written in iambic meter with lines of varying length. Blank verse does not utilize end-rhyme or internal rhyme within the same line. This poem is written with four non-rhyming quatrains and a closing non-rhyming tercet.

Words:
Family = pronounced in three syllables


Chapter 2
tanka (astral light glistens)

By mountainwriter49

tanka (astral light glistens)
 
astral light glistens
on lake’s rippling waters
reflections
of you wash over me
as I grasp your fading hand
 
10 June 2014

Author Notes Poetic Form:
Tanka, an ancient Japanese short poetic form which provides a wonderful vehicle for emotive writing. It is non-rhyming and follows a short/long/short/long/long format not exceeding 31 syllables. More often than not, the syllable count is less than the arbitrary 5-7-5-7-7 format. In tanka, the first two lines are haiku-like and refer to a natural element, thus setting the tone for the emotive part. The third line serves the important role of commentary on the first two lines and pivot to being the last two lines. The last two lines deliver the emotive punch. In tanka, nature may be personified. Capitalization and punctuation are kept to the absolute minimum and used only when necessary.

Inspiration:
Many thanks to Sue Campion (sgalletti) for teaching me the intricate correlation between the tanka and sonnet forms of poetry. I highly recommend her Japanese Short Poetry Form classes.

Artwork:
I believe poetry should be able to stand on its own; consequently, I do not append digital artwork to my writing.

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 3
Je Suis Charlie

By mountainwriter49

.
Je Suis Charlie
 
Our freedom of speech was assailed today
when men in black killed twelve good souls in France.
They were brave members of the Fourth Estate
who’ve dared to publish that which might offend.
 
When men in black killed twelve good souls in France,
 ‘twas like the bullets pierced our hearts and minds
and brought back  nightmares from our nine-eleven.
But who were these good souls who dared to speak?
 
They were brave members of the Fourth Estate
who drew and wrote of things that made one think
of things in ways which one might not have thought.
Oh, great are they who’ve challenged us to think;
 
who’ve dared to publish that which might offend.
Our freedom of speech was assailed today
when men in black killed twelve good souls in France.
They were brave members of the Fourth Estate.


7 January 2015

Author Notes POETIC FORM:
I not really sure what to call this. I used the Quatern as a guide, but varied from its line repeating pattern and avoided end rhyme. While most of the poem is written in iambic meter, there is some meter variance as well as line length variance. I had originally posted this with the title "Freedom of Speech-Part 1," but have retitled it to better reflect the events at hand--Je Suis Charlie!

WORDS:
Fourth Estate = reference to journalism and the media

INPSIRATION:
Dawn (Ideasaregems-Dawn)-posted a poem earlier tonight about the terrorist attack in Paris earlier today. She encouraged me to also write about this tragedy. Thank you, Dawn!

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 4
Ninety-One

By mountainwriter49

Ninety-One
Remembering Papa
 
Today is Papa’s birthday,
and he’d be ninety-one.
It surely seems forever
since I sat upon his knee.
 
My Papa was a great dad,
and this is surely true.
He took good care of Mom and
me and never let us down.
 
But he’s been gone for fifteen years,
and I still miss him so.
A day does not go by that
I will think of him and smile.

 
9 January 2015

Author Notes A poem of remembrance written without rhyme and with varied line lengths.

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 5
A Time Arrives

By mountainwriter49

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A time arrives when one must say goodbye
to those with whom he’s worked these many years.
Oh, parting is not easy and it’s weighed
so heavily upon my mind and heart
         these past months as I’ve pondered life’s abound.
         I’ve had the chance to travel ‘round the world
         and make life’s friends and savor God’s estate.
         It’s been great fun to work with teams to help
make changes that are meaningful to people.
But work’s defined me for two score and six,
and now it’s time for me to walk new paths
in searching for the man I’ve yet to be.
         Man’s legacy rests not with accolades,
         but with his selfless deeds for fellow man.

10 January 2015

 

Author Notes Poetic Form:
Blank Verse Shakespearean Sonnet. This form follows the construct of the Shakespearean sonnet except there is no end-rhyme. I have written in iambic pentameter and utilized feminine verse in line 9. Blank verse originated in the 1500s and was made popular by Shakespeare.

Many thanks to the late AlvinTEthington for teaching me how to write in blank verse and to Brooke, aka Adewpearl, for teaching me how to write Shakespearean sonnets.

Inspiration:
I started writing this sonnet in September, 2014, but just couldn't find the words to finish it until this weekend. I'm still celebrating retirement.

Artwork:
I believe poetry should be able to stand on its own; consequently, I do not append digital artwork.

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 6
As Dawn Begins to Break

By mountainwriter49

As Dawn Begins to Break

As dawn begins to break o’er eastern ridge
and Luna melds with dawn's soft fragile tones,
I see you standing there on rocky trail.
 
I’m warmed by coals yet glowing from night’s fire,
and gaze upon your silhouetted form
against magenta skies and ebbing stars.
 
I am entranced at moment’s magic thrall
as you look back towards me and extend
your hand inviting me to now join you.
 
Arising from my bed, aroused, I pull
the quilt e’er close to me and walk the path
to find you far beyond the embers’ warmth.
 
And then, within Sol’s cresting golden glow
above the rocky ledge, we kiss and make
love as the dawn transcends into new day.
 
A man is not complete without his love
to keep him whole and share the morning light.


13 January 2015

Author Notes Poetic Form:
Blank Verse tercets with closing couplet. Blank verse was perfected by Shakespeare. It is written in iambic pentameter and has no end-rhyme.

Words:
begin = pronounced with the long e vowel sound: be gin,

Artwork:
I believe poetry should be able to stand on its own; consequently, I do not append digital artwork. It is my home my words will allow the reader to paint his/her own images.

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 7
haiku suite (Arctic Clipper)

By mountainwriter49


.

Arctic Clipper’s
frigid winds assail my body
gonadal retreat
 
windless night’s
snowfall blankets everything
profound silence
 
icicles
glisten in morning sunlight
prismatic ecstasy

snow and ice 
encase log cabin
Zhivago
.


Chapter 8
My Lover's Kiss

By mountainwriter49

I
 
And thus the Clipper’s silent snow yet falls
as evening’s dark eclipses ling’ring light.
‘Tis dark as winter storm clouds fill the sky
and sleet begins to fall and ping against
 
my windows on this frigid, windy eve.
Night’s winds are strong and resonate as they
howl ‘round the eaves of my abode atop
the mountain’s ridge.  I am transfixed by sounds
 
of sleet and wind within the barren oaks.
But then you kiss my shoulder with such warmth
and softness that I turn from nature’s song
into your arms and find night’s ecstasy.
 
Man’s comfort and renewal is assured
when in the arms of she whom he adores.
 
II
 
When in the arms of she whom he adores,
a man can live forever on the ridge.
And thus I dwell immersed in love and life
fulfilled in this most splendid place where we
 
rise just to gaze upon sun’s brilliant glow
as Earth’s rim’s set afire in wondrous blaze.
Oh, beauty such as this is glorious 
as I step back in awe of God’s design.
 
But transcendental moments are eclipsed
as I feel the soft touch of my child’s hand
upon my leg as she begins to tug
for me to bring her forth into my arms.
 
Earth’s fiery rim and child’s sweet innocence;
what more can a man ask for in his life?
 
III
 
What more can a man ask for in his life
than his wife’s ever lasting love and their
young children’s love and their exuberance
for life and all it has to offer them?
 
Oh, Bacchus, please refill my cup as I
now ponder that with which I have been blessed.
I sit by roaring fire and watch the snow
as it falls gracefully upon the trees
 
and covers all with elegant delight.
But then my love stands ‘fore me and affirms
her love for me and understanding why
I am so drawn to this most wondrous place.
 
God touches man’s soul through his lover’s kiss,
and thus the Clipper’s silent snow yet falls.
 
26 January 2015

 

Author Notes Poetic Form:
Blank verse Shakespearean sonnet sequence. Blank Verse dates to the 16th Century and was perfected by Shakespeare. It is most often written in iambic pentameter and has no end-line rhyme or internal-line rhyme. The sonnet sequence construct results in the last line of the first sonnet becoming the first line of the second, the last line of the second become the first line of the third and the last line of the third becomes the first line of the first; thus, the sequence is completed.

Inspiration:
Awaiting the night's Clipper to pass through, fond memories and the muse's favorite spirits and music.

Artwork:
I believe poetry should be able to stand on its own; consequently, I do not append digital artwork to my verse. I hope my words are such that the reader can draw his/her own images during the read.

Acknowledgments:
Many thanks to Brooke (adewpearl) for teaching me how to write Shakespearean sonnets and to the late Alvin Ethington for teaching me how to write in blank verse.

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 9
tanka (sol's revealed)

By mountainwriter49

tanka (sol’s revealed)
 
Sol’s revealed
as brisk winds disperse grey clouds
illumination
while I ponder Van Gogh's
self-portrait

Author Notes Poetic Form:
Tanka, an ancient Japanese short poetic form. Tanka need not be the American didactic arbitrary 5-7-5-7-7 syllable count. Tanka admires word efficiency and economy. The first three lines are haiku-like an often utilize a natural reference to set the tone of the tanka. The third line serves a dual purpose: commentary on the first two lines and as a pivot line to begin the last two lines. It is in the last two lines where one experiences the emotive impact of the tanka. Additionally, nature can be personified in tanka and captialization and punctuation should be kept to the absolute minimum. Tanka are often layered with multiple meanings.

ARTWORK:
I believe poetry should be able to stand on its own, thus I do not append digital art to my writing.

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 10
Dear Brooke

By mountainwriter49

Dear Brooke

Dear Brooke, I’m so sad  we can’t play
in the snow on this cold wintry day.
Why must you insist to remain
in your room writing poems again?
 
I know you would love to sled down
a steep hill which would make you expound
with grand words most sagaciously versed.
My dear, to go sledding is not to be cursed!


Oh Brooke please come out of your home!
You're driving me crazy and I'm all alone.
Let’s play in the snow and make balls from fresh snow.
We’ll throw them and toss them and then we will show
 
off our arsenal’s stash that we’ve carefully formed
when the snow was a pouring from winter’s wild storm.
Oh please do not fuss because snow is so cold,
it’s time you manned up and became somewhat bold!
 
Dear Brooke, please come out and let’s make
a snow man who will keep us amused when he bakes
the best cakes made of snow in our town!
We’ll drink some ice wine from a vintner renowned,
 
and then dance to the snow man’s melodious tunes.
Just think of the fun as we kiss ‘neath the moon.
We’ll walk and hold hands as we ponder the stars,
and think of tomorrow as life’s grand bazaar.


16 February 2015................................................  

Author Notes PPOETIC FORM:
Rhyming Quatrains utilizing an aabb end-line rhyme pattern and lines of varying syllable length. Some rhymes are true while others are proximate, or slant. The meter is anapestic, with some lines utilizing catalexis, a poetic device which drops a syllable at the beginning or end of a line. An anapestic foot consists of three syllables in with the first two are unstressed and the third is stressed, for example: da da DUM. When catalexis is used, the beginning of a line would be as follows:
da DUM / da da DUM / da da DUM / etc.

INSPIRATION:
Winter storm Neptune dumped about 4-5" of snow in my area last weekend. Brooke (adewpearl) and I were talking about the snow in class and this lighthearted poem evolved from our discussion.

THANK YOU:
Thank you, Brooke, for teaching me how to write in anapestic meter. For anyone interested in learning about meter, I highly recommend Brooke's "Meter and Rhyme' class here on FanStory.

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 11
Winds Were Howling

By mountainwriter49

Winds Were Howling

Winds were howling, gusting briskly,
strewing fallen leaves from here to there.
Leaning forward I walked swiftly
into gale force winds’ sub-zero air.
 
Clouds were churning, skies were dark’ning,
pouring snow was swirling, blinding me.
Struggling ‘gainst harsh Neptune’s arcing,
speeding front, the firs and bare trees
 
started icing, bowing, breaking
as I searched for shelter from the storm.
Searching desp’rately, my aching
legs kept walking towards my cabin’s warmth.
 
Winds were slowly, surely winding
down as snow began to dissipate.
Fin’lly I could see the path inclining
towards my cabin where her warmth would sate.
 
Rushing, running up the snowy
path, I soon found cabin’s frozen latch.
Beating, pounding on door’s woody
beams, you heard and opened, catching
 
me as I fell into your warm arms.
Softly, sweetly you encompassed me,
with your love and wifely charms.
 In your arms is where I’ll always wish to be.

 
14 February 2015..........................................................................

Author Notes Inspiration: This weekend's winter storm named Neptune.

Poetic form: Quatrains written in trochaic meter with varying line lengths. Trochaic meter is where the first syllable in the line is stressed with the second being unstressed. DUM da DUM da DUM da, etc. Also using both true and slant rhymes in the abab end-line pattern.

Artwork: I believe poetry should stand on its own; therefore, I've not appended digital art. I hope my words will be strong enough to allow the reader to paint his/her own images.

Thank you for reading my poetry.


Chapter 12
At A Southern Shore

By mountainwriter49

At A Southern Shore
Mixed meter Quartret
 

Please read author notes first.
 
I’m so ready for summer’s warm surf and bright sun
at a Southern shore where we can play and have fun.
We will find us a cottage o’er looking the bay;
that is hidden by sand dunes, our space not betrayed.
 
          Winter’s cold, harsh winds have worn me down;
          within its snow and ice—I’m drowned.

 
I love waking before early morning’s first light
so I can sip hot coffee and ponder and write
of your beauty and how much I truly love you.
I shall write of our love that I’ll never eschew.
 
          Cold, grey days and frigid nights have left
          me numb and filled with sad bereft.
 

We will run on the shore and then chase the sea gulls,
and go searching for shells ‘neath the sand by wrecked hull.
In the evening we’ll dance to the Drifter’s sweet tunes,
and steal kisses while strolling ‘neath gorgeous full moon.
 
          Bacchus, please refill my cup and stoke
          the fire—such mem’ries they evoke!

 
You can capture sea’s beauty in softest pastels,
or with vibrant oils you’ll paint majestic sea swells.
We shall spend life’s long summer o’er looking the sea,
there is nothing that can dim our wondrous esprit.
 
          Even though you’re far away from me,
          I’m warmed by thoughts of you there by the sea.
 
          Only strongest love can last; endure
          harsh winter winds—of this we are assured.


21 February 2015

 

Author Notes POETIC FORM:
Quartret, a poetic form created by fellow FanStorian Sue Campion (sgalletti). The original format requires 4 quatrains written in an abab rhyme format. In between the quatrains are couplets, italicized, with a rhyme pattern of aa, bb, etc. The couplets form a related ├???├??├?┬¢??poem within a poem.├???├??├?┬¢?? The Quatret ends with two couplets summing up either the couplets, the quatrains for the overall poem itself. The poem is to be written in iambic pentameter.

However, I decided to modify the form by writing the quatrains in anapestic meter. The anapestic meter represents a more light-hearted, almost whimsical mood. As though, perhaps, the narrator thinking or dreaming the thoughts. The trochaic meter, on the other hand, is used in the couplets creates a more dramatic, contrasting voice. As though, perhaps, the narrator is verbalizing the thoughts. I├???├??├?┬¢??ve used the AABB rhyme pattern for the quatrains and utilized both true and proximate/slant rhymes.

INSPIRATION:
Winter Storm Pandora put my home in the middle of her box with 17.5 inches of snow yesterday. This on top of the snow and exceedingly cold temperatures wrought by Winter Storm Neptune. My thoughts varied from wanting to be at a warm Southern beach and depression with the intense cold and over abundance of snow!

THANK YOU:
Thanks so Sue for teaching me how to write in this poetic form several years ago. Also, thanks to Brooke for her patience and guidance while I├???├??├?┬¢??m dabbling with mixed meter poetry. I highly recommend her ├???├??├?┬¢??Meter and Rhyme├???├??├?┬¢?? class.

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 13
The Bait

By mountainwriter49

The Bait
 

Some days it’s just best to stay in bed and lie neath the ceiling fan’s warbling breeze.  Damn air conditioner isn't working.  89 degrees at dawn.  Morning air is sultry, heavy and butter-thick with dripping Southern humidity.  Murky-grey skies scream air pollution.  Breezes are absent. Tree leaves are not aroused by nature’s breath. The mid-day sun bears down like a sweaty whore on Saturday night.  Work is like being chained to Dante’s furnace.  I’m frayed and enervated to the point of rigor mortis from the day’s bullshit.  Bob calls:  “Let’s do the lake and a six-pack of brew.”  “Hell yeah!"  The blistering, sultry sun hangs low when we arrive. The lake’s almost as still as Monet’s Water Lilies-Setting Sun.  Surreal. Sublime. Divine.  We sit in the clear, softly lapping shallow water, soaking up its coolness as we gulp down the brew’s coldness.  The twain meets as orb’s fiery glow melds with lake’s undulating rim.  I'm not miserable anymore.  I’m cool.  Relaxed. Uninhibited.  I breathe in deeply and cast my eyes towards the sandy shore. I toss my Calvins towards shore and dive ever so sveltely into the lake’s cool, still waters.
 
a ripple unfolds
across cool placid lake
Bob’s lure

 
1 March 2015

Author Notes Poetic Form:
Haibun. This Japanese poetic form is a blending of prose with haiku. The prose utilizes various poetic techniques such as alliteration, metaphor, simile, etc. in longer and shorter, more terse sentences and phrases. The haiku compliments the prose and provides for the AHA moment of the overall poem. Both prose and haiku are written in present tense.

Acknowledgment:
Many thanks to Sue Campion (sgalletti) for teaching me an understanding of and to write in this form. I highly recommend her classes to anyone seeking to learn more about this form.

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 14
Ninety Roses

By mountainwriter49

.
I place these ninety roses by your side
to share my love and celebrate your birth.
Within my heart, dear Mom, you shall abide.
I place these ninety roses by your side,
and as I touch your stone I shall confide
you were the best and oh, I miss your mirth.
I place these ninety roses by your side
to share my love and celebrate your birth.


6 March 2015............................................
 

Author Notes Inspiration:
Today is my mother's birthday. She would be 90 if she were in her living years. The yellow rose was her favorite flower.

Poetic Form:
Triolet written in iambic pentameter. The Triolet is a French poetic form dating to the late 13th Century. It is often written in iambic tetrameter (8 syllables); however, I have chosen to write it in iambic pentameter (10 syllables). Line 1 is repeated in lines 4 and 7 while line 2 is repeated in line 8. The rhyme pattern is abaAabAB (Capitalized letters indicated repeated lines).

Acknowledgements:
Many thanks to Bryan Oldfield for use of his beautiful artwork entitled "Roses for my Love."

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 15
The Crashing Crystal

By mountainwriter49

The Crashing Crystal
 
Oh, Bacchus, please refill my empty cup!
Our music fills my heart and soul tonight
imbibing by this warm, yet lonely fire.
I am awash in memories of you
        while gazing into astral light’s allure.
        I see you there in constellation’s form
        yet named by those who dare define the stars.
        The sparkle of your eyes is brighter than
Sol’s brilliant dawning o’er earth’s fiery rim.
Yet crashing crystal on my courtyard’s bricks
awakens me to grim reality
of loneliness now chilled by Winter’s winds.
        And thus the man who mourns for love foregone
        is damned to live in drunken loneliness.
 
9 March 2015

Author Notes POETIC FORM:

Blank Verse Shakespearean Sonnet. This poem represents the blending of two poetic forms, the Shakespearean Sonnet and Blank Verse. Thus, while this sonnet has all of the elements of the traditional Shakespearean (English) Sonnet except for the end rhymes, it has no end-line rhyme. Blank Verse is a poetic form popularized by Shakespeare in the late late 16th Century. It contains no end-line rhyme or internal line rhyme (within the same line). This poem is written in iambic pentameter.

INSPIRATION:

Tonight is the warmest night in a five weeks--mid-40's. Almost hot compared to Winter's wrath and sub-freezing temperatures of February. The sky was clear. Brilliant. The fire pit was warm and glowing. The rest is found in the sonnet's words...

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 16
Life's Path

By mountainwriter49

.
Life's Path

The brilliant super moon hangs gravid in
night’s crystal clear and starry sky as it
ascends e’er slowly over Afton’s Ridge.
The Montepulciano soothes my angst
       as cherished thoughts of you now warm my heart.
       My quiv’ring quill attempts to scribe the words
       I could not say throughout these many years.
       I loved you long before you saw yourself
and realized your heart belonged to me.
But Spring devolved to Summer’s wanton heat,
thus all was lost when paths began to fork
and our score shifted to atonal tunes.
       Life’s path is an uncertain journey which
       can steer man to his least imagined fate.

 
7 March 2015

Author Notes POETIC FORM:

Blank Verse Shakespearean Sonnet.
Shakespeare popularized blank verse as a poetic form in the late 16th and early 17th Centuries. This poem follows the parameters of the Shakespearean sonnet requirements except for the rhyme pattern. Blank verse does not permit end-line or internal-line (same line) rhyme. Consequently, the reader should not expect to see rhyme in this sonnet.

TERMS:

Afton's Ridge: A mountain, part of the Blue Ridge Mountain chain in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Montepulciano: An Italian red wine from the d'Abbruzzio region, east of Rome.

Super Moon: An occurrence when the full moon is in its closest proximity to Earth, thus making the moon seem brighter and larger than it normally appears. The super moon is particularly awesome when viewed from the mountain peaks on clear nights.

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 17
Firenze

By mountainwriter49

Please read author notes for pronuciation guide for the Italian words used in this poem.
  .                     
                      Firenze


 It’s been so long since I have walked these streets
where we once strolled and kissed ‘neath Luna’s glow.
‘Twas here amongst the ancient stones we’d meet
in am’rous rendezvous by Arno’s flow.
 
               Vignettes of you now fill my mind and soul
               as mem’ries from so long ago unfold.
 
Not far from there I find Uffizi’s gate,
where artists paint enchanted Tuscan scenes
and mimes amuse us all while I await
my turn to feast upon art most serene.
 
              The Botticelli Venus can’t compare
               to your allure, your eyes and flowing hair.
 
The path to Santa Croce winds through time,
transporting me to when we first were there.
I am awash with feelings e’er sublime,
‘twas here I wed my lovely bride so fair.
 
               You were aglow with love our wedding day,
               we knew we’d just begun our grand ballet.
 
With welling eyes, I leave the church to find
our place for wine and cheese so I can write
of time now past when our love was entwined.
My glass now dry, I smile with sweet delight.
 
               Oh, how we loved this quiet place where we
               could talk and sip red wine with grand esprit.
 
I rush to cross the Ponte alle Grazie,
because the evening light is growing nigh.
I long to see the view from Piazzale,
as setting sun transcends the day to night.
 
               I’d hold you close as we would watch sun’s bold
               descent cast everything in hues of gold.
 
               Though time has left me lonely and forelorn,
               ‘tis here where I can feel our love's reborn.
 

29 March 2015

 

Author Notes Thank you, Sue, for creating this wonderful poetic form and sponsoring this contest.

Poetic Form:
Quatret. The Quatret is a poetic form created by fellow FanStorian Sue Campion (sgalletti). The details of this poetic form are provided in the contest notes. I have chosen to write it in iambic pentameter utilizing the abab rhyme pattern for the quatrains and the aa rhyme pattern for the couplets. Feminine vese has been utilized in the fifth quatrain. I've used rhymes that are both true and slant. I have chosen to write the poem with five quatrains and six couplets.

Words:

Arno = (AR no) the Arno river bisects the City of Florence

Botticelli Venus = (BOT ti CEL li VE nus), refers to Sandro Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus," painted ca. 1486 and housed at the Uffizi Museum.

Firenze = (fi REN ze) Florence, Italy. It was first settled as a Roman colony in 59 BC.

Piazzale = (PI a ZZAL e), a reference to Piazzale Michelangelo, a large public square situated on a promontory above Florence. It was laid out in the 1860's and features numerous replicas of Michelangelo, with a bronze David being the most prominent statue there. Also, the views of the city and surrounding countryside form the Piazzale are quite beautiful, and especially when the sun sets and sets the whole of the city and valley aglow in golden light.

Ponte alle Grazie = (PON te AL le GRAZ ie), The Bridge of Gratitude or Gracefulness, was first built in 1227 and rebuilt in 1345; however, it was destroyed during World War II and the current structure was rebuilt and opened in 1953. It connects the Santa Croce area to areas south of the Arno, including the Piazzale Michelangelo.

Santa Croce = (SANT a CRO cue) A small church to the east of the Piazza della Signoria and just north of the Ponte alle Grazie. It's construction began in 1294. The tombs of Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Galileo are located here.

Uffizi = (u FFI zi), a reference to the Uffizi Museum located in the heart of Florence's historic district. It is one of the greatest art museums in the world, and noted as the best in the whole of Italy.

Inspiration:
Sue (sgalletti) and Steve (kiwisteven) recently wrote beautiful poems about Italy. Sue wrote "Memories of Italy," a gorgeous sonnet, and Steve wrote "A Perfect Day," a wonderful series of quatrains. I have drawn upon memories of my own trip to Florence.

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 18
We Danced

By mountainwriter49

                 We Danced
.
We danced as lovers dance neath Luna’s glow
that Roman night so long ago when we
were in full hue and held each other close
throughout that magical, enchanted night.
        As Tiber’s waters ebbed and flowed, so did

        we as our hearts and souls began to meld.
        ‘Twas in the midst of passion I cried out,
        and you then held me close and reassured
our love was real and sure as ‘morrow’s sun
would shine upon Eternal City’s stones.
But dawn was muted by the fog and rain
when I awoke and found that you were gone.
        Oh, false is love of night’s romance between
        a lonely man and vixens on the prowl.


 12 April 2015

Author Notes POETIC FORM:
Shakespearean Sonnet in Blank Verse form: This poem follows the Shakespearean sonnet form except it is is written in blank verse, thus, there is no end-line rhyme.

WORDS:
Eternal City = Rome, Italy

Eternal City's Stones = the ancient ruins and relicts of ancient Rome

Tiber = the river which flows through central Rome

This poem is not autobiographical. Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 19
haiku (missionary ridge)

By mountainwriter49

moon and Venus
align o’er Missionary Ridge
illumination
 
neath night’s glow
fire pit surges, stoking heat's release 
cold’s defeat
 
yellow, red and blue
hues of fire's flames ensues
emancipation
 
standing nude
I release my angst to fire’s divine
a musing
 
by fire's glow
I write of love and life
sanctification 

29 April 2015
...............................................
Chattanooga, TN............................................

Author Notes Poetic Form:
Haiku, both nature and human life, skatsu, combined in this haiku suite.
Nature is not personified.

Words:
Missionary Ridge: a mountain ridge west of downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, which served as a pivotal Civil War (1860-1865) military battleground, and yet exist to those who fought on both sides of that tragic conflict.

Thank you for reading my poetry,
Ray


Chapter 20
For Heather Rose

By mountainwriter49

.
Oh, harsh is breath of dreaded dragon’s fire
that’s gained rebirth so deep within your breast,
your heart and soul these past months when you’ve least
expected its return.  Oh, how unfair
       are dice rolled by life’s gods when angels soar,
      rejoicing at life’s goodness and sweet bliss.
      The battle fought and won must yet be waged
      again in order that Hell's wrath's restrained.     
 But you’re of faith and fight with life’s true verve
to quell its fire and kill its soul so that
you’ll live another day to bask in God’s
soft light and take your pen in hand to scribe
       of love and beauty that envelops you.
       God’s child shall quell damned dragon’s fiery breath!


2 May 2015

Author Notes Poetic Form:
Blank verse sonnet: This form follows the Shakespearean sonnet form except that it has no end-rhyme.

Inspiration:
Written for a dear friend.

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 21
Mothers Day-2015

By mountainwriter49

Mothers Day-2015

Surely, the purest form of love is that
between a mother and  her newborn child 
held tenderly and lovingly within
her arms.  Her love’s affirming and e’er true;
          more beautiful than Michelangelo’s
          Madonna painted centuries now past.
          And thus, I wept when the old photograph
          emerged from yesteryear’s touchstones of love
kept safe and put away in unmarked box.
Though twenty-nine years have now passed us by,
I still can feel the magic of that day
when Katie and you posed in morning light.
          A husband’s love for wife and child endures
          despite life’s rip tides and most treach'rous seas.

 
8 May 2015

Author Notes Poetic Form:
Blank Verse Shakespearean Sonnet, written in iambic pentameter with metrical substitution with the first foot of line one (trochaic) for emphasis. No end rhyme.

Words:
agone = archaic form of 'ago'

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 22
Of Gentle Falling Rain

By mountainwriter49

Of Gentle Falling Rain
 
I love the sounds of gentle, falling rain
as cooling breezes’ whispers, softly sift
through hardwoods’ limbs and leaves as we awaken.
You make this cool grey morning bright and warm
        by your soft touch as we entwine and spoon
        beneath the blankets by our open window.
        How wondrous is our symphony of love
        and nature’s prance upon the window's glass.
Our lovers' dance begins.  We join as one.
‘Twas in our afterglow the heavens cracked
and thund’rous claps’ crescendo roared, while sharp
lightning streaks staccatoed ‘cross the heavens,
        and brought us down to day’s ensuing fray.
        No greater love exists than that with you.

4 June 2015

Author Notes Poetic Form:
Blank Verse Shakespearean Sonnet. This form follows the Shakespearean sonnet form except it does not provide for end-line rhyme. Internal line rhyme may exist between the lines as long as it is not within the same line.

This sonnet is written in iambic pentameter with metrical variations as follows:
1. Lines 3, 6 and 12 utilize feminine verse, thus an unstressed 11th syllable; and
2. Line 12 utilizes metrical substitution of trochees in lieu of the iambs for dramatic effect, thus accentuating the intensity of the lightening.

Thank you, Dawn, for sponsoring this contest.

Thank you for reading my poetry.

-Ray


Chapter 23
The Flick'ring Fire

By mountainwriter49

.
The searing sun began to scorch the bald
and morning mist dispersed as melting ice. It made
me feel as though I’d fallen into Hell’s most febrile furnace.

 I hem’rrhaged sweat as morning’s humid heat bore down.
A milky haze began to mask the mountains’ majesty
as breezes brisk did not exist on that most blist’ring day.

 And thus I stripped down to my shorts,
and drank warm water as I dreamed of dancing, and romance,
in cooling rain as clouds released their charms.

 Yet only sounds of silence filled the smog filled sky. I searched
for trailhead’s marker that I knew would take me towards
the rocky ridge where I’d find respite  and repose.

 I’d never known the trail to be so torrid; tiring.
The wildflowers were waning, wilting,
as was I.  How I wanted to reach walk’s ascending, winding end.

 It was near six when softest  breezes soothed
my face.  ‘Twas then I found the strength and fortitude
to hike the last two miles to ridge’s highest peak

 atop the world where I could watch the waning sun
slip neath the fiery rim as night’s cool magic nudged
day’s mis’ry towards night’s melody

of softest sounds of swift winds sifting through
the trees atop the towering ridge.
The sky had cleared, and moon and stars were shining brightly.

 I wonder how it is that mem’ries hover in one's heart;
love sealed and secret, thus allowed to only shine beneath the stars?
The flick’ring fire yet burns, as does my love this fretful, lonely night.

18 June 2015

Author Notes See Contest Rules for poetic form.


Chapter 25
haiku (kids see)

By mountainwriter49

haiku (kids see)

kids see
animals form in morphing clouds
 cumulus maximus


25 June 2015
.............................................

Author Notes Poetic Form:
Seikatsu Haiku: This ancient Japanese short form poetry focuses on human lifestyle, work and play, as opposed to the more traditional nature haiku format. The rules of haiku are many, but the essential few are it must juxtaposition two concrete images, and thus forming a concrete image in the mind of the reader. It must speak to, capture, a moment in time of a concrete image that can either be seen, smelled, touched and/or heard. It can neither be abstract or subjective. Neither personification of nature is allowed, nor is unnecessary punctuation or capitalization. Two lines must be grammatically connected which capture a moment in time, and be written in present tense. There must be a satori/ah-ha line commenting on the haiku, and offering a moment of insight to the reader.

Inspiration:
Fellow Poet and friend par-excellence IndianaIrish, aka Kar, and the art of cloud watching on a windy, cloudy day. All sorts of images appear to those 'right-of-brain.' Thank you, Kar, for the inspiration for this haiku.

Thank you for reading my poetry.
Ray


Chapter 26
haiku (gentle June rain)

By mountainwriter49

haiku (gentle June rain sifts)

gentle June rain
sifts through
 oak's limbs and  leaves
grace notes

5 July 2015
................................................

Author Notes Poetic Form:
Tenmon haiku, or a haiku referring to nature relative natural elements such as rain or wind. Haiku admire word efficiency and effectiveness, thus brevity, and juxtaposition two concrete images in present tense to create an image in the mind of the reader is required. Two lines are grammatically connected, in present tense, describing an observed moment in time; i.e., something felt, seen, heard or felt. The third line is the satori/ah-ha or moment of insight or commentary on the previous two lines.

Inspiration:
This evenings soft, cooling rain falling, sifting through the forrest behind my home. Such a wonderful symphony of nature's luscious sounds.

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 27
haiku (two cottontail rabbits)

By mountainwriter49

haiku (two cottontail rabbits)

two cottontail rabbits
scurry across narrow street
greener grass


21 July 2015............................................

Author Notes Poetic Form: This is a doubutsu haiku, or about fauna. The basic rules of haiku are as follows: 1) 17 syllables or less, and preferably less most times; 2) juxtapostioning of two concrete images (something one can see, taste, feel and/or touch), one such concrete image in the 2 grammatically connected lines and one in the 3rd line, or satori/ah-ha line; 3) a satori/ah-ha line providing a commentary on the haiku and a moment of insight to the reader; 4) capture a moment-in-time of something that is actually observed; not something that is imagined; 5) written in present tense; 6) use capitalization and punctuation only when absolutely necessary, such as with a proper name or noun; 7) avoidance of gerunds (-ing ending words); 8) no rhyme; 9) avoidance of too much alliteration; 10) avoidance of unnecessary filler words such as articles and adjectives; 11) personification of nature is not allowed; and 12) the haiku must be able to stand on its own without interpretation from an appended digital artwork and/or the title of a contest.

Inspiration:
while walking this morning, two cottontail rabbits ran across the street in front of me. The end result is this little haiku. I hope you enjoy.

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 28
Mama's Chair

By mountainwriter49

Mama’s Chair
a blended haibun with both haiku and tanka
 
Home.  Warm summer evening. We’re rocking away on the carport.  Vodka tonics and roasted nuts by our side.  Gerber daisies in full bloom.  Her favorite flower.  Red, purple and white petunias flanking the walk.  Soft evening light.  Impatiens grace the shadows. Flowers’ sweet scent abounds.  Vibrant colors brighten carport’s drab, harsh grayness.  Mama rocks.  Her laughter wafts on evening breeze as we talk of days long gone.  I love these times with her.  She rocks and talks and sips her tonic—I’m fully engaged.  I gulp down some Grey Goose and ask how long she’s been rocking in that old rickety rocking chair.    She replies, “All of my life! Now tell me about your new job, and how things are going.”  With Mama, it’s always a question about me. Unconditional love expressed at every moment, and always set to time with every rock of that old oak chair.  A perfect four-four.
 
mama shares
love and life’s lessons
life rocks
 
The sands of time have passed me by.  Mama died in ’96 and it's now ’15.  I’m older, greyer and my six-pack has gone flabby.  I pour a vodka tonic and remember her tonight.  She died 19 years ago today.   I still weep on this night, as I have each and every year since she passed.  Chilled.  Sad. Cold.  I miss her unconditional love and abundant laughter.  I long for her voice.  But yet, despite my laments, I hear her love and voice tonight, entwined within the rhythm of the cadence of my rickety oak rocking chair…
 
blue moon shines
brightly on this hallowed eve
rememb’ring
with love and tears as
I rock in Mama's old oak rocker


2 August 2015
.................................................................

Author Notes Poetic Form:
Haibun. This Japanese poetic form is a blending of prose and Japanese short poetic form such as haiku and/or tanka. In my poem, I've used a seikatsu haiku and a tanka along with the prose. Basically, the prose is short, terse and precise. The poetry defines the prose as does the prose set the entree' for the poetry. Thus, a symbiotic relationship.

Inspiration:
My mom died 19 years ago today. Tonight, it hit me as I was at my laptop, and this poetry ensued. And the Blue Moon shines brightly as I pen this verse. Yeah, love does indeed transcend all time. Such is the blessing of God's Grace.

Thank you for reading my work.
-Ray


Chapter 29
haiku (gentle rain)

By mountainwriter49

haiku (gentle rain)
 

gentle rain 
sifts through oak's leaves
muse aroused

muse aroused
on cool, damp summer night
sounds converge 

sounds converge
neath Lyra's twinkling lights
kaleidoscope

kaleidoscope
of  Summer Triangle's stars
night sky alights

night sky alights
impatiens along serpentine wall
life's chosen path

life's chosen path 
unfolds on foxed parchment
sepia ink

sepia ink
reveals innermost self 
gentle rain 

7 August 2015...................................

 

Author Notes Poetic Form:
Haiku sequence. This haiku sequence is a combination of traditional nature haiku (1-5) and seikatsu (lifestyle) haiku (6-7). The ending line of the first haiku becomes the first line of the second haiku, and so forth. The last line of the last haiku becomes the first line of the first haiku, thus completing the sequence. In each of the haiku, the satori/ah-ha line is the third line. Thus, the ah-ha found in the preceding haiku takes on a slightly different perspective, or meaning, in the following haiku.

The rules/guidelines for writing haiku are many. A summary of these is provided below:
1) 17 syllables or less, and preferably less;
2) must be in short / long / short format in three (3) lines,
3) juxtapostioning of two concrete images, not abstract images, (something one can see, taste, feel and/or touch), one such concrete image in the two (2) grammatically connected lines and one in the or satori/ah-ha line;
4) a satori/ah-ha line providing a commentary on the haiku and a moment of insight to the reader. The satori/ah-ha line may be on line 1 or line 3;
5) a kigo, or seasonal reference must be included within the text of the nature haiku;
6) must capture a moment-in-time of something that is actually observed; not something that is imagined;
7) written in present tense;
8) use capitalization and punctuation only when absolutely necessary, such as with a proper name or noun for capitalization or an apostrophe for possessive form, etc.
9) gerunds and words ending in -ing should be avoided if at all possible,
10) no rhyme,;
11) avoid alliteration,
12) avoidance of unnecessary filler words such as superfluous articles and adjectives;
13) personification of nature is absolutely not allowed;
14) overt metaphor and simile are not acceptable.

WORDS:
Lyra: a constellation in the Northern Hemisphere during the summer months.
Summer Triangle: Altair, Deneb, and Vega, the brightest stars in the three constellations of Aquila, Cygnus, and Lyra; respectively.

Inspiration:
We had the most wonderful, gentle rain for about 20 hours earlier this week. That along with the cooler weather it brought was a welcome reprieve to the heat of early August. These thoughts came to me one evening as I sat beneath my large oak tree after the rain stopped falling that evening.

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 30
I Hiked The Trail

By mountainwriter49

...............I Hiked The Trail

I hiked the trail all day and stopped to rest
at Afton’s craggy ridge o’er looking broad
expanse of Shenandoah’s rolling hills
so neatly tucked between the Blue Ridge peaks
       and rugged, rocky Alleghany ridges.
      The coolness of day’s gentle breezes and
      Elijah’s kiss relaxed me as I gazed
      upon the beauty of the valley’s breadth.
But as the setting sun cast golden hues
against the verdant hills and deepening
blue mountain ridges, I began to see
another time when I was in this place
       with you so many years ago.  How sweet
      are memories of that which is no more.
 
21 August 2015

Author Notes Poetic Form:
Blank verse sonnet. This poetic form follows the Shakespearean sonnet form except it does not have rhyme.

Words:
Elijah kiss = Elijah Criag; a drink of very good bourbon whiskey.

Shenandoah = the Shenandoah Valley is a long and broad valley bounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east and the Allegheny Mountains to the west.

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 31
Calla

By mountainwriter49

Calla
 
It was a bright spring day when we first met
atop a ridge near Kingsport, Tennessee.
You were so very shy and pulled away
to hide and nestle in your mother’s arms.
     The sparkle in your eyes would always glow,
     especially when you had love to share,
     or when you’d have important things to talk
     about.  And yes, you always had grand things
to talk about each morning and at night!
But fate’s cruel hand cut short your time with us,
when quickly you fell ill to cancer’s scourge.
Oh how I wept when you did fall asleep.
      Now, empty is this home without you here.
     I swear, I hear you purring as I write…
 
11 September 2015

 

Author Notes Poetic Form: Blank Verse Shakespearean Sonnet.

A poem of remembrance for a family pet recently succumbed to cancer.

Thank you for reading my poetry.
-Ray


Chapter 32
Transitions

By mountainwriter49

Transitions
 
Carolina blue skies dominate the day.  Crisp, gentle northwest winds cool late afternoon sun’s warmth.  54 degrees Fahrenheit.  I stand on the patio and breathe in fresh air and exude life.  Sated.  Afton’s Bacchus vino d’roso is superb.  I’ll have another while watching the squirrels play in the myriad of intertwined branches of my ancient white oak tree.  I am amused at their circus as I now rock in Mama’s ancient cane-back rocker.  The wine is so damn good! Bacchus? The squirrels chirp and screech as they perform their acrobatics high above the ground.  A gentle breeze kisses my face.  Life is good.  I smile as I rock…
 
Bacchus pours yet another glass just as a cool wind’s gust blows the leaves aloft from the trees.  The sky is now a kaleidoscope of colours as the reds and golds and browns and muted hues of falling leaves combine and swirl as ballerinas might dance across the stage of Life of the Tsar’s grand finale.  I am enthralled as the sounds of O mio babbino caro play softly as the sun sets ‘tween the forked limbs of the ancient oak. 
 
falling leaves
swirl in life’s tango
death spirals
swirl as graceful beauty evokes
memories of when we were one

 
24 October 2015..............................................................

Author Notes Tanka Prose:
A cousin of Haibun, but not the same. Tanka prose employs longer, and perhaps more elegant prose rather than the short, terse prose of haibun. Additionally, rather that using haiku, as the title implies, tanka is utilized to help express the emotive element of the poem.

WORDS:
Afton's Bacchus =a local vinery's select 'Tuscan' red wine.
Death spiral = a dangerous yet exquisitely beautiful routine in performed ice dancing.
Life of the Tsar - a wonderful 3.6 hour long Russian opera written by Glinka.

After a long absence, my muse visited me tonight. I hope you enjoy the results of our tango.

Thank you for reading my poetry.
Ray


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