The horseman rides across the hours,
the horseman rides along the sea;
the sand that froths about those hooves
grinding at what grinds in me,
slow, but surely sapping powers

that I had thought ingrained in grooves,
wearing down the bounds of channels
till flow becomes a bird long flown;
north/south/east/west turned to panels
as he flattens direction’s moves.

The horseman harvests salt that’s sown
by all like me who try that way
along the sea, across the hours,
through waking night and darkest day.
Oh, at our side he rides along,
that horseman who reaps salt once sown,
until we lay our burdens down,
until our burdens we lay down.


Here’s a draft envelope stanza poem for the wonderful Kerry O’ Connor’s archived prompt on With Real Toads.  Thanks to Margaret Bednar for hosting “play it again, Sam” on Toads and bringing Kerry’s older prompt up, since I’d not seen it before  I have deviated slightly from the form, by adding a few extra lines at the end.  

This is some number of poem for April, 2015 National Poetry Monthly.  Note that pic as well as poem is mine–all rights reserved (even though I couldn’t fit in a horseman!) 

PS:  A great example of this form is The Wall, by Hedgewitch, a/k/aJoy Ann Jones, posted on her blog, Verse Escape.  

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10 Comments on “Horseman”

  1. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) Says:

    Powerful image, powerful poem.

  2. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    This poem shows your skilful ability with rhythm and rhyme. There is some kind of magic in your description, which transports my imagination. I feel I should be looking more closely over my shoulder.

  3. Sanaa Says:

    A magical piece…! So charming 😀

  4. Ella Says:

    I, too felt the magic-like an incantation!

  5. hedgewitch Says:

    I’m thinking this may be the Fifth Horseman of an apocalypse wholly personal to our age–one of emotional enervation, intellectual etoiliation–where we are stretched beyond what we can hold, and instead of lovely, symmetrical, curving greek amphorae, we become flat and empty wineskins, battered down by those hooves….or so I read, but I could be projecting my own frailties of the seventh decade on your words–whoever this Horseman is, you give him great power and presence, and use the form strikingly in doing so.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Hi Joy,

      Thanks for your kind and thoughtful interpretation. I was certainly thinking of a grim reaper kind of guy, but honestly, this almost all grew out of the form. It is a really interesting one, and I thank you much for your wonderful and inspiring example of it, which I should cite–and will do at least in this comment– I’ll go add it into post too. Thanks. k.

      On Mon, Apr 27, 2015 at 9:08 AM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  6. Simply beautiful…I don’t think I could create anything close to this.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Oh, Susie–thanks, but not true. I am someone that really likes form and is very captivated by form–this really grew out of the form, for me, so it is almost like it was the form writing it. Take care, k.

      On Mon, Apr 27, 2015 at 9:47 PM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  7. M Says:

    hey K, the long days are over but my brain is still addled. I’ll just say that the opening reminds me of ‘my bonnie lies over the mountain’, but what that means, i don’t know. be back to read more tomorrow ~

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