Old-Style Ditty


Old-Style Ditty

Her hair was black as any curse
and though she’d ride fast as wind,
darkness heavy as a hearse
tailed her close as man trails sin.

His heart was like a lilting song
that learns itself on others’ lips.
But when she sang, the tune turned wrong
and clung like wings unto her hips.

But these were wings that had been heart,
wings that once had flown him high,
now flesh was turned to gossamer,
and clotted earth cut off from sky.

For clay he was and clay he’d be
for the rest of all eternity,
while she with hair as black as tar
flew with the loft of his lost star.




A little ditty written with a book of “1000 Years of Irish Poetry” used as a source for prompts.  (Not meaning to cast any aspersions on the Irish or the poetry!)  Will likely link to Real Toads Open Platform. 

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15 Comments on “Old-Style Ditty”

  1. hedgewitch Says:

    Quite the lilt to this, and your use of metaphor is very breezy and well-honed, too. It’s difficult to use that sing-song meter and make it as lyric and effective as you have here–I especially like “His heart was like a lilting song/that learns itself on others’ lips..” and the entire last stanza is just perfect.

  2. x Says:

    The heart as the song learned on others lips..a profound set of lines and I wonder if we have not all fit there at sometime and I like the almost mythic feel to the separation between them

  3. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    I’d like to hear you sing this one, Karin. The words and images are very haunting. Such a fine use of repetition of word and sound throughout.

  4. claudia Says:

    i too think that it has a song like quality and i like how you weave the characters and the touch of myth it has as well

  5. Such a nice blend of poetry with form. Classic.

  6. This is indeed a song.. it could be a murder ballad almost.. Oh I would like to hear it sung

  7. ihatepoetry Says:

    This was a welcome bit of verse. I liked the story and its details.

  8. Beautiful beautiful write!

  9. Ah…I really enjoyed this. Very nicely done.

  10. Marian Says:

    Ah, beautiful. Wings that once were heart, clotted earth.

  11. M Says:

    grin. he’s dirt, she’s still air ~

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