Posted tagged ‘Karin Gustafson villanelle’

Rain, Melting Snow, Draft Villanelle

December 12, 2010

Rain Today, Melting Snow

A rainy day.  I thought I’d try a villanelle; the draft is below.  In this one, I’ve played with internal rhyme and word repetition; also used slant rhyme to avoid the flippancy of straight rhyme.  I am linking this also to Bluebell Books short story slam–their picture was a girl outside in the rain–this is a woman inside (in bed with iPhone) in the rain! 

Any suggestions, re-writes, corrections–feel free to let me know!


Rain today, melting snow



It rains today.  What was a scrim of white
frays to a stark and intermittent thread,
as browning fields bring softness to the eye,


and rumpled folds of brush and weed deny
the brambles that will later stalk my tread.
It rains today.  What is a scrim of white–

the screen that fixates, though two inches wide–
and, like a stalker, ties me to my bed–
(’till browning fields bring softness to the eye)

as intermittent glances, window-wise,
prise digital fingers from my real-world head.
It rains today; what was a scrim of white,


as bright outside as in, in puddles lies–
as clear as any water (over mud).
The browning fields bring softness to the eye,


reminding one that even autumns die,
snow too, its shine reduced to what was then
by rains today, a threadbare scrim of white.
The browning fields bring softness to the eye.

I appreciate that the poem has a certain similarity to other efforts of mine.  (But there it is–you write what you write.)

For other villanelles, or posts about the mechanics of villanelle writing, check out the category “villanelle” here.


An Egg Is Not A Light Bulb

October 26, 2010

An Egg Is Not A Light Bulb

You make mistakes sometimes.  (If you are like me, you may wish to substitute the words “often” or “frequently” or “constantly” for the temporal element in that last sentence.)

Oddly, the resulting embarrassment, shame, recrimination can be just as intense with small mistakes as big ones.

After all, caught in the wallop of a catastrophic misjudgment, you may feel that fate, or at a minimum, genetics, have conspired against you, while little stupidities seem all your own fault.  Or worse, your brain’s fault–your decaying, ill-functioning, brain.  Even worse–your not-decaying, but lifelong-faulty, brain.

I read a confirmation code to someone today that started with the letters HTO.  It was only after he said “that’s easy to remember, like water,” that I realized that I’d been repeatedly saying H2O.

And believe me, that was the least of it.

Computers compound one’s natural propensity for error–the screen providing a sympathetic gloss for the most flagrant typo; the automatic replace function exponentially upping the ante.

All of the above leads me to the reposting of a villanelle.  (I’m sorry if you’ve seen this one before, but perhaps, if you are like me, you’ve forgotten it…)

Villanelle to Wandering Brain

Sometimes my mind feels like it’s lost its way
and must make do with words that are in reach
as pink as dusk (not dawn), the half-light of the day,

when what it craves is crimson, noon in May,
the unscathed verb or complex forms of speech.
But sometimes my mind feels like it’s lost its way

and calls the egg a lightbulb, plan a tray,
and no matter how it search or how beseech
is pink as dusk (not dawn), the half-light of the day.

I try to make a joke of my decay
or say that busy-ness acts as the leech
that makes my mind feel like it’s lost its way,

but whole years seem as spent as last month’s pay,
plundered in unmet dares to eat a peach
as pink as dusk (not dawn), the half-light of the day.

There is so much I think I still should say,
so press poor words like linens to heart’s breach,
but find my mind has somehow lost its way
as pink as dusk (not dawn), the half-light of the day.

For more villanelles, or info on how to write them, check out that category from the ManicDDaily home page.