Stavros of Minsk – Fornyrðislag – September 27, 2014

Silver Cesar Santos 26

Cesar Santos

Stavros of Minsk

In slumber slipping – one dark autumn night,
Downwards nigh the rose arbour I walked.

Ardent lovers dreamily a-waltzing – in angst stopped stunned as I entered,
Yet the dulcimer player wailed on with his dismal sonata.

Desolation surrounded the dark arbour – ghostly spectators seemed to be watching,
Awaiting some signal – from some ghastly invisible source.

The sonata waxed louder – my head was soon spinning,
When a spider-like web, wound round my nude shoulders.

Silky gossamer threads wound round me – with a will of their own.
I realized suddenly with a shudder, that I reeled not alone.

Regal and sombre there stood – a ghostly shroud of dismal darkness.
Darting and dancing around me, as he appraised my soul avidly.

Not dithering sulkily in sordid reflections – I sought out his name,
A-vowing to relieve myself of this shroud of destruction.

Answering in sepulchre tones – my shadowy companion advised me saying:
Know now my name humble slave – I’m the prince of darkness, Stavros of Minsk!

Light shot through the shadowy arbour – a superior voice shattered the scene:
“That’s thoroughly absurd – there’s no such name as Stavros from Minsk!”

The ghastly shimmering shadows – cracked and shattered then at once receded!
And there I lay in my creased bed-clothes – cowled by the shout of sovereign reality.

(C) G.s.k. ’14


This is my imperfect attempt to write a Fornyrðislag … you say looking perplexed, what is a Fornyrðislag:

Fornyrðislag (“fort near this lahg”) is an alliterative verse form that was used in ancient German, Norse, and Anglo-Saxon poetry. Today it is sometimes still used in Iceland.
Fornyrðislag is composed of lines with four or more syllables each. The lines are divided into half-lines (A and B) with a heavy pause (or caesura) between the half-lines. Each half-line has two stressed syllables, or lifts. The first lift in half-line B alliterates (repeats consonant sounds) with one (or both) lifts in half-line A. (The second lift in B does not need to alliterate with the lifts in A.) Alliteration in one line connects with alliteration somewhere in the next line to create line-pairs. Lines are grouped into stanzas which are anywhere from 2 to 8 lines long. Syllable count varies, but lines should be fairly dense.
Enjambment helps keep the lines from becoming “sing-songy”. Kennings (like “foe-cleaver” and “orc-chopper”) are common.

For further reading: Formal Features of Jónas Hallgrímsson’s Poetry or Arnaut & Karkur’s ultimate on-line prosody resource

I’ve seen this form used a few times by Jen at Blog it or Lose it!  I thought I’d give it a try, as I’ll try anything at least once.  I’m not sure that I’ve followed all the rules, I get lost when I read words like enjambment  … but here it is in all its enfamy or glory … based on a dream gone astray.  I’m also adding this to Mindlovesmisery’s September 16 Photo Challenge … this lovely photo has been haunting me for days and it seemed well-suited for the poem!

Shashin no uta- Autumn Reflections – Septembr 21, 2014

For today’s wordless haiku … my theme is autumn reflections (I couldn’t figure out how to use passion and bored o.O) …

wordless Haiga_resizedautumn’s new harvest
his warm dreamy reflections
turned to winter snow

(c) G.s.k. ’14

Today I tried using the collage option offered by Picasa 3 to create this wordless haiku.  I probably should have used a different background (I used the new apples) or a solid color.  Actually though, I kind of it like this …

So, here’s to Ronovan Writes with many thanks for this great idea and Jen from Blog it or Lose it who got me to try it in the first place 😉 !

To Jen with Love – August 9, 1014

Chocolate (To Jen with Love)

How I do love chocolate …
Let me count the ways
Pralines, Nougats, Peanut clusters
Just to name a few,
Seventy percent cocoa
But even Hershey’s would do
With milk or fondant
Or maybe white chocolate too!
Filled with caramel or filled with liqueur
Little bon bons do attract
In such an enticing way …
How I love that magic substance
That wicked evil stuff
Though I’d sit and eat my fill
Deny myself I must …
For all those tiny sweetmeats,
That road to ecstasy,
Tend to put the weight on
My derrier and on my thighs.
But the virtual brand I find
Can be quite satisfying too …
Inside my mind and memory
Imagination does what it must do …
There I smell the fudge a cookin’
Brownies in the oven
And Toll house cookies bakin’
On a rainy afternoon.
So I’ll send your muse some chocolate
Of the most exquisite blends
No veggies, tofu, or fruit
Will be in the virtual bin …

High-Coo = Cow Poke haiku – July 27, 2014

Jules Paige is having fun … and inviting us to throw in our ideas with this fun prompt:New ku’ : High-Coo = Cow Poke Haiku.  Maybe there will be other prompts so keep in touch … this was the most recent:

High-Coo = Cow Poke haiku

No countin’ syllables, 10 paces (words more or less).
Traditional haiku styles accepted

with an example:

Lucus ain’t about backen’ down none.
When the need arises ;
He speaks real clear with that rifle gun

squint, Clint, squint!
Man With No Name tries to aim
in the mid-day glare
black-hatted villain
clomps into the boom town saloon –
piano man pales

Thanks to: ©JR of Blogitorloseit

Now for me ….


ridin’ rough all day
got me shot o’ lightnin’ waitin’
round my place

darn hen ain’t layin’
gonna have chick’n soup
tomorra night

cherry pickin’
hard work, Slim, get me some gin
need some refreshin’

©  G.s.k. ’14

Dawn Thoughts – July 17, 2014


blood riddled news
attractive and nutritious
Dracula teaches



among dead leaves
new life reaches for the sun
eternal cycle


Renga: Jen and Georgia


here and now
where is the other place
illusive mind

river flows where it will flow
and birch sways in the wind storm
each minute is now
there is no arguing
with the moment

walk along the path with joy
this moment’s eternal
sun smiles today
listen, the chittering birds
are scolding the rain

such useless scolding
rain falls when and where it will
moaning their fates
people and chickadees
come rain or come shine

eternal lamentations
losing sight of the moment
happy encounters
creating wonderful verse
linking hearts

setting sun and rising sun /
linked in the same moment /
poetry /
is friendship among words /
sharing a vision //

through the maze … emotions
caressing understanding
peaceful rest
then a hearty breakfast
morning rituals

riffling through the newspaper
skimming through the emails
the mourning dove preens
and ruffles his feathers
his own ritual

money bee drones fill the news
his lamenting coos remark
stealthily, sun rises
new beginnings greet us
whispering wind

held aloft by the wind
butterfly spirals higher
one yellow needle
lets go of its crowded bough –
guided by the wind

the grass strewn with dead leaves
protects the new seedlings
new life sprouts
from the mulch arises
a young tree

Jen writes from Blog it or Lose it!

Dawn Thoughts – July 8, 2014

Rain drops

haiku * becomes as renga!

winter shrouds
tattered by soft spring rain fall
jasmine blossoms

Jen Writes:

scattered across the sky
admitting the sun’s approach

butterfly clouds
warm their golden wings at dawn
before taking flight

Bastet replies

circling the pristine skies
seeking their summer nest

eternal wanderers
seeking a new haven
joyous swallows

* Inspired from Dawn Thoughts – July 7, 2014
A conversation with: Jen

Rain yet again,
the beauty of green
helps me tolerate
these wet days


sleep not
for the day
has just begun

Haiku – Westward Waves of Wisteria – July 4, 2014

Today’s haiku master poet in the July series of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai is Kobayashi Issa (1763  – 1828).  I found a lovely biography of him whist looking for Issa’s background today written by Haiku Guy, which I’ve linked so that you may look at it too!  I first came across Issa (which means cup of tea, by the way) through Jen of Blog it or Lose it! chatting about haiku one early morning (mine not hers 🙂 ).  She also sent me some links, one of which is The Haiku of Issa.

Issa is famous for his haiku (or hokku or haikai as these verses were called before Shiki’s haiku reform) about everyday life and small creatures like spiders and flies but also dogs, cats and birds.

The poem chosen today at Carpe Diem was passed on to Chèvrefuelle by Jen and it’s not about his usual subject but about the Amida Buddha’s Western Paradise:

shônin no nishi no fujinami ima ya saku

the holy man’s
westward waves of wisteria

© Kobayashi Issa



Wisteria Sky

 pure earth and water
sailing wisteria waves

© Bastet

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #40, “One Yellow Leaf”

Today’s hokku for the Tan Renga prompt was written by Jen of Blog It or Lose It! :

clinging to the bank
where water wrestles with rock –
one yellow leaf

© Jen

destined to move on its way
in crystal mystic waves
© G.s.k.


Summer Morn – Puente – June 20, 2014

My summer morn began too soon …
Thus abed I pondered song birds,
Puzzled over obscure haiku,
And prompts I thought I’d like to write.

– Jumping out of bed, inspired, I fled –

Sat down behind my white keyboard,
Alas my inspiration, fled …
Dried up and gone like morning dew …
So I had coffee – then chatted.

This is from a prompt I came to through Bjorn, yesterday.  I’d never heard or at least had never wrote for Poetry Jam, but I was intriqued by the form and how Bjorn had written it so very well!

Then this morning I saw the Jen on Blog it or Lose it! had also given it a whirl, so copy-cat that I am, I had to try it out.  As it turned out it was less complicated than I had thought at first.  Though not inspired, I’ll post this and try again in the near future.

This is how it works:

– a total of 3 stanzas;
– 1st and 3rd stanzas 1 & 3 contain different thoughts;
– 1st and 3rd stanzas have the same number of lines (and possibly meter and/or rhyme) – depending on the poet’s preferences;
– 2nd stanza connects the *meaning* of the 1st and 3rd stanzas;
– 2nd stanza is one line and is enclosed in tildes (~);
 – 2nd stanza is technically the last line of the 1st stanza AND the 1st line of the 3rd stanza.

Summer Morns – Ya-Du Challenge – June 20, 2014


Hot morning dawns
Streaked pink fawn skies
Bird’s song flies down
Denies sadness
Summer morns – beautiful to excess!



The other morning, Jen from Blog it or Lose it came up with a new form, at least it was new for me, but actually very ancient:

A Spotlight, Green (Ya-Du – Kuindzhi Poems)

The poem is a ya-du.  What is a ya-du? Here are the rules for this Burmese poetic form:

  • 1, 2, or 3 stanzas, each with 5 lines;
  • Lines 1, 2, 3, and 4 have four syllables;
  • Line 5 has 5, 7, 9, or 11 syllables;
  • Lines 4 and 5 have end rhyme;
  • Lines 1, 2, and 3 have climbing rhyme in syllables 4, 3, and 2;
  • Lines 3, 4, and 5 have climbing rhyme in syllables 4, 3, and 2;
  • There is a reference to the seasons.

This has got to be about the hardest form I’ve ever tried to write!  Probably with practice …. anyway I wanted to at least give it a try and I’m not very pleased with this first result, so I’ll be coming back to it.  But if any of you would like to give it a go … pls ping me (and I think Jen would like to see your results too)!

Ciao, Bastet!