Mind of a Mage… – Ghazal – October 15, 2014

Mind of a Mage … (Ghazal)

In the off-wings behind her veiled blind of a mage –
She’s not young, her gray hairs remind me of a mage …

Languid eyes, rosy cheeks and a solemn stare –
She hides behind the twisted mind of a mage …

More like a wizard than a witch … devious is she
Weaving words complacently – with her mind of a mage …

Always right, or so she thinks, she drives me mad!
Proud and austere – devious mind of a mage …

Ah women – bedeviled creatures one and all,
Beware friend, of their serpent mind of a mage …


I her man, am trapped in her spider’s web …
She’s bewitching – with her mind of a mage.

(c) G.s.k. ’14


This was inspired by Ye Olde Foole … he’s been better known for his haiku and tanka, but is an all around great poet … and writes in many forms including sonnets and ghazal … I read a couple of his ghazal yesterday and he sent me one written by Robert Bly.  Then this morning I saw a new ghazal on Fool’s Blog and decided to write Mindlovesmisery’s Self Portrait prompt (whereby you look at yourself through the eyes of another)  using a ghazal … hope you’ll drop by and  enjoy both of them!

Here is how you write a ghazal:

1. Every verse is a 2-line couplet, (unless your Robert Bly) with around 4 to 10 couplets in total.
2. Each line must contain the same number of syllables.
3. Every verse ends in the same word(s) preceded by a rhyme.
The same repeating word(s) is/are called a radif, and the rhyme is called a qaafiya.
4. In the first couplet, both lines end with a qaafiya (rhyme) and radif (repeating word(s)).
5. Each verse is considered a separate mini-poem, so there is no need for any connection between couplets.
6. The last verse is traditionally a signature couplet in which you include your first or last name (or nickname).



Friday Ficioneer’s – My Friend Ray – October 10, 2014

Copyright-Rochelle Fields

PHOTO PROMPT Copyright-Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Ray can play any instrument he put his hand to. His den is a tribute to his talent.
He started playing at 3, on an old upright piano. He never took lessons, his mother didn’t have the money for that sort of thing.

He put together a band in the early 70s. One afternoon back in 1974, he came over to my house with a record. He wanted to words for ‘Smoke on the Water’. We spent the afternoon trying to catch the words … he’d already caught the score.

Life’s strange, he went on to become a civil engineer.

Friday Fictioneers – weekly photo prompt

Modern Art – October 3, 2014

Interesting modern art installation

Click the photo for credits …

It’d been a long day for the kids. Their mother, a post modern art enthusiast had taken them first to the museum and then to her friend’s art exhibit.

“An afternoon wasted.” 13 year old James mumbled.

12-year-old Susan replied pointing to the sidewalk saying in posh nasal tones, “And this I call: “My Lolly Fell In The Dirt!” it represents the uncertainties of life’s fortunes.”

James caught onto the game quickly. They commented on odd bits of trash found along their path, giggling.

Their mother listened ruefully then said: “Ok, understood. Let’s go for ice-cream and pizza.”

unidentifiable on a stickCopyright-Kent Bonham


For Friday Fictioneers

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!

Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie – September 20, 2014

Hello World!

This morning I wrote and published my Saturday Shadorma prompt on Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie.  The thumbnail there is from today’s post … I don’t know how many of you have been round to try the Mindlovemisery’s prompts, so I thought I’d do a short intro.

So, you haven’t been to Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie yet … you don’t know what it is?

It’s a great prompt blog … at the service of all you writers of poems and prose! We’re very easy-going .. you aren’t required to write prose for a prose prompt for example … an epic poem or a limerick is fine if that’s what tickles your muse.  You might say we’re muse friendly  😉  If you prefer to use your own photography for a fairy tale .. no problem.  We’re there to inspire and we know that inspiration cannot be chained!

Each day there is a new prompt … Monday‘s posts are one of my favorites … that’s Wordle day and alas, I’m a Wordle addict!  Then there are Yve’s photo challenges on Tuesday … they just draw you in … hard to resist.  Anmol  writes the weekly Heeding Haiku with HA on Wednesday – Oloriel does the Tale Weaver’s Prompt on Thursday and  Anja on Friday does the Fairy Tale Prompt.  As I said on Saturday I do the Shadorma (and other poetical forms) posts and then on Sunday,  Yves wraps up the week with another photo prompt … and what a great end to a week of prompts it is!

Here’s the Link to Mindlovemisery’s Home page … have fun visiting!

For those who know the site … what do you think of our new dress?  Lovely isn’t it!

Ciao, Bastet.

Senryu or Haiku: That Is the Question – July 16, 2014

queen bee picks her drone
guided missiles are drones too
but them’s money bees

Now I don’t think anyone could mistake the above for a haiku … it’s pure satire and not what I’d usually write.  Senryu (川柳?, literally ‘river willow’) has been around a long time … even before haiku, which before Shiki was considered a fragment of a renga, which is a communal poem, that fragment was often called a hokku or haikai.

Senryu on the other hand, has often been disparaged as not being proper poetry at all, by the more “serious” haiku poets.  It was often written spontaneously or for money as a comedy relief at parties.  Now days senryu has also taken up social protest and other more dark aspects of mundane life and has become very serious stuff.

 bees hum softly
orange blossoms perfume the air
children play tag

That was obviously a haiku.  It has the seasonal words (kigo) the pivot which then takes us to the kireji, the cutting word or phrase which changes our direction and is a sort of punctuation, and which I’m not very good at by the way 😉 , on the other the Japanese have whole dictionaries of kigo and kireji of which the later are nearly without translation, being sounds like “No” or “Ya”.  In fact much could be said about trying to write faithfully following rules which were created for a language so completely different from our latin based languages. (By the way, the first and last line should be interchageable according to some schools.)

After the Shiki revform, haiku left the realms of mysticism for many haiku poets writing about nature in the place of religion, Shiki being an atheist and not partial to writing about religious thought.  He felt that haiku should be about the everyday aspects of nature in our lives:

He favored the painterly style of Buson and particularly the European concept of plein-airpainting, which he adapted to create a style of haiku as a kind of nature sketch in words, an approach called shasei (写生), literally ‘sketching from life’. Wikipedia

Haiku should be a splash of life … like a pebble in a pond, a concentrated image, without comment by the poet and in the present tense and without rhyme.

The English speaking community who’ve introduced haiku and senryu to the West, have often been very polemical among themselves as to just how many syllables should be in a haiku …  some will also get upset, for example,  if one uses the “I” or “ego” in a haiku.  I’ve read extensively and found for the most part one can become very confused very easily.

From my point of view, the day I can speak and write Japanese, I will enter the controversy … in the meantime, I look to those who write better than I do and try to glean just what makes that little gem they’v written so beautiful, and try to write something equally beautiful.

Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie – Heeding Haiku with Ha

Lovers – Laturne – July 8, 2014

Light Lovers

The Moon and the Lantern

Lovers – Laturne

Far apart
They longingly

A laturne is a shape micropoem … it resembles a Japanese lantern and has 5 lines.  The syllable count is 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 1.  I tried it out yesterday on Poet’s Corner where Harry put it up as a challenge!

Yesterday’s Posts – July 9, 2014

As promised yesterday in Just a Note … here is where you can find the work I published yesterday … it’s a little scattered around as you can see 😉


Dawn Thoughts July 8, 2014

The Phantom of the Rap Opera

Bastet’s Pixelventure July 8, 2014

Chiyo-Ni – “in an unknown sky”

Party Blues

Shiki and Tanka

Just a Note

Sunroot Flowers (Haiku)

Sail Away – Laturne (Poet’s Corner Challenge)

A Past Renga – August 25th, 2013 (July 4, 2014)

Last year I posted on The Thirteenth Floor Paradigm a brief introduction to renga … and was very happy to play the game the first comer was HA then know as How Anxious.  It wasn’t exactly as a renga should be … we played with senryu rather than haiku, but here let me show you how it went!

what is Sunday for…

relaxing and lazing olé

so why must I cook?

tongue-tingling smell of hot food
wafting from neighbor’s window




Just A Note! June 2, 2014

Hello World!

Do you know AnElephant?  He’s a delightful pink elephant that writes great stories and poetry in his blog named “anelephantcant“!

He’s written a novella by the name of “The Second Request” and published it in pdf e-book form that you can download from his blog.  Here’s what he has to say:

AnElephantCant count all his money
He soon will be as rich as King Croesus
He has several rooms
Full of shiny doubloons
And great piles of diamonds and sundry gold pieces

Both his readers probably know he is fibbing
But he has a reason which to him makes great sense
His book is now free
Because he wants to see
If he can help Scotland achieve her Independence

Now the book is not overtly political
It is a thriller exciting and short
It is set in the future
Which we all have to nurture
And that means Freedom if you are a Scot

In his homeland the ballot is secret
But AnElephant’s intentions are not hard to guess
This is just a daft verse
But if you read his words
He has only one vote but his vote is Yes!”
(C) AnElephant

So, pop over to his post “Wheeee Look It’s a Free E-book!”  The book looks like this:

The Second Request by anelephantcant

The Second Request by anelephantcant

Between you and me, it’s a delightful mystery …. it begins when all the children in a certain area of Scotland disappear only to reappear shortly after a mother makes an appeal…but I don’t want to ruin the story for you, go and get your copy by clicking the link above to “anelephantcant”!

Have a nice day, and happy reading!  Bastet