Stumbling block

China white's only sometime grief
tears are not just sorrow
 eyes drip anger
 lucent temper
tears are not just sorrow

Blanched the yawning of tomorrow
unfilled looms the future
 fists shut tightly
 fears come nightly
unfilled looms the future

Leaden faced the frigid writer
strikethroughs so unsightly
 and overleaf
 each thought a thief
strikethroughs so unsightly

Blancoed pages, empty, ghostly
elusive leitmotif
 poets' shadows
 past as windows 
elusive leitmotif

For my Craft and Critique prompt: In a Roundabout Way we are composing a 20 line Roundabout style poem of four quintains, with repetitions and recurring rhymes of aBccB bCddC cDaaD dAbbA. Written in iambic meter of 43223 syllabic stresses/feet (which I often do not achieve!).

35 thoughts on “Stumbling block

  1. A blank page can be a stumbling block or an invitation to create – and you’ve creates a wonderful roundabout, Laura! I love the way the tears drip through your poem.

  2. I have not been here for an age
    The press of life detained me
    I fussed and worked
    Pressed and shirked
    The press of life detained me

    It feels like life drains away
    when muses will not linger
    writers block
    living mocks
    when muses will not linger

    anyway, not a roundabout, the rhymes already messed up, but I have been out with mild post-vaxed covid this week, and forced to stay home from crazy crazy work demands, and have written three new Quadrilles, and have felt more alive while sick this week than in a year, so when that blank page stares back, it can feel like a little death,
    Nice to see your poem.
    Hope you are well! 🙂

    1. Lona, so happy to see you, and am always furthered in reading your perspectives on poems. Hoping to see you more at the poets pub!!!!!

    1. I resist forms generally (the theme of this poem reiterates the struggles!) so hosting these prompts forces me to face them – they may not produce our best poems, but they do refine our writing of them!

  3. Laura, I like the ambiguity of China white, as it would work as death/grieving or as heroin, and probably many other things as well. My favorite line in it is “unfilled looms the future.” Wonderful command of the form. Will be using it as a template in how to finagle those repeating lines.

    1. yes lots of ambiguity and ambivalence hence the stumbling block 😉 – not an easy form but if this helps that’s good. Bjorn also suggested turning the letters into colours to make it easier to see what has to match up.
      • aBccB bCddC cDaaD dAbbA

  4. I like the pursuit of the elusive leitmotif with this form: both the cyclical nature of a guiding theme, and the search for a guiding theme.

Comments are closed.