Friday, August 17, 2012

Song and Dance




Song and Dance
The Monk's Tail (Chasing) a huitain


The milk and water monk got saved so strong,         
red rosary clutched to repent each sin,       
he scourged his back for his stained glass god's song
yet ev'ry howled word he sang high and thin                      
exalted the idol he'd raised within,
his mouth in the mirror a round black hole     
through which each paean of praise would begin
in pure worship of his own handsome soul.


The old nun who had no religion rose,
leaping high to a midnight jumprope chant
held to the earth by the skin of her toes,
she turned in the sway of that sweet descant 
heard by the innocent and aberrant
who drink the water and taste summer wine
who love and endure till the last star shows
for a heart of earth and a dance divine.

~August 2012




 



 Posted for   FormForAll   at dVerse Poets Pub


I first learned of the huitain adaptation of the ballade stanza from Kerry O'Connor at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads, so I dedicate this one to her and that excellent site designed to challenge writers to write in all kinds of ways. Gemma Wiseman hosts this prompt at dVerse Poets, and the form is great fun to revisit.











Both paintings public domain, via Wikipaintings.org

17 comments:

  1. The monk stuck with his milk and water immediately tossed me into the gritty but fun drama of a monk's "secret" life! But my favourite image must be "stained glass god's song" - how creative, how difficult to utter out loud, how symbolic is that difficulty! Beautiful!

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  2. Cloisterphobia - hahahahaha! So f*ing brilliant - hedge. I love this a double huitain - an exposure of truth in ballade/huitain in fact. The play is the thing though here, the song of hypocrisy and the danse of truth. Sheer genius!

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  3. The old nun who had no religion rose,

    I love the way you follow the first stanza with this line. I pause and re-read the whole first stanza before continuing because the line catches me off guard. The whole piece is brilliant.

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  4. I love it. And to the old nun? You go, girl!

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  5. "she turned in the sway of that sweet descant
    heard by the innocent and aberrant
    who drink the water and taste summer wine
    who love and endure till the last star shows
    for a heart of earth and a dance divine."

    I find this beautiful.

    Highly effective to contrast the two in the same poem--two equally passionate people with such a different connection to the world. To think of a Nun with no religion made me pause, but if by religion you mean what the monk does in the first part, it makes perfect sense. Bravo on using the form this way as the equal tightness of the two parts gives them equal weight but the nun's life still comes out more spacious and spiritual!

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  6. he scourged his back for his stained glass god's song
    yet ev'ry howled word he sang high and thin
    exalted the idol he'd raised within,...haha...i know this man...i rather like the lady jumping high to the nights jumprope...smiles...and her religeon sounds much more real you know...smiles....

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  7. this is very good Joy. wonderfully strong adjectives throughout, jumprope chant is awesome. Excellent read. Thanks

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  8. This is truly truly superb. I am in awe!

    Anna :o]

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  9. Thank you, Joy, for your dedication, which was most unexpected but warmly received. I fear that my "work" on Real Toads is inspired by the selfish need to read poetry as brilliant as this, every day, fresh, original, cutting-edge... It fills me up.

    I love each of these stanzas for its perfect attention to every detail: the rhymes are exceptional (especially chant, descant, aberrant) and the imagery impeccable. I also thrill at the transition between the monk's painful scourging and the nun's sprightly dance - each living out his and her fervour in their own way.

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  10. way cool...if i ever become a nun, i wanna be one just like her...leaping high to a midnight jumprope chant
    held to the earth by the skin of her toes....way, way cool...love it hedge and feel sad for the monk..

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  11. Two stanzas and two contrasting perspectives on faith. The scourging monk, the euphoric nun- and all deftly explored within the boundaries of the form....I sometimes ind that form can stylistically force writers to pen porns in different styles (which I think is a god thing)- but your unique voice remains string throughout! Great piece Joy!

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    1. Thank you Stu--and I must say, I understand exactly what you meant, but your typos made it a lot more fun! I hope form will somehow force me to write porn and my voice will always remain string! ;_)

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  12. I'd like to meet this nun who has no religion. What an odd duck! But she sounds like a bird I would hang around with, too.

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  13. It takes in a lot when talking of two contrasting situations. The monk took a lot for himself,a pity. There are some fun in the non-believer nun though! Great take Joy!

    Hank

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  14. Thanks to all--very stormy here, so will be offline till things clear off--am loving the rain and cool, though.

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  15. I want some of that nun's water! Congrats on the rain. It's a lovely poem. You can post it with the Poetics summer link too, if interested--that wine qualifies! Especially when it's made from water. (But not the normal way.)

    k.

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  16. "Cloisterphobia" ... Ha!

    I am crazy about your opening line: "The milk and water monk got saved so strong" ... Milk and water monk? That's fantastic. I can't help it, but milk always makes me think of breastfeeding ... and here "milk and water" being whatever it is that nourishes, medicates, and sustains you. In the Bible, water is turned into wine ... referenced toward the end of your poem.

    "he scourged his back for his stained glass god's song" ... Ouch, but this says so much ... his repentence is only skin deep. As you later state, he really makes himself his own god. Your title makes it clear from the beginning that this is all for show. What a clever spin on the expression "song and dance."

    Love this imagery:

    "his mouth in the mirror a round black hole"

    "held to the earth by the skin of her toes"

    "drink the water and taste summer wine" ... First I read this as two different drinks. But upon a later reading, I realized that you mean they drink water and it tastes, to them, as if it is wine. Would that we were all able to do this; we might not be dehydrated if what we were drawn to drink was healthy yet as alluring as a choice beverage.

    "a dance divine" ... Perfect ending, this bit of sarcasm.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg