AUSTRALIA ~ The Antipodes

AUSTRALIA ~ The Antipodes
I love a sunburnt country / A land of sweeping plains / Of ragged mountain ranges / Of droughts and flooding rains / I love her far horizons / I love her jewel-sea / Her beauty and her terror / The wide brown land for me / ~ Dorothea Mackellar (1885-1968)


Monday, July 16, 2012

A Monk's Tale

One summer as dawn broke the night's faint chill, 
I greeted my cell with hesitant eyes. 
No coffee today before minds are still 
And souls appreciate prayerful skies. 
Could yesterday's peak hour be a far guise? 
So here I am tasting a monk's pure sight, 
Wondering if I can live in new dyes; 
If my darkest past can suffer new light.

Inspired by:
With Britain becoming an increasingly secular society, the number of people devoting themselves to the monastic life has been in freefall. But now several monasteries and convents are fighting against the trend by offering taster weekends in the hope of bringing fresh members into the fold.
- A monk's life...but just until Monday ~ BBC News ~ Saturday 10.2.09

NOTE - This is my first attempt at a Huitain.
It is a poem in a single Ballade stanza.
The verse form was most popular in the 16th century and was often used for epigrams in the 18th century. One source suggests the Huitain may have begun in Spain.
 The basic layout is:
Line length: 8 (French) or 10 (English) syllables
 Rhyme scheme: ababbcbc
Number of lines: 8

Linking to:
Real Toads ~ A Mini-Challenge for Sunday ~ A Monk's Tale ~ Huitain form
dVerse ~ Open Link Night ~ Anniversary Week


Karishma Shetty said...

Wondering if I can live in new dyes;
If my darkest past can suffer new light.

I love these lines. Beautifully strung!

vivinfrance said...

A beautifully monkish huitaine

Scarlet said...

Lovely poetry form and an interesting topic to write about ~ To have a taste of a monk's life may be a refreshing sight ~

Kerry O'Connor said...

I love the gentleness of your poem - the image is a fine compliment to the deep pondering of your words.

Mary Ann Potter said...

Wow! Short, succinct, and very powerful! Thanks for providing the information about the monastic resurgence. It made this even better.

Helen said...

I just read a newspaper article on this 'trend' of visiting monasteries for recharging our batteries. I think there is something to it ~ there is a monastery in Berryville, VA I purchase rum soaked fruitcakes from every holiday season ... now you know they are having fun, no worries!

Nice Huitain.

Brian Miller said...

if my dark past can suffer new light...nice piece...can we change, i think surely...perhaps if we take the time to reflect....

Laurie Kolp said...

Fabulous piece. I'll have to give the form a try.

Naquillity said...

thanks for sharing this new poetic form. i'll have to give this one a try one day. i loved the poem you wrote but it's that last line that was best.

Beachanny said...

You certainly found the right tone and voice - a clear call to a life of meditation and sacrifice.

Would you be interested in introducing this form on a FormForAll at dVerse poets? Just a little of its history and the outlines of it with meter and rhyme would be great? Let me know
Thank you.

Susan said...

Ah, what fun! reflection--serious--but with coffee at the center of it. Coffee holds on to a person, so I don't know about this candidate, wistful though he is.


Jennifer Wagner said...

Interesting subject...I especially like...

Wondering if I can live in new dyes;
If my darkest past can suffer new light.

Claudia said...

nice..this is a cool form..over here they open the doors to weekend visitors who are just in need for a break and some time to breathe.. i think it's a great idea

Sreeja said...

To live in new dyes....fabulous poem.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the prompt. The form is new to me. Your exploration is super....That's why I could never be a monk...that no coffee deal. LoL

Anonymous said...

Gemma, thank you for explaining the Huitan to us at dverse. I followed you over here to see this poem. It reflects monastic life fully; my BFF was a Franciscan friar before being ordained (and ultimately leaving the Church b/c he is gay. FYI, only the straight priests molested kids.)

The new dyes, the wondering whether he can do this... speaks especially to a novitiate. Great take, Gemma, and I'll try this for dverse. You've inspired me! Amy



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  • A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. ~James Dent
  • Autumn is an introspective season when stray thoughts of the mind dive into the mystique of the soul - Gemma Wiseman
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  • Winter is the fire, simmering lonely in the soul ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Winter is the shadow, the etching of the seasons in the mist ~ Gemma Wiseman

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