A new wordle from A Wording Whirl of Sundays fell on my desk yesterday. The prompt words were striding, leaves, fire, cry, fallen, twilight, wind, against, afraid, planets, turning, tails.

As I’ve explained before, a wordle poem just happens to me while I read the words for the first time. The first word suggests a theme and each word thereafter falls into place to flesh out the poem. Once all the words have been plugged somewhere into a verse, I go back over it to clean up the meter. It’s only then I actually see what was written.

This one surprised me with the three line stanzas and the rhyming scheme. I was also surprised at how long I had to work with the words planets and tails, trying to make them sound like anything but an afterthought.

by Mike Patrick

Striding through the blackened leaves
and stepping over fallen trees;
the ranger had to stop and cry.

Last night, as fiery twilight fell,
a wind shift caused a burning Hell,
the ranger feared the glowing sky.

Against a rocky bluff, afraid,
while kneeling down, he softly prayed.
The ranger’s water had run dry.

The forest creatures’ turning flight
caused some confusion through the night.
The ranger’s chance had passed him by.

On some days, luck, like mercy brings
a gift of life as seasons sing.
The ranger made one final try.

Some days the coin will land on tails,
a loving planet’s plan derails.
The ranger did not have to die.

This entry was posted in A Wording Whirl of Sundays, Iambic, Poetry, Rhyming, Tetrameter and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to THE RANGER’S FIRE

  1. vivinfrance says:

    But this is excellent, Mike. No sign of a struggle – except for that of the ranger. That last line could be read two ways, so I do hope he did not die! You aren’t going visiting these days – too busy with DIY?

    • Mike Patrick says:

      The last line just happened to come out that way–with two possible meanings–and I left it that way. I hated to kill him off. This way, maybe he is alive.

      I’ve been checking in a little more each day. The do-it-yourself work seems to be regenerating. The last couple of days, it has been about opening the pool. Way more work than it’s worth.

  2. brenda w says:

    Mike, There’s something about a rhyming dark piece that pulls me into it’s story. I love the echo effect that third line rhyme creates, in this haunting piece. Well- constructed. Thank you for your process notes, too.

  3. Traci B says:

    Mike, however your poems develop, it works. This was a powerful story and an excellent use of the wordle.

  4. 1sojournal says:

    Your process notes, at the beginning were fascinating and intriguing. The wordles are a word puzzle to me, sometimes coming easily, other times just barely making it to paper. This is a smooth and vivid image, as well as a good story. My hat’s off to you,


  5. pmwanken says:

    will i ever “get” rhyming iambic meter!?
    Mike…you ooze it!! Using wordle words, to boot!
    (And I, too, am grateful for the ambiguity in the last line…he LIVES!)

  6. earlybird says:

    Seamless story. I like the ambiguous ending very much. So impressive the way you work in all those words to such an easy flow.

    I also enjoyed the process notes.

  7. Becca Givens says:

    I am in agreement of liking the ambiguous ending 🙂 … captivating piece and amazing feat with wordle!! I shall stick with Haiku and such!!! 😀

  8. Mr. Walker says:

    Mike, this is awesome, from the title onward. I first imagined a ranger near a campfire, but quickly discovered that was not the route you were taking. I also like the meaning that is in that last line. Because the source of the fire is unknown, I imagined it was caused by careless people, thus he did not have to die – it could have been prevented. I also love this line: “the ranger feared the glowing sky.”


  9. Mary says:

    Wonderful wordle, Mike. I write wordles in a similar way to you. I never know when I start where the poem will go. I am very impressed with yours having come out in rhyme though. I like the ambiguous ending too!

  10. Cathy says:

    Excellent! Not everything has a happy ending.

  11. This is an excellent poem! Great rhythym and rhyme and I love the way you worked in planet and trail. Very clever ending. 🙂

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