Margo Roby, in her Tuesday Tryouts,, suggested making four lists, of at least six items each, of things old, new, borrowed and blue. I wonder where she came up with them?

I was recently telling Margo about FreeMind, a mind-mapping software I use. It’s available for free on the internet, and while this first step of Margo’s exercise doesn’t really require a mindmap, I used FreeMind in making my list—just to get warmed up. Below is my mindmap list.

The next step was to take one item from each list and use them to create a poem in whatever style one wanted to use. I looked through my lists for the four most diverse items I could find. I ended up with chivalry, fresh as a kiss, tools and bird. Now I had something to use which would stretch the use of FreeMind. It allowed me to let my associations run free. During this stage, associations often appear which are unexpected. One would be hard pressed to explain where they even come from. I took a screen capture of my map about halfway through the process. It would not have been legible when shrunk down to WordPress post-size from its final stage.

by Mike Patrick

The sounds of morning,
singing birds, children at play,
always welcome, always fresh,
fresh as baby’s kiss.

The sound of children laughing
was a constant of my childhood.
When did it disappear?
Now, it’s drowned out by profanity.
Threats are the language of the day.

When did we lose our way?
Within this lifetime,
women were respected and revered.
Men tipped their hats,
held open doors for the ladies,
and allowed them to walk in front.

Those traditions were passed on by example.
Children learned at their father’s knee–
or across it.
Disrespect was not tolerated.

Now, there is no father involved.
Chivalry is dead.
The tool that greased the wheels of civility
has faltered and died through apathy.
A new world dawns
as we dream of what used to be.

This entry was posted in Aging, Childhood, Family, Free Verse, Old Times, Poetry, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to CHIVALRY IS DEAD

  1. TheMsLvh says:

    Interesting software. on my way to check it out.
    I still see signs of Chivalry once in a while. It feels good.
    Good write!

  2. It has come about because the parents didn’t teach their children in the ways that the older generations have taught the children. I would think from the 1970’s onwards, good manners and old fashioned politeness began to take a back seat to new movies with unsensored violence, swear words introduced into music and so on and so on.. Until the parents of the 1980’/90’s didn’t teach their children the old fashioned ways anymore and the children of today are growing up desensitised to caring and having empathy for others in the way that we did in our youth.
    Hope that makes sense.
    The way you arrived at your prose is fascinating.

  3. Mike you are making such fantastic progress, I can’t keep up with you. The subtlety of your use of words, the lineation and the way you arrived at the theme are mighty impressive. And the poem itself will twang a lot of chords with a lot of parents and grandparents.

  4. pmwanken says:

    Fascinating all around. Loved the images you captured…both through screen shots, and in the lines of verse. Well done, my friend.

    …I have a lot to learn…

  5. margo roby says:

    LOVE the mind maps. Glad you mentioned them. I will be mentioning the other site you told me about with Tuesday’s new form.
    I like your topic and even though they are diverse you bring the four words/phrases in smoothly. I wonder whether working this through metre and rhyme would give you a more satisfactory result.

    • Mike Patrick says:

      I’m sure it would, but just bringing those four words together fried my brain. I try to complete a poem in one sitting, especially poems from prompts. For tough ones, and this one was, I work on it for a while, walk away, and come back the next day . . . and the next day, etc.

      Last winter, when nothing much was going on, I tried to post at least twice a day. This summer, it’s all I can do to post every couple days. I would be interested in know how long other poets spend with individual poems.

  6. margo roby says:

    And you make your life more difficult, why? Although, having asked that tongue-in-cheek, you do give yourself a large pool of poems. I envy that you can produce so much.
    I usually take days to weeks to write a single poem. I think of a topic, I mull it for days, slap it around or nudge it, and finally write it down. Or, I write the topic and start mind-mapping, or scribbling notes, and then I do the mulling process. Revision takes me a while too and I often do three to five rewrites before I am done.
    The wordles and We Write Poems prompts have been great because they force me to write in a week. I am hoping that speeds me up in general. I wouldn’t worry about slowing down. You have been trying a lot of new things and they have given you much to chew on.


    • Mike Patrick says:

      When I’m writing, it’s like a race. I want to finish this one so I can get to the next one. It’s like being on a deadline . . . and I’m not. I know I could nuance more into a poem with more time. I honestly don’t know why I rush; perhaps the pure joy of finishing something so I can face another challenge. The poem I just finished, “Goodbye” took all of ten minutes. Most of that time was on the last stanza after my muse felt it was done.

  7. Ravenblack says:

    I have to agree. These days unfortunately, especially in cities, family structures are no longer as stable, parents trying their hardest to provide are often absent in their effort to provide, and children are left alone to learn manners from wherever. It’s a world becoming lax and lacking in manners.

  8. Joel Hall says:

    Another poem that makes ya’ go hmmm. Good work. Flows well.

  9. Aeria says:

    Wow! Love the mapping- quite interesting! I enjoyed how you combined and mixed the concepts and refined them into a great poem with social comment. Nicely done!


  10. Tilly Bud says:

    I think you have two poems here: the first stanza could stand alone; the second stanza is where the theme really starts.

    A sad but true reflection of our world.

    I like the mind map.

  11. Mike, I love every bit of this poem. It rings clearly of the world today. The mind map is quite an interesting tool.


  12. earlybird says:

    I really must get to grips with the software when I get home… 🙂 Although I haven’t written any poetry for ages…

    I agree with your comments. Nothing wrong with a bit of discipline in bringing up children.

  13. Pingback: Thursday Thoughts: More Poetry Links « Margo Roby: Wordgathering

  14. jinksy says:

    The thought of a map is interesting – my mind usually gallops forth, following my nose! LOL Your end result in this capture present day to a T…

  15. anl4 says:

    As it will always be, what is now, is soon the past. Perhaps it is to treasure what is now?

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