Imaginary Gardens with real Toads,, asks us to write a cywydd llosgyrnog: a Welsh poem of any number of stanzas. Each stanza has a strict meter, containing two eight-syllable couplets and two seven-syllable interlacing rhymes on the third and sixth lines. The third and sixth lines also rhyme with one another. The syllable/rhyme scheme looks like this:

Cross-rhyme can shift between 3rd and 5th syllables.

Even though I can’t pronounce “cywydd llosgyrnog,” perhaps there is some Welch blood dripping from this heart of mine. I know I feel at home with this form.

by Mike Patrick

When cannons roar, a country needs
the men to whom courage exceeds
beyond deeds of mortal man.
When valor calls beyond the pale
and through the nights the women wail,
hearts inhale what fears they can.

When men stand up for their belief
they do not cry for pain’s relief.
Rest is brief and hard to find.
Among the wounded, weary souls,
there is a force that love controls,
from  death’s tolls, life is consigned.

Take up the sword your brother dropped
and fight with will ‘til evil’s  stopped.
Free men opt to face the war.
Pick up the flag, proudly waved,
and hold it o’er a country saved.
‘Til what’s craved is held once more.

This entry was posted in Cywydd Llosgyrnog, Death, Freedom, Mixed Meter, Poetry, Real Toads, War, Warriors and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to STEP FORWARD

  1. Wonderful imagery, and oozing brotherhood for what is felt as true within the hearts of change

  2. laurie kolp says:

    Mike- a powerful piece… I especially like the first stanza.

    Hey, I got a notice for a call for submissions at Rattle Magazine for law enforcement poets only. I immediately thought of you. Here’s the link:

  3. What a wonderful choice of subject for this form – a rally cry to the Welsh rebels to fight on against English colonization – or the anthem of any young soldier in any age.

  4. vivinfrance says:

    A splendid evocation of a time in history (and not so historic) of chivalry and derring-do. Your interpretation of the form (I can’t keep typing that Welsh word) is perfect.

    Thank you for your nice comment on my interview at Brenda Youngerman’s blog. I felt a glow of pride and a blush for the undeserved encomium!

  5. I am indeed impressed! Your imagery is vivid and tight, your rhymes well-formed. I had a bit of a challenge with this prompt and only wrote six lines. You have something more substantial here!

  6. earlybird says:

    Impressive, Mike. Da iawn (Welsh for ‘very good’)!

  7. jinksy says:

    Take up the sword your brother dropped
    and fight with will ‘til evil’s stopped.

    I loved these two lines of encouragement to fight the foe.
    But my warped sense of humour wanted to ask who’s Will? Sorry! LOL

  8. Kay Davies says:

    Impressive. It seems to have just rolled right off your tongue and into your computer. I’ve been struggling with this form for some reason. Good for you.

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  9. Pete says:

    C’mon Jinksy, everybody knows Evil Will.
    Seriously, Mike, I’m quite in awe of how balanced the stanzas are and how fluidly the thought train runs through the three stanzas. Too right you feel at home with the form…

  10. Marian says:

    ooohh yes, this does seem so natural for you. very, very strong, every word.

  11. A swashbuckler of a poem!

  12. Just had a thought – how about ‘verve’ instead of ‘will’? Or even ‘heart’?

  13. More! More! More! You are going to love the last Welsh challenge, I can just tell.

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