Red Oyster

The future was her red oyster—
Red like her passion, uncloistered.
Red like her heart, ripe for a coup.
A time long gone, when youth was new.

A young conqueror stole her heart,
Took a vow they never would part.
In time, he cleaved her heart in two.
A time long gone, when youth was new.

Though battle-scarred she tried again
To find a love that was a friend,
But her mind, he did not value.
A time long gone, when youth was new.

Closed to the world, free to the page,
With pen of red, she spills out rage.
She never knew a love that’s true…
A time long gone, when youth was new.

The future was her red oyster—
A time long gone, when youth was new.

©2021 KT Workman

(Note: [I deviated from the standard fourteen lines, adding in an extra quatrain. The poem seemed to call for it] A Kyrielle Sonnet consists of 14 lines (three rhyming quatrain stanzas and a non-rhyming couplet). Just like the traditional Kyrielle poem, the Kyrielle Sonnet also has a repeating line or phrase as a refrain (usually appearing as the last line of each stanza). Each line within the Kyrielle Sonnet consists of only eight syllables. French poetry forms have a tendency to link back to the beginning of the poem, so common practice is to use the first and last line of the first quatrain as the ending couplet. This would also re-enforce the refrain within the poem. Therefore, a good rhyming scheme for a Kyrielle Sonnet would be: A-a-b-B, c-c-b-B, d-d-b-B, A-B –or- A-b-a-B, c-b-c-B, d-b-d-B, A-B. Definition taken from Shadow Poetry.)


Image by 호영 이 from Pixabay

The Wishing Well

In the depths of the wishing well
Dwells the girl of my youthful dreams.
Barnacled lips hold in her screams.

The scummy water tastes like hell.
Stagnant with time, do not swallow
Or more regrets will surely follow.

Ebbing inside her are raw swells
That crash against her cold, closed heart,
Which years ago, misplaced its chart.

“Keep her safe,” says her hard shell.
“Leech her eyes so she cannot see
The life she had been meant to lead.”

As the darkness weaves its sad spell,
She and I bar the hurtful gates,
While wishing for a kinder fate.

©2021 KT Workman

(Note: The Constanza, created by Connie Marcum Wong, consists of five or more 3-line stanzas. Each line has a set meter of eight syllables. The first lines of all the stanzas can be read successively as an independent poem, with the rest of the poem weaved in to express a deeper meaning. The first lines convey a theme written in monorhyme, while the second and third lines of each stanza rhyme together. Rhyme scheme: a-b-b, a-c-c, a-d-d, a-e-e, a-f-f. Definition taken from Poets Collective. Introduction – Poetry Forms (poetscollective.org)


Image by Britannic Zane from Pixabay

Plinks

Drip-drip-drip, rain slides off the sheet-iron roof,
Plink-plink-plinks onto the wayward tin can
Placed by wily storms or fickle wind’s goof,
Who can rightly say, be it beast or man?

The rain cares not where the gentle drips fall,
Nor gives a thought as the plinks softly sing
To small ears listening behind safe walls,
Lulled to sleep by the drip-drip and plink-plink.

Silently they creep on tiny wet feet
Beneath a cracked pane of misted raised glass.
Aqueous drips and plinks, seldom they meet
Those to whom they sing at two AM past.

Plinks slowly lessen, lightly tread away,
Follow the drips as night steps into day.

©2021 KT Workman


(Note: A Shakespearean (English) sonnet consists of 14 lines written in iambic pentameter, and usually has 10 syllables per line. It has three quatrains and a couplet. Rhyme scheme: a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g.)


Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

An August Day

A hot August day closes its simmering drapes
Sultry darkness creeps in on silent, soggy feet
A hot August day closes its simmering drapes

The sun slinks away in temporary defeat
Mimosas curl their leaves, heave a sigh of reprieve
Sultry darkness creeps in on silent, soggy feet

Katydids, crickets, and frog’s voices interweave
A warm breeze soughs through old oaks, tickles Spanish moss
Mimosas curl their leaves, heave a sigh of reprieve

A whippoorwill calls, shedding the sun’s scorching dross
Fireflies come out of hiding, frolic in the yard
A warm breeze soughs through old oaks, tickles Spanish moss

Through the screened window, Elvis croons, that fifties bard
On the front porch, sweet iced tea caresses damp hands
Fireflies come out of hiding, frolic in the yard

Where children shout “Red Rover!” in my heart’s Southland
A hot August day closes its simmering drapes
On the front porch, sweet iced tea caresses damp hands
A hot August day closes its simmering drapes

©2021 KT Workman

(Note: A Terzanelle is a combination of the villanelle and terza rima poetic forms. It consists of 19 lines containing 5 interlocking tercets, plus a concluding quatrain, in which the 1st and 3rd lines of the 1st tercet appear as refrains. The middle line of each tercet is repeated, reappearing as the last line of the succeeding tercet, with the exception of the center line of the next-to-last stanza, which appears in the quatrain. Each line has the same metrical length.

Rhyme and refrain scheme: A-B-A, b-C-B, c-D-C, d-e-D, e-F-E, f-A-F-A [or f-F-A-A].) Definition taken from: Shadow Poetry website.)

And a special thanks to Ben Alexander at The skeptic’s kaddish whose Terzanelle inspired me.


Image by Konevi from Pixabay

Woman Unseen

can you see me
over here
still alive
still breathing
still wanting
still needing
needing what
I just don’t know
no longer young
but don’t feel old
not enough wisdom
in my weary soul
lived all these years
and learned
so damn little
Rome burned
while I fiddled
where was my heart
where was my mind
picking up sticks
wasting time
erstwhile friends
slipped away
to a time and place
of yesterdays
children grew
and moved away
don’t need me
to find their way
when I was young
and not yet old
still traveling
an easy charmed road
did not think
this day would come
old as the hills
but still
too young

©2021 KT Workman

(Note: Though this doesn’t seem to apply to men, we women of a “certain age,” become invisible. This poem is for all the not-seen ladies out there.)

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

March Chimes

Spring was my mama’s favorite season. She loved gardening, whether it involved vegetables or ornamentals, and when one visited, spring, summer, or fall, outside among the growing things was where one would likely find her. Her front porch sported a multitude of wind chimes, and when I hear mine (on my back porch) “tinkling in the wind,” I think of her. This one is for you, Mama.


 March chimes tinkle in the wind,
 Telling me spring is on the way,
 Chasing away dark winter days.
 And I wonder where the wind has been.
  
 Unlike winter, spring sports a grin.
 Yellow-bold, bright and warm and gay.
 March chimes tinkle in the wind,
 Telling me spring is on the way.
  
 Sometimes brash, chimes dance, drunk on gin.
 Or perhaps weed entered the fray.
 Drunk or high or merry, who’s to say?
 They jump and jingle as they spin—
 March chimes tinkle in the wind,
 Telling me spring is on the way.
  
 ©2021 KT Workman
   

(Note: Originating in French lyrical poetry of the 14th century, a rondel poem is a fixed form of verse based on two rhyme sounds and consisting usually of 14 lines divided into three stanzas. The first two lines of the 1st stanza are repeated as the refrain of the 2nd and 3rd stanzas. The meter is open, but usually has eight syllables per line. Rhyme scheme: A-B-b-a, a-b-A-B, a-b-b-a-A-(B)—capital letters represent lines repeated verbatim.)


Image by Carla Burke from Pixabay

Johnnys

The morning is heavy, pregnant with spring.

Dew sparkles on the new blades stretched in mass,

Testing their new-found strength; in shouts of green

They greet the rose-soft sunrise, raise their glass,

Salute their warm savior with verve and sass.

“Hello!” shout the iris, waving blue heads.

“Hello!” shout the glads, white, pink, and red.

Near the barn, johnny-jump-ups perk their ears,

Wonder why the fuss from their vain cousins.

After all, from early March they’ve been here,

Yellow and purple, dozens and dozens,

Popping up while the ground is yet frozen.

Johnny’s are trailblazers, fearless and bold.

What’s the big deal about a little cold?

©2021 KT Workman

(Rhyme Royal–7-line stanzas, usually iambic pentameter. Rhyme scheme: a-b-a-b-b-c-c)

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

Poker Face

his familiar face…earnest, free of artifice
or perhaps cunningly cloaked instead
constructs expressions conveying love and sincerity
and I’m so easily led

and his smile…warm and pious and bright
could effortlessly pull me under
choppy waves of helplessness, hopelessness
and tear my heart asunder

if I dare gaze deep into his inscrutable eyes
just what will I see…
true love and honesty and loyalty
or trust’s death looking back at me

I wonder…

if I strip the skin from his poker face
tear off his smiling lips
pluck out his beguiling eyes
until all that’s left is bone and blood’s drip

what would I find…

©️2020 KT Workman

Distressed Damsel

the damsel strolls in step with the night
snuggly swaddled in its ebony cloak
it has always been her one true friend
her moonstruck muse, whom she often misquotes

she scribbles her wishes on its blank black canvass
staples her dreams to the backs of dingy doves
nails her hopes to the wings of ravens
and sends them all to the stars above

she grimly dances with detestable devils
a wild, wicked waltz of spreading blight
hoots and howls at the muddy moon
scares away all the shiny white knights

©️2020 KT Workman

Around the Bend

running down
that dusty road
impervious to rocks
her shoe-leather soles

chasing sister
chasing brother
watch the baby
said their mother

her short legs
falling behind
a dollar short
and always behind

alway a bother
always a chore
sometimes left alone
and often ignored

she didn’t talk much
cried not at all
and stone by stone
she built a wall

to protect a heart
too tender to show
keeping it hidden
from friend and foe

every passing year
saw more bricks
added to the wall
rick by rick

until one day
she opened the door
stepped outside
joints stiff and sore

and hobbled down
that dusty road
cut and bruised
her old thin soles

chasing what
she didn’t know
only knew
it was time to go

she was ready
to reach this end
maybe it’d be better
just around the bend

© 2019 KT Workman

Photo via Pixabay