The Castle Keep

My steed rides roughly through the loam
We’ve traveled very wide and far
Battle weary but still on par
For all the road I’ve yet to roam
The longest road the first step home

The portion to right unjust wrong
The cost to our men’s lives was steep
The pride we sow we humbly reap
The battle fought was hard and long
Tales that become folklore and song

Glad it’s all done should truth be told
I contemplate my latest scar
Hopeful my queen forgives the mar
Small price to pay her gentle scold
To see the face I long to hold

A winter’s storm slows our advance
All far travels have their own cost
As we lose more men to the frost
My men look to me for guidance
I cannot waver in my stance

Though my own mood be very drear
It’s I alone who holds their hope
It’s by my lead I know they cope
The last goal twixt what we hold dear
My men let loose a hearty cheer

I may yet enter in a tome
The sight of the valley’s green sweep
And just ahead the Castle Keep
The wind becomes our wild mane’s comb
The shortest road the last step home

dVerse Poets Pub graphic

dVerse Poets Pub | Poetics: Exploring the Narrative Voice

Ingrid tends the bar at dVerse Poets and challenges us to write a poem in the voice of a fictional character. It can be any character. One can introduce the character in one’s own voice, but the main body of the poem must be in the voice of the character. It can be a dramatic monologue, or create a spirit voice through whom the poem speaks. The challenge is to experiment with fictional storytelling in the poem.

I’ve gone all medieval king returning home at the end of a battle.


Doorbell ~ Raivenne

She greets me with each new dawn
Much like my doorbell loud to sing
We pick a cardinal point to walk
See the morn – for noon will bring
reminders that in this masked new world
the year passes in its usual swing
I sit until dusk – no points met
For a silenced doorbell cannot ring

Flood ~ T’ao  Chien

The lingering clouds, rolling, rolling,
And the settled rain, dripping, dripping,
In the Eight Directions—the same dusk.
The level lands—one great river.
Wine I have, wine I have:
Idly I drink at the eastern window.
Longingly—I think of my friends,
But neither boat nor carriage comes.

Tonight, at dVerse Poets Laura tends bar and reminds us that today, April 20th, is UN Chinese Language Day. Thus, we are challenged to re-interpret an original Chinese (translated) poem in our own style and try not to use too much of the original poem’s wording. I chose “Flood” by Tao Chien, whose ending lines of longing for friends brought to mind those missing friends and family lost this past year due to the pandemic.

In addition, I chose to re-interpret the poem in the Chinese LUSHI style:

  • eight lines long of couplets – The first couplet should set-up the poem; the middle two couplets develop the theme, the final couple is conclusion
  • each line must have the same number of words, either 5,6, or 7.
  • a mono-rhyme is on every even numbered line
  • Caesura (a pause) should separate clauses.

To Lie Down

You call me to lie in the fragrance *
Of the scent of those who only care
To lay odious privilege in the ways
That their pale puffs of new smoke
Ignore the long burning dark fumes
Of those who barely dreamed to dare
The dreams never given a chance

To lay odious claim in the ways
The scent of those who care
For traditions of their halcyon centuries
When their words were held as the only
Voices that ever had the means to say
What was yours to keep, not ours to share

That their pale puffs of new smoke
Ignore the long burning dark fumes
Of the peaceful conflagrations of the tired
Who’ve long held the raisining to explode**
Against those that desire their sweet past resumes
In a future in whose vile stench we’re again choked

For those who barely dreamed to dare
The dreams never given a chance
For we citizens who like you, are born here or immigrated
Still find ourselves the ones on the side alienated
Don’t be surprised upon return to where you’ve called me to lie
Quietly with nose wrinkled and looks askance
That I’m brave enough to be, to see, to rise from there ***

* Line was inspired from the last line of Season of Lilac by D. Margoshes
** Line inspired by the poem, Harlem by Langston Hughes
*** Line inspired by the last line of The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman


Tonight at dVerse Laura Bloomsbury wants us Beginning at the End. We are offered several ending lines from select poems to be our muse for a new work of our own. We are asked to preferably not use the offered lines verbatim as the title or within the writing itself but either cite the reference at the end or place the quote as distinct Epigraph at the top. Naturally, Muse goes a little above and beyond and reference three poems.

dVerse Poets Pub | Poetics: Beginning at the End

dVerse Poets Pub graphic

Quinta Essentia

Painting by Lynne Baur

Painting by Lynne Baur

From ashen body starts the tale
In life’s water
I, a virgin rabbit of yin
In mercurial Kanya – become
From cradle to cane I breathe
In summer breeze, winter gale
Until I am naught to El Sol
But dusty memory of soil itself
When all is said and done


For dVerse Poets Pub – Gospel Isosceles asks us to be “In My Element” and do a little homework and discover what some of these cosmologies say about me.

I pull from:

  • The Elements Earth (ash-soil), Water (amniotic fluid), Air (breeze/gale, Fire (El Sol- the sun),
  • Astrology (Virgo – Western, a Yin Water born in the year of the Rabbit – Chinese, and Kanya ruled  by Mercury – Vedic), and
  • The Bible (ashes to dust)

I break me down to a quinta essentia* of self.

*According to Merriam-Webster: The word “quintessence,” is the offspring of “quinta essentia,” a word for the purest essence of a thing.

Last Stand

A jumble of foliage comes in time
Start their claim on the season,
No longer native to this clime
She still stays on, only she knows the reason

Sprinkled bulbs and blossoms have burgeoned through the earth
She sits there in defiance, determined to keep her berth

“We all have to go, we can’t remain
That’s all there is to it”
But she hears not a word her friends say in vain
She will be the first to do it

And one by one her friends slowly twinkle away
Even as the last meanders off, she is going to stay

Her impetuous nature leaves her alone
But she has not a single fright
The jeweled dark a keepsake of her own
As she conceded to her last night

Afloat in mawkish memories and alternate outcomes
Even she cannot deny the allure of what she’s to become

A specter of what she once was her fate
Stretching in the cool shadow of night’s indigo
The rays of Sol start to illuminate
And she knows it’s now time for her to go

Facing windward for the last time, feels like a kiss goodbye too
As she the last snowflake falls from the first spring grass as dew


Today at dVerse Mish asks us to give nature a voice.

dVerse ~Poets Pub | Poetics: From Nature’s Point of View


It’s a small place, but it is our own
Its mandatory comforts aren’t much fuss
Fuss doesn’t hold credence with folks like us
Be it ever so humble, it is our home

The front faces north and east
Its perimeter acres from anyone
The southwest view catches the setting sun
Between sunrise and sunset a visual feast

An aquamarine lake past woods beyond compare
I choose the rooms I live in with care

I’m a simple person with simple needs
“It shows” tease my friends with a smile
Yet they all seem to stay for more than a while
It’s richness they say is my heart and deeds

Our décor to some leaves much to be desired
Erratic colors from when we bought the place
And only a minimum of furnishing fill the space
I confess myself it’s not very inspired

Some say simple, some say austere
The windows are small and the walls almost bare

For us the beauty of this place is past the four walls
Enjoying each dawn of nature’s reception
And dusky colors beyond conception
As nature paints new pictures winter, spring, summer, fall

At home, it seems the stars shine as never before
Full moons deflect the dark echoes of silence of country nights
A most different view to our former noisy city lights
Haley’s comet is nothing to how it makes my heart soar

And at night there’s only one with whom to share
There’s only one bed and there’s only one prayer

Some say I am obsessed and such
It seems this house and you are all I know
The increment of time makes it more so
But I know you love this place just as much

As each day passes, it grows even more warm
Our humble home with its vista so grand
Such good fortune in life, more than I can stand
Each night I sleep soundly, holding your sweet form

And on the rare working night, when I’m holding air
I listen all night for your step on the stair

(Italicized lines from Leonard Cohen’s “Tonight Will Be Fine”)

Today at dVerse Purple Pen In Portland (Sara McNulty) is tending bar and asks us to imagine that you have been given free rein to design any type of building you wish. As I already have poems of my abode out there, I decided to take this from the view of someone a whose style is little – read very – different from mine.

dVerse | Poetics: Poetics:DIY Building 

Real Toads: The Tuesday Platform

Three Shots

Winter in dirty rounds
Left a sour chaser
In this summer soul
El Sol hears
My shaken last call
And responds
Warm rays fall
A tonic that bides me
Straight up until spring


The kamikaze ball dive
sent a spritzer of
mud and hair of the dog
across the erstwhile neat landscape
of three sheets to the wind
With shaken resolve
Bro and I
face Mama


Days of straight
getting hammered, plastered

Now after a paint chaser
all proof of the head shot
soused across the wall is gone

Tipsy with exhaustion
only the bloody memory
has me stirred


Yesterday, De (aka WhimsyGizmo), invited us to mix our muses up a bit by throwing some pub and drinking terms in the blender. But to use the words in ways that have nothing to do with the bar scene, alcohol, or drinking. Being verbose, I went for the tall drink realizing after the fact she wanted shots of no more that 33 words. Being a lush I offer the “three shots” above.

dVerse Poetics: Muse Mixology

Doing Rounds

I twist my head slowly
trying to tame
the kamikaze tumbler
of my synapses in hyper drive
Your touch 100% proof
I never had a chance
This round is yours

Still stubborn as a mule
You struggle against the bonds
part shaken by how well
I’ve tied one on
But mostly stirred
And you know I know it
This round mine

As I curl out and then straight up
You straddle my chair neat
I drown my sorrows dirty
hammered against the heat
and wet your whistle with firewater
This last call ours

De (aka WhimsyGizmo), invites us to mix our muses up a bit by throwing some pub and drinking terms in the blender. But to use the words in ways that have nothing to do with the bar scene, alcohol, or drinking. I think you can guess where I went with this.

dVerse Poetics: Muse Mixology

The Shame Of It

Artwork: Shame by Ally Saunders

Artwork: Shame by Ally Saunders

What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
Hurt – Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails)

I was darkness and fury
To your light and sun
On a whim I simply snuffed it
It’s a hurt that can’t be undone
I thought I knew what I was doing
To take you for granted and then some
Only to simply walk away
Leaving you as chaff in the wind’s sway
And how the shame of it numbs
What have I become?

With me as predator and you as prey
I shot an arrow through your soul
You had no chance in this farce
There was no means to console
I thought I knew what I was doing
Going for the break, not just the bend
Damn how your body trembled
As your soul disassembled
And how the shame of it wends
My sweetest friend

You were my own soul’s mirror
Shattered in a thousand places
And I felt the pain as my own
In a thousand fractured faces
I thought I knew what I was doing
How I’ve come to rue that day
Seeing the evidence of what I did
I was loathe to leave it hid
And how the shame of it stays
Everyone I know goes away

You never said a word, I know this
But somehow your break struck me to the core
Never one to rage, yet it changed you
And everyone wanted to know the score
I thought I knew what I was doing
Now I am the chaff in the wind
The wounds of my hateful inflections
Forever bared in my reflections
And how the shame of it does rend
In the end

At dVerse for the first Poetics for 2017, Mish prompts us to reflect on new beginnings as she shares the works of various artists and invites us to “Choose the piece that speaks to you and let the words flow.” For me it was “Shame” by Ally Saunders that got the ol’ muses attention first, for shame of ones actions can bring change and new beginnings to the instigator of such as well.  With “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails as further inspiration, I use my beloved glosa form.

dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Poetics ~ New Beginnings

RealToads – Tuesday Platform

I Think of Spring

A subtle intangible thing
These fallen leaves how they array
In autumn leaves I think of spring

Yellowed hues to the grounds cling
Bringing to thought vernal displays
A subtle intangible thing

I find my heart has taken wing
On how new blooms of crocus sway
In autumn leaves I think of spring

My eyes spy fall’s warm coloring
My soul denies thoughts of decay
A subtle intangible thing

A whim of my own soul’s choosing
This feeling does not go away
In autumn leaves I think of spring

I feel first hints of winter’s sting
Yet smile as I go on my way
A subtle intangible thing
In autumn leaves I think of spring


For the first dVerse Poetics of 2017, Mish offers us an array of art and asks us to use one as inspiration of  New Beginnings. My chosen image brought to mind the bright yellow of daffodils in spring. Spring is new beginnings in its own way, so that’s where my muse went in the form of a villanelle.

dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Poetics ~ New Beginnings