Poetry challenge #32: Dreaming trees

This week I absolutely want to introduce the kyrielle form. It’s a lovely pattern with a last line refrain. Shadow Poetry explains the possible rhyme schemes. Since I didn’t want to abandon the picture prompt, I’ve made this a three in one. I hope you’ll try the kyrielle, but don’t feel obliged if you don’t take to it. There’s a painting and a handful of words if you’d rather do your own thing.

The painting is Russian (click on the image for details, it’s all in cyrillic script). It’s obviously a moonlit scene, but is it entirely peaceful? Some of the trees are perfectly straight and still, others appear to be moving. Where does the road lead? What does the artist know that the viewer doesn’t?

Try incorporating these words:

Moonlight, tread, wary, secret, swaying.

Лунная ночь. Большая дорога

My example uses one of the permitted rhyme schemes. There are others. Post a link to your poem in the comments, and take your time. You have a whole week.

Dream walking

Where moonlight casts a trembling swathe,

In silver the swaying poplars bathe,

Dreams are walking through the night,

Trailing gossamer threads of light.


Night shadows drape the silent trees,

Fluttering leaves in gentle breeze,

I tread the secret paths starbright,

Trailing gossamer threads of light.


A glow suffuses bloom and stalk,

As light as thistledown I walk,

Too slow, you pass out of my sight,

Trailing gossamer threads of light.


Beyond the tranquil, moonlit brook,

Lost in shade the path you took,

Putting the wary deer to flight,

Trailing gossamer threads of light.


Beneath the midnight dreaming boughs,

Where barn owl calls and cold wind soughs,

Dawn breaks like sour, creeping blight,

Trailing gossamer threads of light.



Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

77 thoughts on “Poetry challenge #32: Dreaming trees”

  1. A wonderful rhythm this has, and the words of the refrain are stunning. I might have a go, as this is a new form to me. Glad to have found you, through Sue Vincent’s blog. Harula x

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever been called bashful before….but here I go again.

    “The moonlight treads a wary way
    To where the secret lovers lay
    With entwined limbs they hold parley
    Swaying passions with every play.”

  3. sorry, late again. I’ll post this myself later in the week – I’m getting caught up with myself! But here’s my take on the Kyrielle

    Becoming a man

    Nowhere to hide in soft moonlight

    If there’s someone left still to fight

    Your mates are there, and me and you

    The day we walked that Avenue


    Should men, good and true, softly tread

    If there’s no one left and all are dead

    And our fists are clenched, a wary crew

    The day we walked that Avenue


    There’s a secret to becoming a man

    Know when to run, when make a stand

    Ignore your mind, if heart be true

    The day we walked that Avenue.

  4. This is lovely! I know I’m a day too late but thought I’d give it a try, I hope you don’t mind. Love the image and your poem.

    The road runs soft into the night
    Bathed bright in silver-gold moonlight
    But hold! Be wary where you tread
    We know not what might lie ahead

    The way is clear, the path is true
    A journey set for me and you
    To take us far from home and bed
    We know not what might lie ahead

    Swaying branches, a voice unseen,
    Are we awake? Or do we dream?
    The stars are bright, the darkness dread
    We know not what might lie ahead

    A secret lies where daylight meets
    The dark of night in sunrise sweet
    A shout of light to raise the dead
    We know not what might lie ahead

    We know not what might lie ahead.

    1. Not to worry—I’ll add it to the round up and tweet it again. Lovely rhythm to this one, Helen. I particularly like the repetition of the last line to bring the poem even closer to a song 🙂

      1. Thanks, Jane – the form is lovely and it does feel like a song, I really enjoyed this challenge. I’ll post it as well and link back to you, if that’s okay 🙂

      2. Fine, and glad you enjoyed the challenge! Try the cascade form—I think you’ll like it.
        I’ve just put in a link to your blog and posted the poem in the round up.

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