Poetry challenge #40: Rider

I love John Bauer’s illustrations. They are so mysteriously joyful. You can read about him here. The caption for this one is: Once upon a time, there was a prince riding in the moonlight.

The word suggestions:

Star, gift, wander, soaring, cobalt.

Use any form you like, including the words if you’ve a mind to, and post the link to your creation in the comments before next Tuesday. Be inspired!

The first poem I wrote to this illustration was before I’d thought to choose a handful of words, so I’ll post it another time. This is the second one. You can read it below.



Following the wandering stars,

I soar through cobalt air in search

of silver light, a gift for you.

The moon, too high and out of reach,

I plunge to where it mirror-rides,

white ripple-faced on ocean dark.

We splice the waves like gannet birds,

my rainbow-wingéd mount and I

and find beneath the glassy waves

a pearl as bright as morning sky.

For you I searched the midnight hours

and delved beneath the slick black skin

of oceans, seas and placid lakes.

I found that earth, so wide so deep,

holds nothing of more beauty than

the love already in our hearts,

the silver star chain in our eyes.

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.

45 thoughts on “Poetry challenge #40: Rider”

      1. They are! Frigates are amazing too, Pirates. Have a great day! Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. I feel a bit like the teacher everyone hates if I give words to include, a picture for the inspiration AND a poetry form to follow. Maybe next week I’ll get out the horse whip.

      1. I caught a little snippet on the radio the other day about creativity and constraints, and how many creative people throw artificial constraints into situations to spark creativity. I only caught a bit while I was driving, but you’ve just reminded me of it!

      2. It works. The very open prompts, for example, like ‘gardening’ or ‘holidays’ are too vague to be really inspiring. I like the visual prompts, but find that the pics that are often used, of naked women with butterflies coming out of their mouths don’t inspire anything either.

      1. It may simply be a couplet poem. poemhunter.com/poems/couplet/ has 88 poems it lists as “couplet poems.” Many have successive lines rhyming, such as The Hippopotamus/Ogden Nash, Woman Work/Maya Angelou, Eloisa To Abelard/Alexander Pope and Hero And Leander/Christopher Marlowe. (Warning – obnoxious autoplay audio reading with a computer voice)
        Then there’s the book length (!) An Essay on Criticism, by Alexander Pope ( http://www.poetrysoup.com/famous/poem/14950/an_essay_on_criticism )

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