Poetry challenge #48: Circles and cycles

This is a poem that came to me a couple of days ago, walking by the river in unseasonal heat. It’s a while since I wrote a circular poem and thought it was worth trotting it out again. It’s a poem that bites its own tail, goes round in a circle and ends up where it started. The lines don’t have to be any particular length or number though it is possible to write a circular poem in a strict meter. The essential is that the last word of the line gives the rhyme to the first word of the following line, and that the first line of the poem is also the last.

The theme is circles and cycles, seasons, life, planetary, whatever you like. The image is of August windfall apples. You can’t see the wasps but I bet there are plenty of them.

You have until next Monday to post your poem in the comments box below. Have fun!

Photo ยฉPauline Eccles


Wind is rising,

prizing the first dry leaves,


slipping into autumn.

Plum and apple, ripe full,

gull hangs, against cloud-brushed sky pinned:

wind is rising.

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.

86 thoughts on “Poetry challenge #48: Circles and cycles”

  1. Abundant green
    seen scattered on rich fertile earth
    birthed in the richness of a golden Fall
    all from branches heavy
    brevity of Summer’s colors
    covers Autumn’s hues redundant
    Abundant green

    1. Lovely, delicate picture ๐Ÿ™‚ I always think this is a form that you shouldn’t argue with too much. The line ends when you find a word that rhymes. Getting back to the beginning again is a wee bit more difficult I admit.

    1. I’m so glad you found your way here. I post a round up of the entries on Tuesday and a new prompt on Wednesday. It can be a new form, an image, a few prompt words, or all three. I’ve discovered dozens of poetry forms like this, and tried them out. I hope you’ll join in ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Undisciplined is a great way to describe it yet, as you say, the last line brings it back into order again. I’ve been experimenting with the rondelet a little bit, but now I have to try this one.

      2. Yes, I like that too. It’s one of the things I’m learning to enjoy about writing poetry – finding the rhythm of the words. And your challenges have been wonderful for exploring the different forms.

    1. It works as a poem, and I wouldn’t want you to change it, but if you want to give yourself even more of a challenge (and you do, don’t you?) you could try another version with the rhymes. That’s the point really, the linking of the lines with a rhymeโ€”the last word of the line rhymes with the first word of the next line. It makes a sort of snake pattern that ends up linking back to it’s first line. Try it. It isn’t as difficult as the tritina, I don’t think.

      1. I see (especially after I looked closely in your poem. I knew there was something there the few times I read your piece but could not identify it. Thanks for the clarification and feedback. I’ll see if I can make a proper one this time. ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. I don’t think you’ll find it difficult if you like alliteration. I find that similar sounding words often spring to mind spontaneously, and that’s where you put your line break ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Me too ๐Ÿ™‚ I often post challenges using new poetry forms with all the rules and discover when I read the entries that I haven’t been following all the rules myself ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. ..still, I kind of cheated though. I used near rhymes (or supposed to be near rhymes) in some parts instead of exact ones. I hope they’re fine.

    1. As a circular poem it’s perfect. You did all the things you were supposed to, and you included apples, the earth, round things, part of a cycle, and you wrote some lovely imagery. I love that idea of falling apples embracing the loose sand. So ethereal.

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