Those first times that we’d meet

This villanelle is for the dverse prompt.

Julian_Falat_0033

Light is harsh and hard in this dull heat,

The moon a pale reflection of the sun,

Reminds me of those first times that we’d meet.

 

Air so still I hear the slow wing beat

Of buzzards, drawn by sound of hunter’s gun,

Light is harsh and hard in this dull heat.

 

Afternoons, café terrace replete,

We’d saunter home already half-undone,

Reminds me of those first times that we’d meet.

 

Summer fruit is never half so sweet,

As those we tasted, our love just begun,

Light is harsh and hard in this dull heat.

 

Looking back, a cynic, I’d delete

Your promises, just so much hollow fun—

Reminds me of those first times that we’d meet.

 

Wiser now, I fly on nimble feet,

Mellow dusk’s hues bathe me as I run,

Away from all the pain of this dull heat,

That recalls those first times that we’d meet.

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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.

42 thoughts on “Those first times that we’d meet”

  1. It looks like there was a time when that summer heat was made tolerable by a summer love. And then later one has not only the heat but the painful memories of that love to run away from. Nice villanelle.

  2. Love the reflections of the past – hot and sweet summers ~ I specially admire the imagery of these lines ~

    Mellow dusk’s hues bathe me as I run,

    Away from all the pain of this dull heat,

  3. A very fine villanelle. All the ingredients along with the chronology. Funny what the weather reminds us of, isn’t it? There is music built into the villanelle, but it isn’t always melodious – sometimes it’s edgy and surprising. D. Thomas’ poem was, and this one too..in a good way.

    1. Thank you, Gay! I wonder if it isn’t something to do with the rhyme. You think the poem is going to spiral out into something more hopeful, brighter, and the rhyme slams it back into the original theme. Like a hawk flying to the end of its leash.

  4. I think the villanelle especially lends itself to sorrow, and this is just beautiful, Jane. I’m moving into a new condo, so my head can’t get around such a studious form this week, but I so admire your take on it!

    1. Thank you! I like this form as long as I can get a couple of good phrases to start from, with enough rhymes to keep it all going. I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to sticking to the rules. If you don’t keep the rhyme pattern or a basic rhythm it’s just a poem with a refrain.

  5. Perfect, Jane! The sadness, melancholy and loss of your poem works so beautifully as a villanelle. Such a natural flow too, it doesn’t feel forced into a form at all. Really enjoyed this 🙂

    1. Shall I tell you a secret? I think of a good line with a strong rhythm, make sure the end word has lots of rhymes (if it doesn’t I change it) idem for line two, then it’s plain sailing. More or less.

  6. You wrote so well with this form. I especially liked thi stanza
    “Air so still I hear the slow wing beat
    Of buzzards, drawn by sound of hunter’s gun,
    Light is harsh and hard in this dull heat.”

    Buzzards drawn to the carcass…….the ending of life….and the harsh light and dull heat…all painful to read
    and your poem moving from young summer’s love to the painful memories caused by that summer heat – the ending of that romance. Sadness seeps through the form here…even in the running away at the end.

    1. Thank you! The buzzards are ever present in country summers, looking out for death; We expect too much of summer maybe, and when things don’t turn out as we wanted, it’s even harder to take, watching other people enjoying themselves, making memories they will want to keep.

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