A rhyming quadrille for the dverse ‘puzzle’ prompt.


You look at me in puzzlement

When I listen to a low, wild cry,

Or count the stars that one by one

Bedeck the glowing evening sky.

If words could open eyes to see,

The reams Iโ€™d write to set you free.


And a non-rhyming, bit of nonsense quadrille.


Thereโ€™s a puzzle in the stars,

a jumble of light,

tangle of beams

and the singing of brambles

as they net up the moon.

Listen to the laughter,

the deep pooled laughter

as the silver moon-fish

leaps in the night

and sets herself free.


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.

43 thoughts on “Puzzles”

  1. I enjoyed both quadrilles, Jane, but the second one is my favourite. I love the lines:
    ‘Thereโ€™s a puzzle in the stars,
    a jumble of light,
    tangle of beams’.

  2. Nice sound. I especially liked these last two lines of the first one: “If words could open eyes to see,

    The reams Iโ€™d write to set you free.” Words are often not enough.

  3. Interesting juxtaposition–but I get a lot more out of the free verse. Rhyming, for me, slides into sing-song, which detract from the message. But rhyming is the heart of the history of poetry–and I’m in the minority.

    1. I don’t know about being in the minority, not nowadays. Rhyming poetry is definitely unfashionable and no self-respecting ‘serious’ poets writes anything but free verse. I think the discipline of rhyme and rhythm can create something beautiful, but the danger of it sounding like an advertising jingle is always there.

    1. Thank you! It comes from having to search for the moon through tree branches. I haven’t understood this moon rise business, it seems to vary so much from night to night.

  4. I loved both the quadrilles ๐Ÿ’œ and read and reread them.. so lovely! Especially like: “the singing of brambles as they net up the moon.” ๐Ÿ˜Š

  5. I like them both, but I also liked the second one better. And yes, a bit of the Oracle there–plus brambles, which is such a fun word to say. I love that they sing, too.

    1. To let you into a secret, I wasn’t happy with either of them. The words I had didn’t really want to fit into a quadrille so I let it go. I might rework both poems into something completely different. Yes, brambles are getting to be a thing. They are creepy the way they take over the vegetation.

      1. I just like the sound of the word brambles, and the thought of them singing. It’s like the Oracle version of a Bronte tale. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I think I love them both for various aspects, the first one is really neat and you bring it to an excellent closure filled with meaning, in the second one I really love the imagery you bring up. No preference for anyone, they have various aspects.

    1. Thanks Bjorn for the perceptive comment. I felt the first was finished, but the second one wasn’t quite right. The poem i’d written didn’t fit the word count. I’ve rewritten, a longer poem that I think works better.

  7. Thank you, Mish ๐Ÿ™‚ We hear so many sounds, calls and cries, especially late in the evening, and we have no idea what is making them. Something wild and mysterious.

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