There was no way

I’ve written it, so I’ll post it. A lai (last one maybe) for the dverse collection.


There must be a way

To get you to stay;

You planned

On blue sky not grey.

I won’t let you stray,

My hand

Holds you here. Winds play,

Wild, in a ballet

Of sand.


Above the gulls’ screams,

Cloud-clash and rain-streams

I heard

Storm break. No sunbeams

Light the day; it seems


To sail, but your dreams

Make you, in your schemes,

A bird.


Come back, hold me tight,

This cannot be right;

It’s wrong!

No land bird takes flight

In a storm and night

So long.

Wait at least for light,

Glass-green waves curl white

And strong.


You left as dawn broke,

Scarce a word you spoke,

A tear

In your eye. I choke

On goodbye; you joke,

Don’t fear.

Sky wears a black cloak,

A harbinger’s croak

I hear.



May lai

I had this one prepared as I wasn’t sure I’d be capable of going back to this form. It’s a killer. For dverse, a lai.


This first day of May

I watch squirrels play

and chase—

aerial display—

round their hidden drey

pure grace.

No leaf-tremour stray

dancing wild betrays

its place.


Of trees’ sweet array

The sun of midday

makes lace

Yet with cold clouds grey

gallops spring’s decay


the dried blooms winds flay

with sweet July hay


A Tale

Having agreed that the lai is a form used for writing long Medieval epic-style stories, and works well combined with humour, I wrote this mammoth lai with a nod and a wink to the Canterbury Tales. Anyone who wants to continue the tale, please feel free.


They started from Kent

their sins to repent

or goad.

Those wrapped in rich scent

wealth, titles and rent

they rode.

One poor dame from Gwent

her money all spent

on Spode,

(or could have been lent

to a Pictish gent

for woad)

with baton content,

feet sore and back bent,

she strode.

With heavy accent

(she was Welsh descent—

it showed),

praised, though it was Lent,

bright sun, heaven-sent—

it snowed.

Priest so reverent

had put up his tent—

he knowed.

A wild midnight hare

I can’t pretend the lai is a form I’m warming to. I wrote another this morning that worked well, then tried another and it was hellish difficult. This is the hellish difficult one. I’m keeping the good one in reserve for later. Since the lai is a Medieval French form, I’ve taken the liberty of using a few French rhymes to increase the rhyme pool. The last line has three syllables instead of two, and I stand by it.


A wild midnight hare

I watch by the clair

de lune.

In her silver stare

and the stars glitter-glare

a tune

(that he hears, I swear)

hums, beware the snares

they’re strewn,


hid at meadow’s edge

beneath the plum hedge,

you’ll see.

Bright bold hare, I pledge

to warn you, the sedge

sighs, flee.

He flips his scut, wedge

de queue, blanc comme neige,

sans souci.


A first attempt at a very short lai for the dverse prompt.


Perfection the blue

In the flower you

Gave me.

Diamond-dropped dew

On its petals drew

The bee.

Tasting desire’s hue

On swift wings I flew

Set free.


Though dark falls the night

Keep me in your sight

And wing

Your way to the light

Follow hawk and kite

And bring

Me your heart then plight

Its pulse to your bright


The Roses of Tralee

For the dverse prompt (thanks Lillian!) a pome—not quite lai.


Sisters they were three,

went on a shooting spree

or two,

robbed their first bank in Tralee

with luck and lots of glee

then blew.

The Gardaí chased them hither

then they chased them thither,

thick crew.

When the girls had spent the cash,

they made a final dash,

they flew.

At the docks they loosened laces

for a berth to foreign places—

sea view.

But they each fell for tar

that they met in the ship’s bar—

it’s true—

gave up the life of crime,

settled far away this time—

Peru .