Blue are the hills

Another poem inspired by the saying, Blue are the hills that are far away. The form is a monotetra adapted to dactyls rather than iambic feet.

Blue are the hills, vivid green is the light,
that spreads in the meadows, the sea out of sight,
and dark is the moon in the depths of the night,
a sea eagle’s flight, a sea eagle’s flight.

Grey are the cliffs where the puffins fly free,
The mountains of Mourne that run down to the sea,
Ling purple and pink, yellow gorse and the bee,
Such scent on the lea, such scent on the lea.

I remember with longing, the end of the day,
When tides lap the cliffs in the curve of the bay,
How blue are the hills that are far away,
Their memories stay, their memories stay.


Thus spake

For dverse. No, it doesn’t make sense.

The starry sky is out of reach,
A windswept hill, a lonely beach,
And did he dare, wise Mr Nietzsche,
To eat a peach, to eat a peach?

They say the world spins round and round
Upon its axis, not a sound,
Yet Zarathustra spake and drowned
Orion’s hound, Orion’s hound.

What stars! What dark and purple light
Pours down to decorate the night
With spikes and spears of hate and spite—
I hear them fight, I hear them fight.

The constellations wheel and leap
When we’re abed, but if you peep,
You’ll hear the humming moon and weep.
We’ve murdered sleep, we’ve murdered sleep.

Poetry challenge Monotetra: the entries

The news about Brussells airport is just coming in as I compile this post. If anybody mentions anything about ‘good’ religious believers and ‘bad’ religious believers today I will go into orbit.

Back to the mundane and essentially trivial, but at least it’s not killing anybody.

Last week’s challenge, the monotetra was, I thought, a fun one—poetry with a simple rhyme pattern and a refrain. As usual, you rose to the challenge beautifully.

First in was a paeon of praise for her hometown from Sri. If you’re looking for a holiday destination, sounds as though you could do a lot worse 🙂


Kim’s poem is so terribly sad in a very contemporary way. Not what I was expecting. The kind of poem that gets under the skin.

Selfie – writing in north norfolk


Kerfe’s poem is cosmic! The ultimate question and symbolic answers. And beautiful artwork too 🙂

What Does This Mean? | method two madness


Kat’s poem is particularly apposite at this time of year. Even more so for me when I’m trying to do the exact opposite of these avian hoarders 🙂

Nesting – A Monotetra | like mercury colliding…


Ken’s poem made me sigh with pleasure. That last stanza is just gorgeous.

Beauty, on End | rivrvlogr


Merril’s poem is her own personalised variant with an attractive coda. Love it 🙂

The Water Shimmers: Monotetra Poetry Challenge | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings



Doug, the Elusive Trope with a poem that is stark and uncompromising as a black and white photograph.

Pantomime | Elusive Trope


Janice sends out a timely message in her poem

Lights out—a monotetra poem – Ontheland


From the Crow, grimly brilliant, if that’s allowed.

Poem 20160319 – Caw!


Thanks again for all the wonderful poems and helping to keep alive that tenuous hope that humanity isn’t all rotten. New challenge tomorrow.

A cold wind blows


A cold wind blows from off the sea,

Shakes the buds on the hazel tree,

But doesn’t bring you back to me,

Or set me free, or set me free.


A cold wind blows across the lake,

Despite the wishes that I’d make,

Still it was you the wind did take,

My heart will break, my heart will break.


I watch geese wing across the sky,

For where you are is where they fly,

I yearn to follow, soar so high,

I can but cry, I can but cry.


A cold wind blowing through my heart,

I never dreamt that we would part,

This, the end that I’d thought the start,

Love’s cruel dart, love’s cruel dart.

I hear the news that’s going round

A monotetra on the theme of ‘The wearing of the green’.

Photo of the hill of Tara ©Nemoi


I hear the news that’s going round,

Across this ancient holy ground,

Where the old magic can be found,

An eerie sound, an eerie sound.


The tread of heavy booted feet,

Would try to bring about defeat,

But when the crass and magic meet,

Who will be beat? Who will be beat?


There is magic in the pure air,

Beneath the sky and hillsides where

The red fox trots and sits the hare,

That I was there, that I was there.


Let you not forget the stories,

All your great ancestral mores,

From your rooted territories,

Ancient glories, ancient glories.


All the priests and soldiers leaving,

There will be so little grieving,

Our own stories we’ll be weaving,

Fair land cleaving, fair land cleaving.

Poetry challenge #22: Monotetra

This one I discovered yesterday and found it was a fun form to use. It’s another rhyming one, so I strongly suggest you end the first line of each stanza with a word that gives you plenty of scope for rhymes. The monotetra is a series of four line stanzas, as many as you want, but there are strict rules about both rhyme and rhythm. Each line has eight syllables and four beats, so you’ll have to read it aloud to yourself to make sure it scans. The last words of each line in the stanza rhyme. The fourth line of each stanza is the first four syllables repeated.

Here’s the shadow poetry explanation

And below is my example.

As usual, please leave your links in the comments. You have one week from now to hand in your copies. And have fun!


The shadows came again tonight,

I left a candle burning bright,

They seem to mock the dancing light,

Laugh at my fright, laugh at my fright.


In the darkest corner sitting,

Beneath nocturnal creatures flitting,

A form, its face your features fitting,

Hardest hitting, hardest hitting.


I close my eyes against the stare,

Of cold blue eyes their stony glare,

I see them still, though they’re not there,

Oh heart, beware, oh heart, beware.


In the lonely midnight hour,

I dream of love, our sweet rose bower,

Red rose plucked and left to cower,

Wasted flower, wasted flower.


With moonlight rising shadows shift,

Reveal the empty, thorny rift,

My fingers dying petals sift,

Your parting gift, your parting gift.