Rondeau: Hard times

In these hard times some still acquire
Great wealth and all that they desire;
The rest of us must simply go
Where we are carried by the flow
And watch our deep-held dreams expire.

The banker claims he’s worth his hire,
Yet daily he is proved a liar
By all the billions that we owe
                            In these hard times.

And as the favoured few conspire
To keep their fat out of the fire,
We mourn our children: they, we know,
Will reap this wretched crop we sow.
We’ve been sold out – but who’s the buyer
                            In these hard times?


Still getting to grips with the rondeau form, but really enjoying the work: it’s certainly given me a whole new appreciation of the craft, as well as the beauty, in John McCrae’s timeless elegy In Flanders Fields. N.

Riddle V

A simple, single vocal cord have I
And yet I sing, describe a graceful arc
And sentence man and beast alike to die.
My bite is vicious, though I have no bark;
You’ll hear me groan, perhaps, but never cry.
In bones and history books I’ve left my mark.

I took the field in numbers long ago;
With me, serfs conquered kingdoms, but no more.
From princes to the lowest of the low
They feared, despised and hated me. To draw
Me takes a practised hand; an art on show
For all the world to see at Agincourt.

And though I’m long supplanted I can still
Prove deadly when you bend me to your will.

Rondeau: Forest ways

The forest ways wind endlessly,
Through grass and gorse, by twisted tree,
Far-seeing ridge where wild winds blow
Deep dells where secret waters flow,
And there is no one here but me.

From Camp Hill Clump to Friends I see
No living soul: there’s liberty
And solitude for those who know
The forest ways.

There’s work that I should really be
Engaged in now, but truancy
Stirs in my restless mind and so
I’ll pull on boots and coat, and go
To walk once more, alone and free,
The forest ways