Wednesday, August 2, 2017

In Tandem with Margaret Bednar & Gillena Cox

“Of Nymphs and Gods"  

Elephants effortlessly leap
as cougars crouch and giants sleep
and I upon Gaia’s ample breast
relinquish time to nymph’s mystique.

Now then in cool of morning rest
heat rays abide in sun’s digest
broad lays day as banana leaves
give succor thou wanton guest. 

Until westward wind sighs and heaves
Aura’s artistry aside and conceives
a cumulus sky of fearful might
'tis fair Iris's name to which I cleave.

Silhouettes court jasmine's white
orange hues bring lovers in sight
quiet passions to golden steep
guide the hush of twilight's flight.

When Margaret emailed me i quickly responded, for i was eager, after giving my yes to Kerry's invitation to Toads in Tandem. I linked Margaret to a few of my past collaborations, and mentioned to her that i liked a recently discovered form, with which i was experimenting - the rubaiyat .

#The Rubáiyát a Persian form of several quatrains. Its name derives from the Arabic plural of the word for "quatrain," Rubá'íyah. This, in turn, comes from the Arabic Rubá, meaning "four."
#In each quatrain, all lines rhyme except the third.

We decided on an Interlocking Rubaiyat,

#The 3 Stanza interlock is aaba.bbcb.ccac.
Slight adjustments had to be made in the rhyme scheme since we were writing a 4 Stanza interlock.
#Our rhyme scheme is aaba.bbcb.ccdc.ddad

Now we had to choose theme, "I luv clouds " i told Margaret and she echoed "look to the clouds for inspiration," and opted to write the first stanza. So now we were on our way to our collaborating adventure.

It was fun, writing, titling, (Margaret proposed the title), explaining thoughts, understanding, fine-tuning: all this via e-mail. I choose the accompanying nephelai-images from a google search.
#Nephelai - cloud nymphs of Greek Mythology

Thank you for reading Toads, hope you enjoyed our serving up of "Of nymphs and gods”


  1. Looks like a fun write, Guys. I'm on the road still but may work one up soon. Thank you much.

  2. This incredible. I love this so much.

  3. What a sublime poem! The form is the perfect means to bring together two voices. Your individual love of nature resounds in each stanza and the whole paints such a pretty picture. The read was a great pleasure. So interesting, also, to hear of the process.

  4. This is absolutely gorgeous!💖 The poem has a timeless quality to it that lures the reader in and leaves a lasting impact. It was difficult to tell which poet wrote which stanza as your voices blend together so seamlessly! Beautifully done, Margaret and Gillena!💖

  5. When I first read the explanation of how you collaborated and saw the words 'interlocking rubaiyat', I immediately thought of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and 'tricky'. But on looking closer at the form, because it consists of quatrains, it's perfect for collaboration, and you've made a wonderful job of it, too. There's movement, gorgeous language, and it flows so well.

  6. What a fine piece of poetry this is to read.

  7. I love these in tandem poems. This one is a delight. I love the rhyme scheme, so well executed, and the lush descriptions..........I especially love the opening stanza with its unexpectedly leaping elephants! This poem was a pleasure to read!

  8. Beautiful work! I so enjoyed learning about the creative process behind this poem. Seamless work and a joy to read.

  9. Marvelously done. Thank you Margaret and Gillena.

  10. Thank you everyone! What I am constantly amazed with is that I will approach a challenge and think "I can't do this"... and then somehow it is better than I expected. Thank you, Gillena for the vision and collaboration!

  11. I couldn't get past the leaping elephants--since they can't jump. You've got African or Asian creatures together with American (cougars) and tropical banana leaves. I realize it's a fanciful representation of light crossing the sky from morning to evening, so perhaps your elephants are meant to be doing something they can't do, but it doesn't fly for me. There's so many different references in a short poem, and all of it couched in high-flung language; it's busy but unfocused.

  12. Wow, this is wonderful, so fluid! I just read it aloud and it really sings. Well done!

  13. Dreamlike scenario plays out in this piece. Interesting form.


  15. Thanks for Your appreciation readers.

    Much love...

  16. I stand amazed that everyone has flung themselves thus far into some sort of form

  17. Quite surreal and dreamlike... almost as if everything is being created as we read them...

  18. definitely dreamlike, and since when do dreams mimic the real world? so elephants can leap...

    I always admire the rhythm and pace of well-turned form ~

  19. Declaring a poem "dream-like" doesn't exempt it from standards of any kind. (And don't even get me started on "poetic license" which usually is thrown out there to justify all types of bad writing.)

    No matter what the theme, unless it is some kind of experimental word salad, unity of effect still applies. If you want to write the literary equivalent of "Dumbo", Paul, that's fine but bear in mind it's geared for 5 year olds. Here's a link that deals with what I'm talking about; it concerns short fiction but applies also to poetry.

    Nobody wants to hear this here, I get that. But as long as I'm a Toad, I'm not going to call rhinestones diamonds. (And this also means that if I say I love what you've written, I really mean that, too.)

  20. Jasmine is one of my favorite scent. It is so evocative of night time and dreaming.


Much time and effort went into this post! Your feedback is appreciated.