Sonnet Duel Second: SH

Thalia has had a bit of a rough week.  I think I may fairly say that most of her energies have been directed in non-poetic pursuits, such that she was ready to concede defeat to the Dusty Thane and The Edge.

But as in all duels, it seemed meet and right for her to have a second, one who would battle in her stead and let her grab some healing potion catch a breather or whatever dueling poets need to support this poesy and life.

It would also be fair to say that this is not my best, and it is rather spoiler-laden for anyone intending to watch the BBC series Sherlock who hasn’t gotten around to it yet.  I shall say it again:  Spoilers ahead.  Go watch it and get back to us.  

Bring tissues.


We watched him leap and plummet to the ground,
forsaking life to save those lives he loves –
his limbs gone limp, his crushed head bloodied ‘round,
with no one reassuring us he bluffs
but for that glimpse once John had left his grave.
We eagerly that fiction seize and trust
which somehow shall the great detective save –
how terrible to love what death can touch!
The greatest fan owns death’s reality,
and shoves a slew of souls in its direction.
For all we can’t evade mortality,
we sure do love to see a resurrection!
I think there must a greater reason be
than Sherlock’s vowed return in Season Three.


Sonnet Duel: Spendthrift


The spring has been a brief one, and a hot-
A spendthrift thief of subtle season’s change.
Flowers not yet meant to bloom are caught
Within the raging torrent- and the range
Of Summer’s rate proceeds immoderate
Without the ordered, dignified procession
Of seemly grace. Thus in my mind’s estate
Such prodigality of contemplation
Is displayed, that all my thoughts have bloomed,
And prematurely blows the seeded breeze.
And I am left to mow the leaves and sneeze
And burn my compost thought ‘til all’s consumed.
But hope in this; though now the seeds are Sorrow
Still yet they sow another Spring tomorrow.


It would seem that the Muse is absent right now, and the Dusty Thane has an excuse. He is in Greece. Silly man…visiting his in-laws… Before he left he wrote about a lack of inspiration due to looming vacationing. It is clever and lovely. But I too was seeking inspiration and finding it not. Last night, over the G&T’s you see below, the plan was to write about seeking the Juniper Muse, but the poem had other plans for itself.

Sonnet Duel: Evil Spirits

I spent the weekend with my brother, and we were going to post tomorrow, but it looks like he’s still trying to win! So, I drove 5.5 hours, dropped my things, petted That Cat and here we are. Here is a poem about a frustrating, embarrassing, and bemusing (is that a word?) situation, found mostly in public places.
Evil Spirits

Where else in life is such humiliation?
To speak of this, my silly tragedy
Involves a sort of mental constipation.
Sing, oh Muse, of woeful comedy!
In the clogged and soulless automation
Of the modern world which leaves behind
The sacred cloister of the human station:
While resting gently thus within my mind
I find I’m not alone! With gurgle eerie,
A misanthropic Djinn, both cruel and tragic
Obtrudes himself upon my reverie
With demonstrations of untimely magic.
For when I rise, the horrid sprite recants
The preemptive flush that only wet my pants.

La Chasse

Round two of the Sonnet Duel is under way!

In delightfully happy news, I have just (as of 10 minutes ago) finished the classroom requirements for my Kindermusik certification. YAY! This whole process was at least as hard for me as preparing my master’s recital 2 years ago. At least then, I knew that I could play the violin. This time, facing all kinds of trouble, I wasn’t even sure of that! Well, anyway, it’s done. Go me!

In less lovely news….I did not have a chance to write a new sonnet. Fortunately, that BROTHER my RIVAL and I did have a safety net thrown into the game. We each had a back up sonnet and agreed to use it as a wild card if our lives got a bit hectic. I resisted the thought of using this fail safe so early in the dual, but I think considering the fortnight I have spent, it is all to the good.

So this is a sonnet written during a music history class about 3 years ago. We were discussing the early baroque habit of writing pieces that, through their idiomatic writing, tell the story of a popular activity. My favorite are the early pieces for violin, just newly exploring what a violin can do. A nice guy called “Biber” (pronounced just like Bieber…just …500 years ago… and…well…Counter-Reformation periodBaroque) wrote this lovely “Battalia”.

Listen to the war! GRRRRR!!! Violins and violence ! All within the brand new idiomatic confines of the brand new violin. Oh, and I am sorry that the second movement sounds odd. It is the 16th century version of Charles Ives, representing the various military musicians all warming up near each other. Enjoy! (hehehe….)

Anyway, the Battalias are fun. But there were also works intended to musically illustrate the Hunt. And these were called La Chasse. They’re not as dissonant, but they did hit home and I wrote this wistful and rather youthful sonnet.

La Chasse

Again the hart escapes around the bend
Thwarted again along my fevered chase.
Further, toward the crimson dying glen
Take up again the hunt, the wearied race.
Eluding, evading, escaping every net
Fox hounds, wide traps; my cunning wiles and care
How did I misjudge the course he set
I, the Huntress; frightening and fair?
It never was this difficult for me.
My hounds are fat and lazy through disuse
Before, the hart, unbidden, came to me.
I am not used to thinking up a ruse.
But now the nets are thrown, the traps are set.
I wring my hands! Why won’t he love me yet?

A brace of sonnets: In Memoriam

In early spring and summer, especially, I remember. I had a friend, a bold, morose, brilliant and lovely friend. We had plans, but then he died. This year, it’s four years. Trying to express the joy and the loss and the peculiar nature of memory which eliminates the day to day but leaves sharp, bright moments, I’ve attempted a sonnet. In some measure, I’ve succeeded.


I, careful miser, that I am, shall hoard
These diamond memories in a sacred vault.
And while I watchful stand, their jealous guard
I’ll take them up to handle and to hold
Between my fingers. Raised against the sky
I’ll catch, imprisoned, refracted in the deeps
The suns of yesterday’s light in memory.
In this sequestered way, I fondly keep
The careful count of treasure here. But now
The bloodshot miser’s lot is left to me
As I, enshrouded in my grief, am found
More deeply buried in grave misery.
My hoard, tho’ undiminished and undimmed,
Shall ne’er increase. I am bereft of him.

D.G.M. 1986-2008

The only trouble is, the subject himself would laugh immoderately at my sentiments. His was an elegantly refined sense of the ridiculous that preyed on sentimentality. And that was something I loved about him! I would have to defend my feelings; they’re not sentimental! I argue, but really, to no avail. Such melodrama only ever made him laugh.  Here is my dashed off attempt at his profane (as in, trouncing on the holy ground of my finer feelings) version of the same. This one he would certainly prefer, and so, to be frank…do I.

Ah, Crap.

I, deluded madman that I am, shall hoard
These bits of carbon in a dusty tub.
And while  I stand, inevitably bored
I’ll  pinch one ‘twixt my fingertips and rub.
Unsurprisingly, I’ll have to curse
For now, my hands are covered all with black
The situation out from here gets worse
There is no water here to wash. Alack!
And so disgruntled, dirty and alone
I sit here, keeping track of other’s jewels
What I wouldn’t give for a cell phone
I’d call my Ma and tell her I’m a fool.
Oh well, too bad, it’s too late for me now
She doesn’t love me now, she loves her cow.