Commentary and Philosophy Poetry posted October 4, 2015

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two rondeaux

That Empty Hand

by mfowler

His empty hand accuses, hopes,
and pleads for help so he can cope.
      The fingers cracked like paving stones
      are stained by life in yellow tones.
It must be years since they've seen soap.
I wish to give, but I'm no pope.
To help his cause might buy more dope
       and pile more pain on what he owns
         in empty hand.
I know his life's a slipp'ry slope
but, surely aid will give him rope
      to hang himself on life's unknowns.
      Just look at him, he's skin and bones,
demeaning self with feeble gropes
        of empty hand.
That empty hand is bidding me
to think of him with charity.
      Like beggars from those bible days
      he hangs about with waifs and strays.
A man who's lost, is what I see.
He uses anonymity
to grasp at things he wants for free.
      I can't avert my guilty gaze
        from empty hand.
He looks my way so earnestly
a veteran, an amputee.
      My heart is rent by his malaise.
      I think of him in better ways.
I ask his name and offer free
        my empty hand.


Poem of the Month contest entry


Rondeau (plural rondeaux)
15 lines
13 lines of tetrameter X 8 syllables (iambic tetrameter)
2 refrains of four syllables (iambic dimeter)

3 stanzas 5,4,6 lines
refrain in stanza 2 & 3 repeats the opening words (variations included)
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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