General Poetry posted February 12, 2019

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An exercise with slant rhyme used for a purpose (see note)


by tfawcus

The gentle swish of leaves when all is calm
sussurates like silk that sweeps the floor
as ladies coyly chat, without alarm,
in whispered tones, of those that they adore.

A stronger gust soon sets the leaves to dance.
They tug, as does the puppy on his leash
when winds hold tempting scents to make him prance.
They're like impatient children who beseech

their grandpa to relent and set them free.
Brisk weather such as this was made for kites.
The old man sighs. He's tempted to agree,
when with a fearsome crack, the lightning strikes.

The wind, with nostrils flared, kicks off its trace,
and weaker leaves are wrenched from flailing trees.
They whirl around, with flurries giving chase,
as towering clouds lift up the whitecap seas.

The god, with booming voice, has hurled his spear;
Mamaragan is mad and run amok.
The ancient trunk is split. The fates conspire
to pinch beneath its limbs, an ancient, broken back.

He strained with cracking bones, to hold his ground.
He'd fought the storm before and beat the fiend,
but - a gentle swish of leaves now marks his end.
Kites circle overhead, and soon will land.

Poem of the Month contest entry



A sound file attached, of the author reading the poem.

The idea here is that perfect rhyme is used mainly when all is right with the world and the slant rhyme becomes more prevalent as things start to go wrong. In that sense, the type of rhyme is intended to parallel the meaning in the poem.

In Australian Aboriginal mythology, Mamaragan or Namarrkun is a lightning god who speaks with thunder as his voice. He rides a storm-cloud and throws lightning bolts to humans and trees. (Wikipedia)

Image: Ainslie Robert's painting 'The Sound of Lightning' inspired by the story of Mamaragan, who makes thunder and lightning by beating stones together. (
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