Three Kyrielles

Apocalypse
Lightning strikes to sunder the land,
Oceans rise at nature's command,
And we shall at their mercy fall,
When death has come to quell us all.

O armies of war, march now forth,
Creatures evil we so aborr'th,
Quick to your mind your skills recall,
When death has come to quell us all.

Take lives of others in our stead
As forward comes the cloud of dread,
Committing crimes that so appall,
When death has come to quell us all.

The molds of evil we fulfill,
And are exploited with such skill,
For we'll have crossed that moral wall,
When death has come to quell us all.

The perfidy without regret,
As in our panic we forget
The sacred codes of protocol,
When death has come to quell us all.

Forsaken
A dooméd cloud, the darkness falls
From a distance, temptation calls
In our hearts, evil awaken
Of all the peoples forsaken

The benevolent powers flee
To across the sheltering sea
And hidden's the path they've taken
Of all the peoples forsaken

To peaceful realms we follow not
From shadow lands that we have wrought
Our resolve has nothing shaken
Of all the peoples forsaken

The light has left and shan't return
Shall we die or at the stakes burn
And find our beliefs mistaken
Of all the peoples forsaken

Achilles' Heel
Evils come with a forceful rage,
Their fury surely you can cage,
But call not your trap so clever,
For nothing shall last forever.

Pledges of ceaseless devotion,
Shan't stand to tests of emotion,
And the bonds of love shall sever,
For nothing shall last forever.

Your youthful prowess none can slay,
But slowly it does ebb away,
'Til lost you find your endeavor,
For nothing shall last forever.

Deep, timeworn trees can topple down,
The highest mountains someday drown,
We aren't Nature's master never,
For nothing shall last forever.

- January 8, 1998

 

 

Comments

I wrote these poems when I first discovered the kyrielle form in my Handbook of Poetic Forms. I'm not sure what drew me to it, but I certainly know right now, looking back on the poems, that their effects strongly depend on the choosing of a powerful refrain, and that's probably why I wanted to write these three. Please try to stop me if I ever try writing more poetry with feminine (multi-syllable) rhyme, oi.

As for the individual poems... The first one is simply amazing when read aloud, at least until the last stanza, which falters a bit, as I ran out of rhymes, perhaps. I guess I'm bragging, but I really did like it. I scared my English class with it.

In the second poem you probably hear some echoes of Tolkien. I'm almost positive that that's where I got the idea of the "sheltering", or sundering, sea and the hidden path to the lands on the other side. If you really think about it, the refrain doesn't make any sense, but that never stopped me...

The last one is on a rather lower level than the first two, in my opinion. I liked the concept and the refrain well enough to go through with it, but it kind of fell apart earlier and worse than the others. It is not a typo in the last stanza when I say "never", although it's one of my more convoluted inversions-in-an-attempt-to-rhyme. What I meant simply was that because time will defeat even Nature, we will also someday be its master.

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