Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The poem I wrote on the hike

I have decided to post the poem I wrote on the hike. I was discussing sestinas and villanelles with my class last week. We wrote a collective sestina (and I gave them an assignment to rewrite it as whatever it turned out to be, which was not necessarily a sestina) or a villanelle. On the writing hike, I sat down and began to work on the villanelle, since the form was relatively simple (though writing a decent one is not easy). It's not wonderful, but it has some promise. So I have decided to post it:

Fremont Station
What wild cry echoes in brown hills?
I've cracked the crust of ancient riverbeds.
The sharp sound echoes still.

A bobcat, one paw on its latest kill,
raises its sleek head
wondering what wild cry echoes these brown hills.

The old road has dropped six feet,
or so the guide has said...
and now it seems the sharp sound echoes still.

Purple swaths of Chinese Houses spill
down the ravine and into tire treads.
What wild cry echoes in brown hills?

Where brushfires burned last April, finches trill.
Snapping tongues of flame have turned the trees to lead:
in the withered branches, sharp sound echoes still.

Shifting stacks of boulders test my skill,
patterned sand like scales of fish long dead.
Old cries echo in brown hills;
hear them: sharp sound echoes still.

4 comments:

Lou said...

Very delicate, Robbi. Love the words--Chinese Houses, that bobcat's paw, the tire treads. The echo of the wild, sharp sound works to create a haunting past for this place. Lovely.

Robbi said...

Thanks. I'm still working on that damn sestina!

Rebel Girl said...

Lovely indeed.

Robbi said...

Thanks! I want to go read it at Tebot Bach tonight.