Sonnet Challenge #13

“Mongolian Archers” is another of the challenges from Eric in Ventura.  I don’t know if Eric also likes bows and arrows (I suppose all guys are sometimes still in touch with that part of their inner 8 year old) but this was another topic that sent me to Wikipedia…

Mongolian Archers

The horn, the wood, the sinew form a curve.

Fit in the feathered stock and then – release!

The arched trajectory that we observe

was not invented as a thing of peace.

But games are where such archery is fun –

at the Nadaam we will compete at ‘sur’.

But short camel-hide baskets never run!

Our bows have been designed for hunting fur-

wrapped food, and shooting from your galloping horse –

distinct advantage over knights with spears

until development had run its course

and guns and bullets made the west our peers.

But if you’re hunted, if you are our prey

And you can hear that draw – away!  Away!

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Sonnet Challenge #12

Eric in Ventura is again the challenger for “Peter Rabbit”.  I’d never read the book so I had to do a bit of research.  (If you like my sonnets, please send wikipedia some money.)

Peter Rabbit.
I’m just a boy inside a rabbit skin –

my mother’s words red rag to this young bull –

“The garden’s dangerous, so don’t go in”

the push I needed with the garden’s pull.

The lettuce was delicious, carrots too,

tomatoes, celery, cucumber!  Argh, too much!

To fix this tummy ache, parsley will do.

But here’s the man!  I must escape his touch.

I’ve shed my coat and shoes and slipped away….

The shed to hide in but oh no, I’m found –

I run, sneak past the cat, ahh, there’s the gate!

And now I’ll streak back home on safer ground.

Mom yelled, “The garden’s not the place to be!”

Sent me to bed with sweet chamomile tea.

Sonnet Challenge #10

This suggestion was from Pia – “An Ode to Walking”.  I’m looking forward to getting some more walking done, now that the weather is starting to get cooler. I’m also looking forward to trying to finish up all the challenges that I think I can rise to on the Sonnet front this weekend when I’m having quiet moments at the show in Boulder City, NV.

An ode to walking.
The legs and arms get to be exercised,

the body warmed with muscles’ work that’s done.

The heart is set to pumping up a fire

and lungs are bellowing til they nearly burn.

A fast paced walk eventually gets you home,t

he broke-down car abandoned in the ditch.

And nothing going on inside the dome

you call your head, you just hit the off switch

of thought. Relaxing thus, you see this place

you drive through and ignore. So many trees,

such different plants and birds; you slow your pace

and gaze up at the clouds and feel the breeze.

For walking is one thing to do alone

It kills so many birds with just one stone.

Sonnet Challenge #9

Another from the list of Eric’s suggestions.  By the way I can’t remember if I said but I’m halfway to my goal of 153 or more sonnets.  (This is for my entire lifetime, not just from last month’s challenge).  It does feel good though to be on the downhill stretch.  Still have a few to go from the collection of challenges, but I’m still accepting subjects, it’s not too late.

 

Last thought.
I wonder what will be my final thought?

Details of a commission I’m working on

like whether it’s the right shade green I’ve bought

to paint the trees enjoying summer sun.

Will I be at the easel when I go

or cutting watercolors into squares,

Vangelis playing in my studio

thinking a sonnet through, quite unawares

of my impending death?  Or at a show

talking to some people in my tent

or running after them.  Their card!

Where did they go?Across the street’s the direction those two went….

And just before the truck I didn’t see hit,

I guess my final thought will be, ‘Oh S***!’

 

Sonnet Challenge #8

Another one from Darrin’s amazing imagination.  “Response to someone who wants to have their body cryogenically frozen after death”.  By the way, I’ve now gotten past half way to writing more sonnets than the Bard.  If anyone reading these has some more challenge subjects they’d like to suggest, I’m open to options.

Stone Cold.

Do you anticipate you’ll go to hell

and think your soul might just get frozen in

your body? Did you have a life of sin

that makes you feel you really might as well

just stay here?  You won’t bet on where you’ll be

upstairs or down?  Or do you disbelieve

in afterlife or relife – no reprieve

from non-existence? No eternity

for you.  You want to stay here in this flesh,

a jail whose rotting walls are stuck in time

by coldness, ’til the statute of your crime

has run and you can start your life afresh.

How little faith that you would want to stay

When heaven’s just a last heartbeat away.

Sonnet Challenge #6.

This challenge is another one from Pia in Denmark.  “Current events with a humorous twist.”  I wrote it as things start to get a little heated in North Korea, US has closed two Russian embassies after US embassy staff was reduced in Russia, who are about to conduct battle practices, Syria has become so much of a bar fight I’ve stopped trying to follow who’s fighting whom, and Vladimir Putin and Elon Musk are both predicting world war III will be done by artificial intelligence.  Oy vey and that’s just the stuff I’m paying attention to.

The reference to grayness, by the way is for the dissolution of the tidy black and white of the chess board.  When I wrote this sonnet, I initially did this on paper.  When I went to type it up, I typoed the original ‘Boys will be boys’ and I think it’s one of life’s better typos…..

I’m hoping that the sense of humor that I’ve used doesn’t mean I need to seek political asylum on Alpha Centauri.  (Anyone have the phone # for their embassy just in case?)

Chess
The board of international politics

is getting so much grayer than before.

The pawn, castle and king – war or not war?

What difference does this make to us mere hicks?

We hate our neighbors, but we need to trade,

and then won’t trade because we don’t approve

of how they live and hate.  Our knights outmove

and bishops all expelled, and weapons made

for what? Fists are not how you make a friend!

Boys will be bots, and this is getting dumb!

Is this the “sense” we will base AI on –

the hope and fear that this whole thing will end?

The politics these days are such a mess,

I wish they’d settle it with a game of chess.

Sonnet Challenge #5.

This one came from my good friend Adrian in France (Petitbricoleur).  He has a wry sense of humor, and made one naughty suggestion I rejected – but this is the one that was quite an easy mark for me.   I’ve been wanting to use the last line for a while.  Google “split infinitive examples” to see why.  (Yes, I’m a recovering Trekkie.)

Infinity
The finite minds, our life’s reality.

The bony skulls – within, the brain so soft

dives us in atoms, and the skies aloft

yet cannot comprehend infinity.

We promise we will love forevermore –

infinity of time that’s also lost

to understanding.  We don’t feel the cost

of setting sail when there’s no further shore

to land on.  Is this all there is?  This sea?

This sky? This light?  This wind that blows us on

and on and no release from what has gone?

We must be, and cannot choose not to be.

And when at last my immortal soul is free,

I’ll smile, and boldly split infinity.