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!


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 #11

We’re back to Eric in Ventura for a very interesting challenge, which brought back a memory too. The challenge was: “miniature lead soldiers that even Andrew Wyeth and H. G. Wells played with. ”

My first husband had these metal soldiers that he would play war games with his buddies on a Sunday.  He used to paint them in the colors that were appropriate to the armies they represented.  Seeing as he worked 6 days, I guess I was technically a war widow from the second day I was married.  On our wedding day, he’d disappeared at the reception; he’d discovered the bar had the soccer on the tv.  That day, Liverpool beat Manchester United 5-0 and it was the happiest day of his life, which apparently had little to do with the fact he’d just got married.  It’s ok, it’s so long ago now, I can laugh at this.

But I don’t think my exes soldiers were lead, so I turned to eBay for some inspiration. I found a listing for 11 battered lead soldiers, some missing arms that were made to swing in marching.

Lead soldiers

The 11 lead soldiers in an ebay listing that helped inspire the sonnet.

Lead Soldiers.

Once we were an army on the field

a green baize table all set out for war

(though none of us could figure out what for),

our generals, two boys, would sometimes yield

to calls from mother.  But until that time

we’d all be marched around and fire and drum

amidst their noise of battle, bomb and gun

and yells as some would ‘die’ along our line.

But they grew up and we were boxed for years,

swinging arms were lost, and many men;

our paint was chipped. Now down to just eleven

were rediscovered, sold as mercenaries.

We’re old, disabled.  War is not the same.

We’re just your heroes from a childhood’s game.

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 #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.

The sonnet challenge, #1

In case you missed my monthly mailing, I put out a challenge for subjects on which to write sonnets.  I had four respondents who came up with a number of different ideas, some of which I can/will do, some of which I likely can’t, but as I was able to be creative during some of the lulls at the Flagstaff Art in the Park on the weekend, I thought I would start posting these.

The first challenge I took up is from Pia, whose challenges included ‘Blue’.



The cloudless skies from sunset to sunset

are actually a hundred shades of blue,

most delicate of Wedgwoods never set

Against Ultramarine shade’s deepest hue.

But blue we think of as a tone of pain

for heart downcast, when those eyes should look up

and breathe sky in, and face the world again

beneath the colors of the sky’s great cup.

Cerulean, Wedgwood’s neighbor, stretches high

to Cobalt at the summit of the dome,

then Turquoise fades to Prussian as the sky

returns to night and shows our starry home.

From there we’ll see earth as the aliens do –

A planet mostly oceans, mostly blue.


1302oneside_wPlease enjoy my monthly mailing for September – and don’t hesitate to respond to some of the challenges!