A French Sonnet
by Thomas Davis
The child Konrad Lorenz was read a book.
Nils Holgersson hopped on a goose’s back
And flew into a flock of geese whose lack
Of sympathy for greedy boys, that look
Into their selves and quickly see how rooks
And geese and other creatures cannot hack
The glory of a monomaniac,
Was clearly honking, stupid gobbledegook.
Hooked by a story, vexed by lack of wings,
Konrad Lorenz began to think of things
He saw in ducks that waddled in his yard —
Until he seemed to see with goose’s eyes,
A man not just a man, but mage and bard
That flapped mind’s wings into a goose’s skies.
Note: Konrad Lorenze was a Novel Prize winning ethologist who became famous for studying the evolution of behavior in geese.
a photograph by Sonja Bingen, our daughter
by Ethel Mortenson Davis
I saw them
making the shape of V’s,
flying high enough
to use the lake’s edge
as their guide:
with white foam
at the edges,
over rushes with dark red plumes
on their trek
For our world will
not as full of life
as the wet summer
while we wait
for the silent season
and for the quiet winter
of our life,
a more diminished one,
a lesser world.
by Thomas Davis
An Italian, or Petrarchian, Sonnet
All week green waves had groaned and cracked great chunks
Of gleaming ice onto the bay’s curved shore.
Then waves of geese, wings arched, began to pour
Onto the shining lake—small, gabbling monks
Dark-cowled in heaven’s shining, winding trunks
Of bodies stirred by Spring’s esprit de corps
As gabble after gabble, more and more,
Became a mass as open waters shrunk.
A V of snow geese, white with sun-drunk wings,
Swooped down upon the lake. The darkness stirred,
A whirling vortex wild, as honking cries
Become a water spout so large it flings
The lake into a shadow, waters blurred
By roiling, whirring-dark, goose-rising skies.
Note: Nick Moore and I have been attempting different sonnet types the last few postings. I dedicated the first sestina I wrote to both Nick and John Stevens, two poets who gave me the courage to try to write one. I then followed that up with the insanity of a double sestina, “The Time of the Poetic Spirit’s Splitting,” a poem I am still pleased that I wrote. Nick then wrote his own double sestina about cycling, one of his passions, that is better than Algernon Charles Swinburne’s “The Complaint of Lisa,” the first double sestina ever written by one of the great poets in history. All of this, along with a lot of other really good poetry, can be found on his gonecyclingagain.com blog. There are a few wordpress poets who have influenced me over the years. Nick Moore is certainly one of the most important of those poets. He has published his Italian sonnet in response to our current sonnet-writing effort on his blog, along with his Spenserian sonnet. He, like I, have long written Shakespearean sonnets. Ina Schroders-Zeeders at inaweblogisback.wordpress.com has joined us in our sonnet writing challenge.
a love poem by Thomas Davis to Ethel
The aftermath of a moment
Is hard to describe:
A flash of sunlight
Through the storm darkened sky,
The wonder of beauty
Which may never come again.
Love, there was a night
When the stars were slung
Over the sky’s black face.
You were singing a lullaby,
And I was changing words into song.
We were happy and love filled.
The night was a rhythm of ourselves.
You laughed and made me see geese
With white wings in dark skies.
I laughed, and you stopped your lullaby.
Love is a kin to the silence
And also to the song.
You and I were singing,
And both of us stopped
To listen to silence.
It was a wonderful evening, love.
It is a wonderful time.
a children’s poem by Thomas Davis
The night is like a big black pot
That’s full of laughing stars.
The stars are twinkling, bright headlights
Of big, black motor cars.
I know, for out within the woods,
Bush-hiding from the sky,
I heard the far off beeping honks
Of cars within the sky!