Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Villanelle: Resisting Autumn. HTML trials.

Resisting Autumn

November’s dying. Gold has turned to rust
And rust to brown. The great rains have begun.
Nature hoards its strength because it must.

But why is Nature always boom or bust?
The Douglas Irises have come undone.
November’s dying. Gold has turned to rust.

A little sun would elevate my trust.
At least the green of firs can’t be outrun.
Nature hoards its strength because it must.

Brown skeletons of thistles join the dust.
The cowslip parsley’s white has turned to dun.
November’s dying. Gold has turned to rust.

I’d love to see a single bulb upthrust
To light the forest floor, a change begun.
Nature hoards its strength because it must.

Perhaps I ought to call Prometheus
To bring us fire and burn this season down.
November’s dying. Gold has turned to rust.
Nature hoards its strength because it must.

I think my medication change has had some salutary effect on me. Although my balance is not so good, my head is not filled with the constant, narcissistic self-despite which characterizes depression. And my anxiety about everyday tasks seems slightly reduced.

For instance, yesterday I got up on a tall ladder and cleaned the rain gutters at our rental.

Our landlord is sly. When I told him this needed to be done, he simply slid a big ladder in the garage. I wonder if I’m being used or whether the partnership between the landlord and me is natural. In either case, the back rain gutter is pretty helpless as it’s protective mesh of wire has fallen down near the bottom of the gutter, inviting redwood fronds to bury it into oblivion. The mesh in the front gutter is in good repair, so I didn’t have to hand-clean the vegetable matter out of its depths.

I am not well but I don’t feel as sick. My great frustration has been an html class I’m taking at the local community college. I just can’t seem to get it. I sit at the computer and compose code and nothing ever happens on the page as I intended. The concept of the Cascading Style Sheet and the Document still puzzles me, and I don’t know how much of the former I should employ for the latter. I have continued in this class during my depression because I know it is good for me, even if my failure to grasp certain basic principles makes me fear I have lost my mind.

The four great themes of poetry are nature, love, death and God. Yesterday’s villanelle was about death, today’s about nature. The rhyming was difficult in today’s offering but I hope it does not appear unnatural.

Thine in Truth and Art,

Craig Erick


  1. Dear CE,

    This is lovely. My last poem at my blog was about golden leaves.

    Is 'outrun' the best word in the best place? Greens don’t run – Maybe they are runner beans, but they’re not green. LOL. Is there a word “Out-spun?” Or, alternatively:

    “At least the greens of firs are firmly spun”


  2. I was searching for spun things; lo and behold I found a spun glass tree.



  3. I thought the rhyming was perfectly subtle, it did not seem unnatural to me. What a sad poem although November has to die so we can move on. I love Fall, but next Spring, I'll say I love Spring...I like this poem.

    That's interesting, the four themes of poetry. I wondering what else there is to write about, but there is also birth or renewal, I suppose.

  4. Thanks for the help. Birth and renewal could fall under nature or love, even death and God. Glad the rhymes weren't too nasty, save "outrun" according to Coral. But I'm changing the poem as I speak.

  5. I misread the penultimate line of your villanelle thusly:

    God has turned to rust.

    I'm not sure why but it shook me up a little.

    Your post reminds me of Jane:

    I got out of bed on two strong legs. It might have been otherwise.

    Keep on climbing those ladders, sir.

  6. Anonymous8:55 AM PST


    You could argue there's a fifth poetic theme, or at least sub-theme: autumn. We need to put a stake through all the dead leaves. Maybe our Poet Laureate could issue a dictum. Trouble is, he has no formal powers. Kudos to you for pairing Prometheus with the season. I've never seen that before.

    Thank you for your read the other day too.


  7. Norm, if a sub theme were to be recognized, it would certainly have to be spring in the tradition of English poetry.

    I like that, LKD: "God has turned to rust." Great image.


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