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Teach me the poise of a raindrop’s stillness.
Play me the chords of a waterfall’s rise.
Rewind the pauses that frayed to goodbyes,
and I’ll praise to the world your finesse.

Aah, but I’m stressed, says the carotid witness,
so busy and tired, I can’t open my eyes.
Teach me the poise of a raindrop’s stillness.
Play me the chords of a waterfall’s rise.

There were times, I recall, when success
and delight held our reins. We avoided all ties
that disturbed or constrained. You were wise
then, you knew there was no one we had to impress.

Teach me the poise of a raindrop’s stillness.
Play me the chords of a waterfall’s rise.
Rewind the pauses that frayed to goodbyes,
and I’ll praise to the world your finesse.

~~~

This fixed verse form is a rondeau quatrain. In medieval times, rondeaus formed the basic rhythm of country dances, and the rhythms, they say, sprang from ordinary workday sounds like spinning, hammering, or the gait of a horse.

My use of “carotid” in the 2nd stanza comes from the word’s etymology. Karos in ancient Greek meant heavy sleep, and there was a belief that carotid arteries caused drowsiness. Today, imo, drowsiness comes from keeping company with people who can’t say often enough how tired they are. Maybe they just need more blood to the brain.

© Elaine Stirling, 2014
Image is from lifegreens.co.uk.,
photographer unknown

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