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Writing the terzanelle a few days ago was so much fun, I thought I’d do it again. The climbing rhyme of the terza and the looping repetition of the villanelle function like a tiny drill bit in a tight space, a sort of poetic trepanning.

~~~

Standing as tall as a tree on the beach
in the cold with no hope of surviving
is mostly a matter of ease and reach.

A dash of aplomb with eyes toward thriving
beats being bummed by low expectation
in the cold with no hope of surviving.

Assigning the world your navigation
of feelings and hopes, it’s a mad trap that
beats being bummed by low expectation

until you’re so mired in all that is bad
your vigour is breached. The mutineering
of feelings and hopes—it’s a mad trap, that!

Giving less weight to mud, more to cheering
might be worth trying on days you’re down and
your vigour is breached. The mutineering

of grimness for joy is at our command,
a landlubber’s choice of loam, clay or sand.
Standing as tall as a tree on the beach
is mostly a matter of ease and reach.

~~~

© Elaine Stirling, 2016

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