Monday, April 30, 2007

A Visit to the Cemetery

(Info gathered via Sonnet Central)

So it seems BayCon 2007, the annual SF-Bay Area fantasy & sci-fi convention, is hosting a poetry competition. The rules: write a sonnet using the following end words:

1. name
2. loss
3. moss
4. came
5. flame
6. toss
7. across
8. fame
9. known
10. brave
11. glorified
12. tide
13. alone
14. grave

(NB: these end words are taken from a World War I sonnet: "Ypres" by Binyon.)

For extra credit, they asked you to use the word "silver" (not as an end rhyme!) and to write on a subject appropriate for Memorial Day. (You can find more details here.) This was my effort:

I walk at random, pause to read a name
unknown to me, but known as someone's loss.
The headstone at my feet is free of moss,
the sleeper under it but lately came
from shores that burned with that unholy flame
that we call war. And still the generals toss
the silver: heads, a crescent; tails, a cross
escorts the fallen to a martyr's fame.

I'll speak my heart, and say we should have known
far better than to start this. Though the brave
deserve to be remembered, glorified
far better that we'd stood against the tide.
Far better I weren't standing here alone
above an unknown sleeper in his grave.

Visit the Sufi Poetry Carnival here on May 28th 2007.

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