{poetry friday: p7 string, rope, thread, chain…*}

I set up this post Tuesday morning, trying for an upbeat tone despite still processing the hate crimes shootings on May 14 and 15 in Buffalo and Southern California. By Tuesday night, I couldn’t face writing something else – I have no words. Today is for poetry, not tragedy, so I’m posting what I have. Perhaps other words will come later; right now there is only… a soul-deep heaviness.

Poetry Peeps! You’re invited to our challenge in the month of June! Here’s the scoop: We’re doing byr a thoddaid! Yes, it is INDEED a Welsh form, good guess. It’s got more than a few rules, so buckle up, Buttercup: 1.) A byr a thoddaid is a quatrain or series of quartrains, divided into two combined couplets. 2.) One couplet contains 8 syllables for each line with an aa end rhyme. The other couplet contains 10 syllables in the first line and 6 syllables in the second. 3.) The 10-syllable line of this other couplet has an end rhyme near the end of the line (but not AT the end). 4.) The 6-syllable line of this other couplet has a link (either rhyme, alliteration, etc.) to the end word of the 10-syllable line and then an end rhyme. 5.) Additionally, the couplets can appear in alternating orders like a traditional quatrain. WHEW. Are you in? (Are you scared?! I am, not gonna lie.) You’ve got a month to study up on the rules and craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on June 24th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.

Since my last post, I have packed for and gone on a vacation which required an airplane (and many hours with a mask. MANY hours. But, it worked), crashed my computer (which gave me some panicky moments with three Works In Progress, let me say), then crashed Himself’s computer because we connected it to MY drive (oops). Additionally, I’ve been juggling two volunteer projects, and the micro-managing director makes me regret every moment, plus I got one of my best friends involved, and she’s suffering through the micro-managing too. Ugh. Can we still blame the pandemic for everything? Y’know what? I’m just going to do so. I have been at the end of my rope, people, and I’m not even kidding. So, when I remembered our poetry theme this month was just a poem using the word “string, rope, thread, or chain,” I snickered, wondering if I was being tied up, tripped, or hanging on.

Well, I’ve decided it’s all of the above, though I’m thinking the rope and chains are mostly bent on tripping me. Still, I’ll hang on…(and volunteer for fewer things)

It has been such a blurry, busy month that the Poetry Sisters crew didn’t even get to hang out on our usual Zoom – so I’m super eager to see what everyone’s doing. Make sure you visit Tricia @ The Miss Rumphius Effect, Sara @ Read Write Believe, Kelly @ Art & Words, and Michelle @ More Art 4 All is here with twine, while Carol @ Beyond Literacy Link finds that thread binds us. More Poetry Peeps will check in on this challenge during the weekend, so stay tuned for a full round-up.

Want more? Poetry Friday today is hosted by Linda at A Word Edgewise, and you’ll find lots of other lovely poetry to brighten your Friday there. Thanks, Linda!

Hang in there, friends — even if you feel yourself dangling by a thread… tie a knot, and hold on. And if you have to drop, it’s all right to let go and fall – those who love you have got you.

19 Replies to “{poetry friday: p7 string, rope, thread, chain…*}”

    1. @Heidi Mordhorst: Oh, HEY! Good job submitting that! I admit that I am the WORST at finding places to submit – but I also am the worst at determining which poems are “good enough.” I’m encouraged to get out there and try, though!

  1. I adore this sonnet. My dissertation advisor gave me 3 pieces of advice:
    1. Data ARE … (remember the plural)
    2. Read widely and deeply
    3. Learn to say no.

    I still haven’t mastered the last one. I’m still volunteering in my school, and spent Wednesday substituting in a class full of second graders who were terrified every time I opened the door to let someone in.

    I hope you get some time back for yourself.

  2. Balance turned out to be a lot easier to achieve once the Day Job was off my plate! 🙂 The events of the world, though, have me tying a knot at the end of my thread to hold on.

    Good luck with the computer issues and the micro-manager.

    1. @Cousin MaryLee: If I can just make it through June, I figure I’ll have learned my lesson with the micromanager and back away quickly from ALL engagements of which they’re a part, but we’ll see if I’ve gained any sense from this…

      Meanwhile, I’ll knot my rope to yours.

  3. Byr a thoddaid ooph, that’s a mouthful of a challenge, I’ll have to start this one soon… Thanks for the link with sample poem! Balance, OMG it’s out there somewhere, in between my 10 minutes of meditating, ocean breaths, or gardening time…❤️ Your poem and thanks for holding on to our dangling threads. Hope your computer starts behaving again soon. Thanks for your poetic diversion Tanita, during this beyond challenging last week.

    1. @Michelle K. Art: I admire those of you who can actually meditate; my rodent brain is always burrowing and scurrying around, trying to see what else it can get into while the body is still. I love even the phrase “ocean breaths…” It sounds utterly lovely. Here’s to finding our place in the scheme of things – small and floating on a larger sea. That sounds like something to meditate on…!

      1. Elusive time, she and I will have to have a heart to heart again soon… After a gap in meditation, I started again a few years ago when I heard even 10 minutes will benefit one. So my old 20 minutes became 10 or sometimes a bit longer.

  4. OH yes, balance – that tricky thing that plagues us all. Sorry to hear you’ve been overwhelmed and over-committed. Micromanagers can be so exhausting! You were brave to get onto a plane, and there’s nothing worse or panicky that computer issues. The daily news in itself is too painful and devastating, and it just keeps coming . . . just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does. I’m thankful for the tiny thread that binds us.

    P.S. Love your graphic.

    1. @jama-j: I have started fiddling with Canva.com, since it’s free, and I’ve been surprised by how shallow of a learning curve it is. I was surprised how well this graphic turned out!

      I’m grateful for your blog as a place to escape to a softer reality. You’re a resting place for the rest of us, J.

  5. Balance, my yoga teachers tell me, is something that comes and goes. One day, you can stand on one leg for a full minute, the next, you can hardly last three seconds. And with all you’ve put up with this month, GAH. It’s no wonder you’re just hanging on. I hope writing this poem was part of the re-balance. (You helped me right my sinking ship, in any case…)

    1. @saralewisholmes: I REMEMBER that yoga teaches this, and then… I forget. I think most of our society forgets. We expect that balance, once achieved, is forever.

      …which defeats the purpose of it being BALANCE, duh.
      Thank you. I will remember this.
      And, as they say, a rising tide floats ALL boats; as I right your sinking ship, you right mine, friend.

  6. Your poem is perfect – and so is the art to accompany it. Alas, I have not found my yet. (I read recently that people only ask those who thy know will feel guilty saying no… who therefore don’t say no. And knowing how guilty I feel if I say no…)

    1. @katswhiskers: (Definitely play around with the freebie Canva.com for blog graphics. I’m still learning, but every once in awhile, I come up with one I really like.) I haven’t found my No – and yet I can clearly see when other people are overwhelmed and should say it! ☺ The guilt cycle never ends… ::sigh::
      Hang in there, friend.

  7. Tanita, you summed up what we should do in this life but in reality, balance is an art I have not mastered. In all the years of striving for balance, I still am striving for it. Stress is part of the package lately and I find I am in a mess more days than not. Your last line in your poem is just right and gave me a chuckle. Yur originality and creativity with the 4 words is impressive, especially since you added humor. Now, to comment on next month’s challenge: Really! The Poetry Sisters tipped the balance scale for me on this one. Just trying to figure out the challenge is enough but actually writing the poem will need concentration and my muse to come sit on my shoulder.

    1. @cvarsalona: I’m so glad you liked the poem – the humor has to come in, because if we don’t laugh, we’ll all scream!!!

      Hah – we Poetry Sisters make all of these lists of poems in January, and then by the time we get to the month we ask each other, “Hey! Whose idea was THIS!?” I have a feeling this Welsh form is going to be one accompanied by much laughter and wailing. Once you look at a few, it’s not that bad, but explaining the rules is … a lot. ☺ We are all in such trouble…

  8. Oh, my. It’s like you’re living in my head. All so true! Sorry about the computer troubles. I hope you’re fully back up and running now.

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