>Sojourner

>Regular readers will recall my earlier assignment to write a pantoum. A pantoum is a formal poem of quatrain stanzas that repeats the second and fourth lines of each stanza in the first and third lines of the next. The concluding quatrain contains the first and third lines of the first stanza as its second and fourth lines, only in reverse order. Sound complicated? It isn’t really complicated, but it is difficult to write repetitive poems that work. Especially if you like to match content to form, as I do.

My pantoum follows. Comments or questions welcome.

Sojourner

He stiffly bows his six-foot frame
Begins his eastern race to run
By folding legs to play the game
That fits the form of rising sun

Begins his eastern race to run
With tea, sashimi, table low
That fits the form of rising sun
Which burns upon a field of snow

With tea, sashimi, table low
And gold tatami bathed in light
Which burns upon a field of snow
From Fujiyama’s sloping height

And gold tatami bathed in light
Glows on the floor when sunset falls
From Fujiyama’s sloping height
And lava flows down mountain walls

Glows on the floor when sunset falls
While tremors rumble far below
And lava flows down mountain walls
As kamikaze starts to blow

While tremors rumble far below
He seeks for sleep through endless night
As kamikaze starts to blow
And prayers ascend for morning light

He seeks for sleep through endless night
While lonely ghosts disturb his rest
And prayers ascend for morning light
And peace within his troubled breast

While lonely ghosts disturb his rest
They leave faint imprints in his mind
And peace within his troubled breast
With soul at last becomes entwined

They leave faint imprints in his mind
As in the east, sun rises red
With soul at last becomes entwined
He slowly rises from low bed

As in the east, sun rises red
And falls upon the open page
He slowly rises from low bed
Ascends the steps and gains the stage

And falls upon the open page
Recites the script he knows by heart
Ascends the steps and gains the stage
With strength enough to play the part

Recites the script he knows by heart
While hope and cherry blossoms bloom
With strength enough to play the part
And fragrance fills the empty room

While hope and cherry blossoms bloom
Soft breezes drift across the sea
And fragrance fills the empty room
Of miso soup and steaming tea

Soft breezes drift across the sea
By folding legs to play the game
Of miso soup and steaming tea
He stiffly bows his six-foot frame.

© Glenda Mathes 2007

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