Terri Eynon's Blog
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Cllr Dr Terri Eynon
Folk, harps and radio

The 2015 Election got in the way of writing for pleasure.

The long-pulped leaflets are now forgotten....

On my way

Over the Nailstone rat-run
a rag of buzzard hangs,

Mistaken kestrel, I admire              
such wind-control and gaze
through smattered windscreen.

I catch my breath,
scurry beneath the hunter
trapped in a short commute.

Surprised by freedom,
grey fragmented wings
now haunt my workaday.

July 2015
 Merry Hell

Foot on the lintel year, no place to go,
steps paused, lips pursed, beneath the mistletoe,
she counts the pennies, presents, obligations,
baubles, broken dreams, the health of nations
(far less blessed) and quietly resents
the myrrh of mourned regrets, the frankincense
of pungent sin forgiven by a child
repackaged in a plastic crib. His wild
and unexpected love, that strikes the heart,
obediently conformed. She stirs. The start
                This day the standing sun begins
her summer journey home. The whole earth spins
to sing the yearning year alive again.
Head full of magic. Shoes full of rain.  

A 2014 Christmas present to myself began with a re-reading of
'How Poetry Works' by Philip Davies Roberts, a book I drew on when writing my decades old papers on metaphor and cognitive linguistics.

Searching for 'Pennine Poetry Works' a (now long defunct) online poetry group where authors shared and critiqued each others poems (remember jiscmail?...) I came across Facebook's answer to the same problem.

All Poetry is a massive chat room with an overwhelming number of would-be poets, critics and opportunities. Having signed up, they encourage you to get active by writing something to order for a new members contest.

This was my first new poem submitted to the site.

 Corridor Conversations         
Come celebrate in song! Come raise the sound
of joy. My sister Faith is safe and sound!

Student, listen to the story. Then percuss.
It is a patient, not a gong, whose lungs you sound.

Metformin. Twice a day. Titrate them up.
The tablets are lifelong. To keep you sound.

The coil slips through the cervix. So.
Too tight. Pass Dr. Wong the sound.

Hold me husband, I might break. They've
told me something's wrong. On ultrasound.

Please, sit with him a while. I need a pee.
Nurse says he's not got long. He's sleeping sound.

Compress the sternum. Thirty times to two.
Ribs aren't too strong. You'll hear a cracking sound.

Perpetua, Sister, lead the flagging firm
in Hippocratic song. Faith needs be sound.

Author's notes
This is my first ever Ghazal, submitted as part of an online competition on All Poetry

I am told that the Ghazal is a fixed poetic form first developed in Persia in the 10th century. It was brought to India with the Moghul emperors in the 12th century. It is a series of 'sher's' or couplets that stand alone as two-line poems.

The first sher is the 'matla'

The matla has a repeated word or phrase, the 'radif', which end both lines of the first 'sher' and the second line of each of those that follow.

The matla sets the tone of the ghazal and may have a spiritual meaning.

The meter or 'beher' is variable but is set by the rhythm of the matla (the first sher or couplet).

Some Western poets do not seem to bother with the 'kaafiya' - an internal rhyme that comes before the radif or repeating phrase.
I came across this concept in a website discussing the ghazal in popular Hindi culture and decided to use one.

The final sher also contains the 'maqta' - the poet's mark in the form of a name or some play on the meaning of their name.

Perpetua is my confirmation or Saint's name. Saint Perpetua, while in prison, awaiting execution, kept her fellow inmates spirits up with songs and stories.

I enjoyed messing about with the word 'sound' - whose different homophones have taken from different roots. Some come more directly from the Latin root 'sonus' and give the noise-related meanings.
The meaning of 'free from defect or disease' comes from 'sund' - a middle English term related to the German for health (see 'gesundheit'). The 'sound' used to measure the depth of something (eg a uterus!) comes from the term 'sonde' - the string used to hold a plumb-line.

I almost put in a line including the 'Sound' as in a narrow passage of water (as in Oresund) - but it got cut when I decided to have fun with the health-related aspects of the term and place my shers as separate little conversations overheard in a hospital corridor.

Why not have a go yourself?

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