Glow  (July 2020)

A field of grass by an ugly gravel parking lot, transformed by sunlight. ©️Merril D. Smith 2020



comes, goes,

so it flows

to earth and sea,

flaming grassy meadows,

with photons streaming, gilds a tree.

Though shadows loom below, we let them be;

pretend we do not see the coming of the night,

but live, walk, talk—and love, the apogee

of our beings—humanity

with stardust traces glows

but faintly—see?

The flickers

dim. . .grow



This is a diatelle for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday. This week she wrote:

“Let’s make this challenge truly a poet’s choice! Use any syllabic poetry form that you’d like. As long as there are syllables to count, you’re good to go! Be creative. If your form is something new, teach us how to write it. Have fun!”

I know she doesn’t normally do rhyming forms, but this is definitely syllabic, and I know Colleen likes shapes, so I hope this is OK. 😀 Mine can probably use some more work, but I’m posting it anyway.

I found the form, created by Bradley Vrooman, on Shadow Poetry.  

“The Diatelle is a fun, syllable counting form like the etheree with a twist. The syllable structure of the diatelle is as follows: 1/2/3/4/6/8/10/12/10/8/6/4/3/2/1, but unlike an ethere, has a set rhyme pattern of abbcbccaccbcbba. This poetry form may be written on any subject matter and looks best center aligned in a diamond shape.”

Maybe everyone does this, but if not, maybe it’s helpful to see. I made myself a template to keep track of syllable/lines and rhymes. I do this for many forms.

a1 Light

b2 comes, goes

b3 so it flows

c4 to earth and sea

b6 flaming grassy meadows–

c8 with photons streaming, gild a tree

c10 though shadows loom below, we let them be,

a12 pretend we do not see the coming of the night

c10 but live, walk, talk–and love, the apogee

c8 of our beings–humanity

b6 with stardust traces glows

c4 but faintly—see?

b3 The flickers

b2 dim, grow

a1 bright.

44 thoughts on “Flickering

  1. Merril, this is excellent! Syllabic rhyming poetry with a set rhyme pattern has always fascinated me. The Diatelle sounds like fun. So, how does this work? a1 and a12 and a1 all end with words that rhyme. b2 and b3 rhyme, etc. I’ve never connected well with rhyming poetry. They always sounded so contrived to me. But, your poem is quite profound. Maybe next year we’ll branch the challenge into syllabic rhyming poetry with some different rhyming patterns. I love it! ❤

  2. I was reading it, thinking it looks like a double etheree (how cool I even know that?) but I didn’t count the syllables and didn’t immediately notice the rhyme – or did but didn’t, if you know what I mean!
    Then you said it was a diatelle and I thought, darn it… she’s gonna challenge me again (one day) 😉

    All that to say, this is lovely and thank you for your template example!

  3. You know I love circles. And another lovely light filled photo.
    I like the idea of trying different forms…and then I default to shadorma. But Colleen is right, we should be more adventurous. (K)

    • Thank you very much, Kerfe. Yes, circles and light. 😀
      I don’t know why, but I just wanted to try something new, and I liked the examples given for this form. I had no idea what I was going to write about either, I just started writing. . .

  4. Pingback: Weekly Poetry Challenge Stars | Poet’s Choice – First of the Month Challenge # 185 | Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry

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