A Triolet Plus

Yesterday’s prompt from the NaPoWriMo site was to write a TRIOLET, and this task has taken me awhile. A triolet is an eight-line verse where the rhyming plan is A-B-a-A-a-b-A-B. The first, fourth, and seventh lines are identical, as are the second and eighth line.

Oh, pity the child who’s clumsy
amusing to all his relation,
a trial for Daddy and Mumsy.
Oh, pity the child who’s clumsy,
who spends half his time in a flumsy
his limbs seldom find integration
Oh, pity the child who ‘s clumsy
amusing to all his relation.

The prompt today: write a poem in which laughter comes at what might otherwise seem an inappropriate moment – or a moment that the poem invites the reader to think of as inappropriate. I’ve decided this poem might work. Last thing you want people to do is laugh because you tripped, or dropped, or knocked something over.

Lurking in the Woods

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is BUGBEAR and I’ve done two versions in response.

The bugbear in the darkness
the wolf in the wood...
dark tales in the gloaming
were told for children’s good.

A way to keep adventurers
behaving like they should
in their beds at decent hours
respecting parenthood.

They stultified the curious
these bogeys that consume
snooping children in the dark,
wanderers in the gloom.

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day this morning is STULTIFY

Image: Melani Marfield — Pixabay

I Donate A Book

I see five days have past since I last posted. Lost interest in Bloganuary, for one thing: so much self-analysis. And I’m not ill – in fact I’ve been been feeling well enough. I’m rather spending time editing a book I wrote eight years ago. I’d like to get this done just in case the day comes when I feel too blah. I’m not expecting that, but you never know.

When my oldest grandson was in school and enthused about Hardy Boy mysteries, I offered to write one for him. At least along those lines: teens facing a challenge from criminals. However, I’ve chosen to make these young men Christians, which means a different response than chasing after bad guys and a lot of biff-sock-pow. I did one edit in 2018; now I need to polish it.

How times have changed since this series first saw the light! Both Hardy Boys got equal billing, one time you’d hear Joe’s surmising about a suspect, then Frank would be puzzled over a clue. Descriptions were limited and rarely did the writer pen more than a sentence or two about their feelings. Rather a lot of action and dialogue. I used that style; now those critiquing my story are complaining there should be only one main viewpoint/character and half as much dialogue–needs more scenic description. Sigh.

A few days back I read a post from Brian called The Power of a Children’s Book. Take a minute to read this interesting article. It brought to mind my childish effort to get other children to read what I thought was a great book.

Back when I was in Grade One I got THE UGLY DUCKLING as a present and I liked it so much. Today we’d say, “It resonated with me.” I loved how the rejected ugly duckling morphed into a beautiful swan! I wanted every child to be able to read this story, so I told my mom, “I want to give my book to the library where others can read it.”

She probably hid a chuckle and I remember her asking, “Are you sure you want to?” But I was determined, so she took me to the library and I handed my precious book over to the librarian. The lady accepted it graciously–though, come to think of it, she probably had two or three other copies of the same. If she thought I was a queer little girl, she never let on but accepted the book in the spirit with which it was given and did whatever with it to make it a library book.

I went on to make good use of the other picture books in her library–and many other libraries through the years.

Today we were at a used book store in the city and I picked up a Hardy Boys book to refresh my mind on the style. I’ve read this one before, so will donate it to the local library–if they need a copy. Or to my friend who has a Little Library set up in her front yard. Good stories are for sharing, right?

Image: MabelAmber — Pixabay

No More Coddling!

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is CODDLE. We ladies had a little discussion in Sunday school yesterday about “How much to do for your children,” which fuels my response to this prompt.


Jake tapped the corn syrup bottle in disgust. “Mom, I want the maple syrup, not–”

His father interrupted. “If you want maple syrup, get it yourself.”

Mom was already half way out of her seat when Dad grabbed her arm. “Sit down, Nancy.”

She protested. “I can get it for him, Dan. He’s probably tired from all his building yesterday.”

“Oh, yeah. I’m exhausted!” Jake added a weary sigh for effect. He looked from one parent to the other, waiting to see how the ball would bounce.

Dad put an arm on Mom’s shoulder. “If you continue to coddle him, he’ll want you fetching and carrying for him when he’s thirty-five. When he and Tim were working on their tree house yesterday, he was carrying wood and pounding nails for an hour. He can manage a syrup bottle now.”

Jake rolled his eyes, got up and shuffled to the fridge. He grabbed the syrup and plunked it on the table, dropping into the chair again with a martyr’s sigh.

Mom watched her eight-year-old boy pour syrup on his pancakes and wolf them down. Tears picked her eyes. Would the time come when he didn’t need her at all – for anything?

A moment later Jake slipped off his chair. “Some of the guys are getting together at the school to play scrub. Is it okay if I go?”

Dad grinned at him. “After you put the syrup back in the fridge, and help your mother clean off the table.”

The Old Red Barn

The Bloganuary challenge today is indeed a challenge for me: What is the earliest memory you have?

You see, I have many bits and snatches of early childhood memories, but which one is the earliest? Impossible to say, so I’ll go with my memory of playing in Grandpa Forsyth’s old red barn. This one was built in 1917 when Grandpa and Grandma Forsyth came to the Melfort, SK, area to farm and it looked like a zillion others that dotted the prairies when I was young.

These folks weren’t really my grandparents, but because I was raised by Dad and Mom Forsyth, I refer to his parents as Grandpa and Grandma, though I never knew either of them. My birth parents (Dad Vance being a sister to Mom Forsyth) being dirt poor, lived in a small trailer on Grandpa Forsyth’s yard. I had a brother Jim, who was eleven months older than me, and we were inseparable. Donna, 2 1/2 years younger, would have been the baby.

Apparently before I was four, Jim and I were left to pretty much run free on the farmyard. I still remember that one of our favourite things was to run into the barn and into the part aside which was the chicken coop. Here the ladder to the hayloft was hung. We’d climb up this ladder and jump down from the big doors of the hayloft, get up and do it again. I can’t tell you the exact distance to the ground, but it had to be a drop of at least a dozen feet (3 metres). I don’t know what Health & Safety would say these days about 2- to 4-year-olds leaping from barn lofts, but we survived and had great fun.

At least until Dad and Mom Forsyth moved to BC when I was four and took me with them. We came back to the farm later, but then moved to the city when I almost six. After that my connections to my siblings were limited to summer and Christmas holidays. Folks visited the old farm for a number of years –in summer to gather the orchard fruits– and I still remember the old red barn.

All Those Lovely Gifts!

by Edgar Guest

In the corner she’s left the mechanical toy,
  on the chair is her Teddy Bear fine;
the things that I thought she would really enjoy
 don’t seem to be quite in her line.

There’s the flaxen-haired doll that is lovely to see
  and really expensively dressed,
left alone, all uncared for, and strange though it be,
  she likes her rag dolly the best.

Oh, the money we spent and the plans that we laid
  and the wonderful things that we bought!
There are toys that are cunningly, skilfully made,
  but she seems not to give them a thought.

She was pleased when she woke and discovered them there,
 but never a one of us guessed
that it isn’t the splendor that makes a gift rare– 
 she likes her rag dolly the best.

There’s the flaxen-haired doll with the real human hair,
there’s the Teddy Bear left all alone,
there’s the automobile at the foot of the stair,
and there is her toy telephone;

We thought they were fine, but a little child’s eyes
   look deeper than ours to find charm,
and now she’s in bed and the rag dolly lies
  snuggled close on her little white arm.

From the book Just Folks by Edgar A Guest
© 1917 by the Reilly & Britton Co.