Poem 19: Fall fire

(By way of explanation: I have decided to post on the first of each month a poem in a specific form. Throughout that month, if further poems are created and posted, they will all use that form. The poetic form chosen for March 2016 is the Sextilla. The Sextilla is a poem with stanzas of six lines, usually each line being 8 syllables. It rhymes aabccb or ababcc.)


There’s not too much that’s left to say
About this golden autumn day.
The fallen leaves that fell last year
Have rotted now and turned to mush.
The trees again grew green and lush
But now stand naked, grey and bare.

I’ve raked the leaves and piled high
Some sticks and things for autumn fire,
And once the breeze blows all the time
I’ll light the leaves and watch them burn
And hope the wind won’t ever turn
Away from next door’s washing line.

You see, at six o’clock this morn
They began to mow their lawn,
And then began to prune their trees
With chainsaws blasting on full choke;
So I’m sending autumn smoke
To stink their house and make them wheeze.

There’s little worse than smoke-filled clothes,
And smoky drapes and runny nose,
And laundry smelling in a heap;
I’m even stinking out their car
With stench of ash and sticky tar.
In future may they let me sleep.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

22 thoughts on “Poem 19: Fall fire

  1. Cynthia Jobin

    There’s so much to like about this one, Bruce. Even though it’s another Spanish syllabic form, the rhyme pattern saves it from becoming like the dreaded shadorma. Your own command of English prosody turns the eight-syllable count into iambic tetrameter, and it’s lovely how you avoided singsongyness with enjambment of lines. I also like the subtle, understated way you build toward the fire of your ire.. like building an actual fire, from kindling to full flame.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      That’s all a great compliment, thanks Cynthia. I was aware that the rhyme scheme saved it from syllabic perdition, as did using a metre. However, I must admit I felt a bit like Alfred Noyes or someone like that when writing it. It’s enjoyable enough but hardly earth shattering. I greatly admire the “fire of your ire” phrase!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. arlingwoman

    I really did like this, without having Cynthia’s knowledge of why the rhyme worked so well. But I bet your neighbors do not connect your wrath to their early morning activities. They’re probably plotting some awful revenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      They keep throwing rotting fish bones into my driveway. I don’t even know their names but have kindly introduced myself at one stage. (Actually – it’s them that mow, prune AND burn their fire of leaves! I used a bit of poetic license!)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Andrea Stephenson

    Oh, a lovely autumn poem, you lulled me into the gentleness of the season and then…pow! Heaven help those neighbours – they remind me of mine and their barbecues and acrid stove even though are yards are small so the smoke comes in our windows – maybe I need to get a chainsaw…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thomas Davis

    This made me smile, although, of course, I hope I never resort to such soul satisfying tactics, except in poetry. I think your craft in this one is strong, again, too. The meter works as song, not sing-song, and the poem dances with light-heartedness, which belies the revenge topic.

    Liked by 1 person


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