I'm gonna write like I know what i'm talking about. Which I don't - I just make it up as I go along, but I'll try to be honest, if arrogant.
Batty - The Control Freak confused me at first because I was thinking diskworld troll not internet troll, but I got it in the end and you got to the heart of the beast. The quadruple rhyme/verse is a hard one to pull off and I'm not sure if I like the repeated first/last line per verse, but then again I do like a structured poem - being able to convey meaning despite the self imposed constraints of rhyme and rhythm marks not only an artist but a craftsman(woman?) as well. I see this discipline again in Tread Softly, and am struck that both are very empathic messages - in the one you're warning others to beware of the monsters lest they get hurt, in the other you're asking that the reader be considerate of others.
Oberon, I hated The Tortoise Shout. I thought it was self indulgent, self pitying drivel. Sorry. No offence. I dislike that whole style of stream-of-consciousness writing so it had no chance with me.
Mina Bird I liked your September Song, which is saying something because I tend to be very resistent to first person poems, when the poet it the person in question (a character speaking in the first person is another kettle of monkeys). Although somewhat melancholic it managed to avoid the maudlin.
Tiffany This Road Once Lead to Camelot is superb. Bravo. I really like The Lady of Shallot, so could easily have felt that you'd denigrated it but no, it was well done. Just one thing: I want another verse, maybe in the middle, maybe on the end...
I Can't Do It, well it's fun, which is enough in itself.
Jan the metaphore of The River works well and you worked it well but somehow it didn't engage me as it should, I don't know why - the ending maybe, but then the metaphore breaks down: the end of the river of life is death and unless you want the poem to finish on a real down note you're kind of stuck. Listening, not Listening was deceptively simple, but I don't really agree with the sentiments, at least with the "not Listening" part of it. But that's a matter of philosophy.
...And here's one of mine. This was mainly written as a two part exercise, first Most of my poems rhyme and have a strict verse structure and I wanted to see if I could do something decent that didn't and hadn't. Secondly it was an exercise in description, to try and evoke a visual response. It's probably too long but I've tried to edit it down and I can't. If you want the best from it then try and read it slowly and enjoy the journey rather than race to the end.The Queen of Khittai
The Queen of Khittai lounged in silk and gauze
Upon the velvet cushions of an opalescent throne
Which crowned a marble dais, each step inlaid
With glyphs of lapis lazuli and mother of pearl
Beneath a crystal dome which so gathered light
That she was all bathed in a soft rosy glow.
A kings ransom of fine cut emeralds fell
Like trailing ivy strands from each rounded ear.
Upon her brow she wore a diadem forged of ore
From a fallen star and set with a thousand gems.
Between the ripe mounds of her ivory breast
Lay the Tear of Isis, that jewel of much renown
Sought by Gods and Heroes of many a myth and tale.
Tending her were princesses from fabled lands
Who offered sweetmeats of luxuriant delight.
- chilled with ice brought from distant mountains
By runners who, dying in their exhaustion
Whispered her name with their last gasped breath -
Else eased off her diamond encrusted slippers
To lave her perfect toes and dainty feet
With soothing balms mixed to secret recipes.
Marching either side of her league long audience hall
Were dragon carven jade columns between which stood
Ebon warriors in crimson turbans with ruby clasps
Adorned with peacock and ostrich feathers
And wearing voluminous pantaloons of cloth of gold
With gleaming tulwars unsheathed and held ready
To defend her honour, dignity and sacred person
'Gainst any that would to her do harm or offer
The slightest word to stand athwart her munificence.
Hourly high priests reading pictorial scripts
On ancient crumbling scrolls of parchment,
Sonorously intoned the long hidden prophecies
Inscribed by elder races, long lost and now forgot
That tell of the regal wonder of her coming
And the splendour of her rule.
Languid wreaths of cyan smoke from incense
Distilled from the petals of that dusky orchid
Which opens but once upon a moonless night
And blooming, dies, slowly curled and coiled
From censors swung by blindfolded acolytes.
Choirs of angelic children sang trilling songs
Of praise and adoration for her presence
And of their own joy for their lucky fortune
In having been born within the years of her reign
With voices which, untarnished by time's travails,
Were so simply sweet and pure enough
To silence the nightingale in envy and in shame.
Naked acrobats and tumblers leapt and dove,
Seemingly immune to Natures laws of flight and fall;
Jugglers spun scores of blades and flaming brands
In perilous balance and in high and dizzying cascades;
Fakirs making mystic passes to ululating wails
Performed feats of disappearance and transmutation;
Battalions of fools in motley cavorted and sprang
Absurdly capering in vain hope for her merest smile.
Grey bearded wise men hovered waiting for her beck,
Ready to offer all the wit and sage advice of their years
In all matters of justice, diplomacy, finance and state
Generals in gaudy armour of burnished bronze and steel
Discussed strategies and deployments, marking time
'Till she should unleash her armies in national defence
Or foreign conquest for the glory of her name.
Knots of courtiers in the colourful costumes of fashion
Formed and dispersed in the never ending patterns
Of plots and intrigue, commerce and conspiracy,
Seeking preference, advantage and promotion
Like fluttering birds of paradise in balletic display.
Kings and High Wazirs prostrated themselves before her
Displaying cedar chests full of gifts and tribute
Pledging their loyalty and obedience to her rule.
The world and all its peoples danced to her attendance
With utmost service and unquestionable devotion
Her whim their command, their reward her satisfaction.
And the Queen of Khittai wept.
Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? ~~ Oddball