I am the difference in my day …
and like, the little Steller's Jay
– I’d spotted in the garden plot –
took flight, not thinking it could not …
I too, am master of my way
and billowed boughs and lawn hose spray –
and as I watched its path, I thought,
I am the difference
I am the difference in my day –
the gentle word, the kinder way,
the meal shared, the child taught,
the hug, the smile, the good fight fought,
with soldier-on and plug-away …
I am the difference
notes: Published in The Transitory Tango Anthology (Beret Day Press), 2017.
This is my first Rondeau – and may, very well be, my last. It takes its place, in my poetic efforts, as one of the toughest forms I have attempted - albeit with a wonderful compelling cadence. (In Flanders Fields by John McCrae is a favorite poem of mine – and a Rondeau – and I have renewed appreciation for that piece.) I found the Rondeau to be a very rigid form – with the beginning of the first line coming in as a refrain at the end of the second and third stanzas (with some sort of flow that integrates it with the piece, rather than just sitting there as a disembodied refrain). There are - exactly - 15 lines (of 4 metrical feet – except for the 2 lines of the refrain, which are 2 metrical feet). That – and the fact that you only have 2 rhyming sounds to work off of, made for multiple start-overs when I could not get the word I had pre-selected (before I began writing) to work (and I could not come up with another word with the right rhyming sound). That said, taking on the challenge of a form piece is, for me, really satisfying … if, occasionally, exasperating.
Steller's Jay – The Steller’s Jay (and yes, that is the spelling - though it looks like a typo) is a Jay native to western North America, closely related to the Blue Jay (very similar in appearance, but with a black head). The Steller's Jay is British Columbia's provincial bird.
photo: taken at the Stewart Farm, Surrey, BC – Sept. 25, 2016 – W. Bourke
© 2017 Wendy Bourke