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On Winter Migration and Coherence

by gard 

Posted: 30 January 2005
Word Count: 81
Summary: A poem in the form "Cascade" that I wrote for an online class I am taking. Its a firstish draft. (cheated a bit on the penultimate stanza)

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On winter migration and coherence

Inside crackling fire flames hot orange
orange like the barren sun that lingers outside
outside where the winter moon hangs waiting.

The storm has ended the land is altered
altered space of hallow wreaths in omen-ice
ice that forces trees, fawn or fall at Earth.

Trapped inside we scream at each other
other times we overlook our dis-content
content in bleak days excluding nature.

But today the hummingbirds arrived
arrived here! To drink from the icicles!

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Comments by other Members

joanie at 06:49 on 31 January 2005  Report this post
Hi Gard, I enjoyed this. What a wonderful feeling of hope in the last two lines - made so much stronger by the previous line: 'content to live days dismissing nature'. I like the first stanza particularly.

I hadn't realised that this form is called 'cascade'; I wrote a poem a couple of months ago where the last word of one line was the first of the next one, but didn't know it had a name. Is there a set pattern to the length/number of lines too? (I love 'form')

Thanks, joanie.

Hamburger Yogi & PBW at 07:36 on 31 January 2005  Report this post
There is a certain classical feel to this poem, a kind of moderation in tempo and mood (apart from the scream) the choice of words seemed meditative too - I liked the sensations (perception). I wonder about the relation between setting and relationship though. Divergent.

Hamburger Yogi

Brian Aird at 11:40 on 31 January 2005  Report this post
I liked this piece - a feeling of being trapped by nature and trying to ignore her at the same time; the poem's form matching the sensation of being 'trapped' unti the much needed diversion (hummingbird) breaks winter's spell.


gard at 12:27 on 31 January 2005  Report this post
Hi Joanie hamburger Brian A

thanks! Joanie, I was told to follow the Cascade form as:

three lines per stanza, the last word of each line forms the new word for the next line. Each stanza must stand on its own as its own piece, but relate to the poem as a whole. The poem is summed up/ended by a two line stanza pretty much in the same style as the previous stanzas (i.e. with the last word forming the first of the last lines). I have not yet investigated whether there should be a content/meaning restriction for example as traditionally imposed in tankas an haikus. I think its not the case. Or also if this form varies (like villanelles can). Hope thats useful....

Perhaps you will write one re-post yours?


joanie at 13:29 on 31 January 2005  Report this post
Hi again Gard. I sort of followed that pattern I suppose, but not the 3-line stanza. This was the one which I mentioned; perhaps I'll try another one according to your guidelines.


This fluttering of moth wings from your finger tips
tips my world into a spiralling tunnel of light;

light whispered breaths on my face
face my reticence and call its bluff.

Bluff your way through all your tomorrows -
tomorrow's worries are a speck of nothing.

Nothing will calm this fluttering


Thanks for the information.


gard at 14:14 on 31 January 2005  Report this post
Hi Joanie

oh thats a lovely piece! Has an erotic tone. I wonder it if does actually fit some form that is similar to a Cascade? I definatley think you could progress this piece into a Cascade if you wanted to.

Love the last stanza and last lines...Maybe we could look at some famous Cascades in the poetry Seminar sometime? Perhaps I will ask Fevvers.


joanie at 14:18 on 31 January 2005  Report this post
Good idea, Gard.

Nell at 15:54 on 31 January 2005  Report this post
Gard, a precious microcosm of a poem. Especially love the last stanza with its sense of wonder. Loved Joanie's poem too - we must try this in the Seminar.


gard at 12:00 on 02 February 2005  Report this post
Hi Nell

yes we should try the Cascade form. I need to read more about it.


jewelsx at 00:29 on 04 February 2005  Report this post
hi - i loved the poem and like everyone else above you have got me started thinking about trying my own peice.

i think all these comments and how inspired everyone feels reflects well on the quality and enjoyment gained from your poem.


gard at 13:46 on 04 February 2005  Report this post
Thanks Jewelsx!

appreciate the comment! We should definately try this is P seminar


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