Hopes, or: Smoke rings

A pantoum

Thick smoke rings wafted through the steam
Small silver spoon stirred dark Earl Grey
Night clouds and hopes lit by moonbeam 
Recurring thoughts began to fray

Small silver spoon stirred dark Earl Grey
Gnarled finger clutched by digits slim
Recurring thoughts began to fray
Wise, pale blue eyes could not see him

Gnarled finger clutched by digits slim
Grandfather watched the sweet newborn
Wise, pale blue eyes could not see him
Oh, turns of time had left him worn

Grandfather watched the sweet newborn
Thick smoke rings wafted through the steam
Oh, turns of time had left him worn
Night clouds and hopes lit by moonbeam

‘Coming full circle’, a d’Verse prompt

The above poem is my response to the d’Verse ‘coming full circle’ prompt, which instructed poets to circle round and end where their poems begin. 

Possibilities included pantoums; villanelles; open forms; or even shape poems, but the goal was to attempt a circular poem where the first line and the last repeat (or are close). We were to think about the journey – where has the poem taken us? How has the meaning of that first line shifted? Has it become more certain or less? 

100 thoughts on “Hopes, or: Smoke rings”

  1. This is fabulous! What a lovely picture of a beautiful moment between a grandfather and a baby. The detail is so sweet and the tone nostalgic and loving. A fabulous pantoum!

    1. Thanks so much, Worms. You know, at the start, I was considering weaving more generations into the poem to emphasize the “circle” of life, but ultimately, I felt that the grandfather-baby worked well enough πŸ™‚

      I really appreciate your kind comment.

      All best,
      David

    1. yep, that was very deliberate, for sure – I wanted there to be a “circle” in the content, as well as in the form βšͺ

      Thanks so much, Lisa!

      -David

  2. The infinite loop, the cycle of life, paradoxes.. this poem speaks without having to say. πŸ˜‰πŸŒΉ

  3. Soft and gentle with beautiful imagery, a poem describing a most precious moment that is best witnessed in peaceful silence. Delightful. πŸ’•

  4. Lovely piece David – so like how the meanings shift gently with each repetition – particularly moving are the last two lines – ‘oh time had left him worn / Night clouds and hopes lit by moonbeams. And a lovely rhyme too – you qualify for a koala stamp. 🐨

  5. Coming full circle and here you took us on a journey to revisit the routes of Malaysia. I will stand with Hope’s. Love how hope dances in the smoke screens shifting in meanings.
    Tears swelled up in me
    Especially the fragrance of Earl Grey Tea brings back memories, sweet as can be
    The poem on offer at the place of pantoum is also too sweet for words.

    A beautiful set her if Hope in Smoke Rings. Musing at its finest.
    Digits slim…cute…gnarled fingers come full circle.

  6. The contrast between the worn grandfather with the newborn is poignant and sweet without being overly sentimental. An impressive pantoum! πŸ‘πŸ‘

  7. What a beautiful moment in time you’ve captured: a wise old grandfather holding a sweet newborn baby! Hope is certain by the end of the poem πŸ™‚

  8. I love the way your pantoum is scented with Earl Grey, David, and the atmosphere of β€˜Night clouds and hopes lit by moonbeam’. Most of all I love the central image of the β€˜Gnarled finger clutched by digits slim’, which touched me deeply. You captured a beautiful moment,

  9. A really neat idea on repeating lines, and the effect to me was a bit surreal. Like deja vu, I think? I’m having a difficult time pinning down what I mean. But I enjoy the effect, as I like surrealistic and absurdist art/literature. I’m going to have to tuck away the repetition idea for a future poem to write. Thanks for the inspiration πŸ™‚

    1. For some reason, I really like pantoums, Dave. I think this one was my third… and this particular d’Verse prompt was one that I greatly enjoyed πŸ˜€

      Shabbat shalom,
      David

      1. You are most welcome David and thanks to your words in the back of my head today I took a stab at it when I was lost for words today..
        Let’s just say it was an atempt and the wrong day i think tool. oye vey!

  10. This is a wonderfully atmospheric Pantoum, David πŸ™‚ I am especially moved by; “Small silver spoon stirred dark Earl Grey/Gnarled finger clutched by digits slim.”πŸ’πŸ’

    1. Thanks, Sanaa – I really struggle with something that seems to come so naturally to other poets, which is imagery – those kinds of details are not easy for me to come up with… but with this pantoum, they somehow flowed❣️

      Yours,
      David

  11. This is the most tender and universal circle. Someone near the end of their life connecting and with it being brand new to this earth. A true replenishing. I agree with Kim, the sense in tastes and notes and details of the world tie the edges of the circle together so beautifully.I feel the love defines us altogether. Although it will be a big pain in the patootie when that newborn starts crying all night and they can’t get to sleep when they finally quiet down because they’ve been drinking all of that tea. πŸ™‚β˜ΊοΈπŸ’• but even the most supply moments have their Monday difficulties around the edges. Ha ha. Very beautiful profound poem with the form composed absolutely so perfectly that it seems more natural and perfect. It is hard to do a repetitive form or the sounds in brace you like this one β€œworn,torn” such

    1. Lona, you are so, so sweet. That is such a kind and thoughtful comment. Thank you.

      a big pain in the patootie when that newborn starts crying all night and they can’t get to sleep

      Well… Perhaps the grandfather will be able to return the baby to its parents before bedtime πŸ˜‰

      ❀
      David

  12. I don’t know, David. Don’t know why. Just that this brings tears to my eyes. Memories, maybe. Impressions. Feelings of those who have gone before. This is beautiful, David. And so very evocative. Thank you.

  13. I can’t find anything else to add to what others have already said – lovely poem.

  14. Life comes full circle. Heartening words with swirls of emotion. Wonderfully written!

  15. Just beautiful David and the format lends itself perfectly, for this nostalgic scene. I do like pantoums and villanelles,
    for their repetitive style..something about them. makes me feel safe when I read or write them:)

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