Tempus fugit-ives, or: Gunfight

My 2nd Byr a Thoddaid

Creaking; I sit; is that my back?
Shifting old office chair a crack;
Base squeaking, as I tilt backwards a bit -
With wit whetting my words.

Poems come 'tween work assignments.
Concepts clear as I refine 'em;
Keyboard, clack-clacking, shapes dark produces -
Nooses loosened escape.

Fugitives run through our office;
Colleagues somehow(?) see naught amiss.
I marshal thoughts, whooping, into verses -
Their cursing they shall rue!

Byr a Thoddaid

A Welsh syllabic quatrain form. It consists of two couplets, either of which can appear as the first couplet of the stanza. One couplet consists of two eight-syllable lines that rhyme with each other. The other couplet consists of one ten-syllable line and one six-syllable line. The ten-syllable line has a rhyme before the end in the seventh, eighth, or ninth syllable that rhymes with the end of the six-syllable line. Syllables after the rhyme will have some correspondence with the beginning of the six-syllable line. This correspondence might be alliteration, rhyme or assonance.

A byr a thoddaid verse might look like:

xxxxxxxa
xxxxxxxa
xxxxxxxbx1
x1xxxb

or

xxxxxxxbx1
x1xxxb
xxxxxxxa
xxxxxxxa

Where the 1 represents the association through assonance, alliteration, or rhyme; the “a” and “b” are the more normal rhymes.


Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

26 thoughts on “Tempus fugit-ives, or: Gunfight”

  1. You are so good at this, David. Having read your explanations, the analytical me tends to examine form, but very quickly your words win out, and I just flow with them with the dearest pleasure.

  2. This poem amused me and then delighted as I read it a second time with an eye to the form! This is NOT one that I will ever attempt (unless it is under duress and a matter of life or death). I fear it requires a more nimble mind that I possess!

  3. “I marshal thoughts, whooping, into verses -”
    Ahh it’s is the best feeling ever when you find your words create the same atmosphere thoughts did.
    I find the form itself rather confusing but the poem is beautifully penned!

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