Cywydds

So, I had this professor Ben Greer for poetry at USC in Columbia, SC. My friend Jenny Kwan and I would sit in his class or skip his class together. Either way, some productive writing discussion was had.

He made us write these incredibly difficult Welsh poems called cywydds in his class. Here are the three I wrote:

camusExistential Dilemma

I am indifferent to you
and your many writings, Camus.
Though praise is due, I’ll laud not,
but to be your rebel I’ll try.
Still, our shared fate is but to die.
I won’t ask why; I care not.

My Cell Phone Doesn’t Get Reception at the Gates of Hell
(Also the title of my old band Android Opera’s first album)RodinHellGates

Can’t receive your incoming call—
Verizon sure has fucking gall.
And here I stall—useless cell—
my network tends to make me wait.
Roaming, my reception’s not great,
here at the gate, outside hell.

 

 

 

 

Deathbed Plea

graveyardstatuetteI’m cold and wish you would come nigh
and sit beside me where I lie.
No will to die, it comes soon—
the netherworld—as knife from sheath.
Death clenches me in grip of teeth,
a shade, beneath glow of moon.

The Forsaken Forest

My name, Lorna Festa, means forlorn festival. Lonely Party. Forsaken Fiesta. …I finally confronted it, in this deeply sorrowful poem. Don’t cry.

“The Forsaken Forest” 11 September 2015

guinmayinglgThe lorn wood, she twists and
bends in the wind. The festival
is finished, the festivities are over,
the townfolk have tucked in.
How the blessed tree stands alone!
When before, all were summoned to her
shade. She is but a doorway, so she’s told,
an opening for others to walk through.
But who remains in the threshold?
In the hollow of trees as they shake
 in the wind, which does not let up.
And then, once the fire fades down
And the parkin is eaten up–Is
there any reason to stick around?
Not a formula for disappointment, but a
calling to confiders near, here. And far.
The fire died in Greer, near the track
and field. In Columbia, it faded before
anyone took the hint. Bunch ‘a lingerers…unknown
Across the sea, in Sheffield, bruv
The fire was fifth of November-
reminiscent. It glowed in its own
glory. “Better to burn out than to
fade away.” Still, that one burned
Away. And here she stands, a beacon.
The ales been drunk, the wanderers
stumble…And somewhere in these hills
A light is going out.

On This Harvest Moon . 9 September 2014

This poem’s from last year. From where I stood in Cayce, SC, the moon was obscured by clouds. So was his smile.

 

We look up. We stand still. We turn East.

harvestmoonWe stare hard. We feel her pull.

We look for the moon; no moon.

Only red sky stretching to white.
Cloud as bright as midday – over
cast and settling to earth, not quite
dew. She is full and invisible.

She reminds us. We still look.
She baptizes us in her moonglow.

She is twice risen this week.
She is constant; she is temporary.

We study her in our blindness.
She will not drop her shroud for us,
nor will she release it tomorrow.

It is not her will only, in acceptance
she agrees. We bear witness without
eyes, in awe of nothing to behold.

She draws us near to ourselves,
then away from ourselves, then
back to the center.