The Moving Dragons’ current challenge is to write a haiku; in essence a haiku is a three-line verse with  lines of five, seven and five syllables. In the original Japanese tradition there was more to it than that, it   should, according to Wikipedia, be characterised by three qualities:

The essence of haiku is “cutting… This is often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a “cutting word”) between them, a kind of verbal punctuation mark which signals the moment of separation and colours the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related.

Perhaps I’m not capable of that… it is certainly a very long time since I wrote any poetry at all, although I am very fond of reading it. My favourite form is the sonnet, and perhaps my favourite sonnet is this, by the master, William Shakespeare:

Sonnet 73
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
I decided to play around with it, and using only the words which are there, and using them in the order they are there, I created three sonnets:


That time of year thou
Mayst behold, when yellow leaves
Shake against the cold.


Bare ruined choirs, where sweet
Birds sang as sunset fadeth;
Black night doth take, seals all.


See’st the glowing fire
On ashes consumed with love;
More strong  to love well.

©Lois Elsden 2016

To find my other writings, no poems, follow this link:


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